You’re a shark. A hungry mean-looking shark. Like the one below.
You are swimming alone in crystal clear blue waters. You’re the only shark there. There’s plenty of fish to feed on. Life is good, after all you’re the meanest killing machine ever devised by nature.
You are relaxed, you are happy. When you get hungry you feast from fish (not chips… you’re not a British shark) Sometimes you wink at the dolphins swimming nearby… a friendly shark-like wink.
Suddenly, after a few days having the best time of your life, you see another shark appearing in your area. It is quickly followed by another shark, and yet another. A multitude of hungry predators invade your waters. They quickly eat all the fish around, and after that…well, you know what sharks are like, all testosterone and no brain.
They start eating each other.
The ocean is red with blood. Pieces of flesh float on the foamy waves. Some of your kins simply give up and let themselves die of hunger. You keep on fighting, biting, devouring anything that comes close, amid the dense turbid waters. There is no food left. It’s a nightmare.
Red ocean and blue ocean are popular business concepts. I heard for the first time the term blue ocean strategy in a marketing presentation and it left quite a mark on my imagination. It was a something I could easily visualise. I tend to think by images.
I understand that bringing business in a post about theatre may sound a bit cynical, if not completely off topic, but I’m not Sarah Kane or Antonin Artoud. Although I am considered a bit of a nuthead by many, I have an allergy to black and white thinking.
Like it or not, show business is also about business. So if you are set to make a living out of your passion I suggest you get acquainted with these and other terms.
So what do they mean for me, apart from their standard definition?
Well, if you happen to take your show to a fringe (Edinburgh, Brighton, Adelaide, etc.) for instance, it may be worth using this concept in order not to get lost by the sheer amount of shows these festivals put on display.
Yes it is true Edinburgh fringe may host more than 3000 thousand shows, and that browsing the Edfringe guide can make your spin head at first when trying to find your name. However, all of these performances belong to different oceans. Some of them are full with sharks, others aren’t.
Last year there were about 1580 shows in Avignon. I can’t recall the exact number. What I do remember is that there were only 22 clown shows (26 the year before). I remember it because that was my ocean, and it was quite a blue ocean.
How blue do you think is your ocean instead if you do comedy in Edinburgh?
How blue is your ocean if you do a clown show in English in Avignon?
And how blue is your ocean if you do a show in Italian at the Camden Fringe?
Food for thought…
Think like a shark.