A Course based on Beyond Applause

General Information

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An introduction to the world of business and marketing, specially tailored to the independent performing artist (magicians, speakers, storytellers, musicians or others). If we are to train our students to become great performing artists, it seems only fair that we also give them a basic understanding of how to create successful lives in the entertainment industry.

The author teaches a version of this seminar on line several times a year. Use the contact link above to find out when the next set of sessions will take place.

However: The book is designed as a textbook for a college level course. Faculty with experience in the business end of the performing arts can use the book, along with the syllabus below, to create your own classes.


Expectations and Goals

Through a series of articles and worksheets, students will execute the tasks and steps necessary to set up, operate, and market their own small businesses as performing artists. Whether executing the work for an imaginary company or actually setting up his or her own actual business, each student will leave with a deeper understanding of what it takes to make a business successful.

Course Materials


Required Materials

The primary resource for the course is the book Beyond Applause: Management and Marketing for the Independent Performer, by Tobias Beckwith. The book is currently available only through Amazon.com. Worksheets can be downloaded from the homepage of this site.


If you've signed up for the online version of this course with Tobias Beckwith, we will meet via the Zoom service, in one of their “meeting” events, so you may want to try out that service prior to the first class. The services is free for student access, but you'll want to download their app from Zoom.com.


Also highly recommended: Your own Google Drive/Docs account, or other full-fledged office program with word processer, spreadsheet, e-mail, calendar and contact manager. Homework will be shared via Google Docs.


Optional Materials

You own collection of photos of yourself, both simple   and performance photos. If you have video of yourself performing, that will be useful, as well. If you have already generated press releases, flyers, brochures, press kits and the like, please have those at hand. If you have already established your own DBA, LLC, or secured insurance, licenses, permits, etc., it will pay to have those on hand.


The following is the Syllabus we use for the online version of the class. Feel free to copy and adjust for your own purposes.


Beyond Applause Syllabus


1. Introduction -- What it takes to make a business. introduction to the business pyramid and each of its aspects.

                 Assigned:  Beyond Applause (BA)/ Introduction Please read introduction prior to class.

2.  Mission / Vision/ Purpose – The foundation of any successful business. A business without a clearly defined purpose is like a building with no foundation.

                 Assigned: BA/ Read Chapter 1 and prepare the Worksheets for Introduction and Chapt. 1

                 Please post 24 hours before session"

3.  Strategy & Business Model -- How the business makes money, and what steps you need to take to make that a reality.

                 Assigned: BA/Chapter 2 Worksheets for Mission Chapter / First Elevator Pitch

4.  Teams -- The Best Team Wins! None of us is really in this alone.

                 Assigned: BA/ Chapter 3 & Worksheets for Strategy

5.  Leadership -- How to Inspire Your Team with your mission and vision. Culture comes from the top.

                 Assigned: BA/Chapter 4 Worksheets on Team Building

6.  Finance & Legal Considerations -- Make sure you have all your bases covered.

                 Assigned: BA/ Chapter 5 & 6, and Worksheets on Leadership

7.  Communications & Marketing 1 --  It's ALL marketing, so you need to get good at this.

                 Assigned: BA/ Chapter 7 & 8 and Worksheets for Finance & Legal

8.  Communications & Marketing 2 -- Once you achieve market fit, how will you connect?

                 Assigned: BA/ Chapter 7& 8 Worksheets on Communication/ Second Elevator Pitch

9,  Systems 1 -- Saving Time with Systems: Systems save time and help you deliver consistent excellence.

                 Assigned: BA/ Chapter 9 Worksheets on Marketing / Third Elevator Pitch / First Press Release

10.  Systems 2 -- Building Professional Excellence

                 Assignment:  Worksheet on Systems

11. Important Principles not covered before

                 Assigned: Categories BA/ Chapter 10 Build YOUR systems / Set up Calendar

12.  Re-Cap / Summary and Wrap up

                 Assigned: Review Whole Book and do the Worksheet on Closing Thoughts

                 Submit your completed business plan!


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