Ask A Cabaret Question at McElrath Cabaret–How Do You Keep Expenses Down When Producing A Cabaret Show? New Posting Schedule–Join The Conversation!


Welcome to McElrath Cabaret–We hope you enjoy our cabaret blog!


I love this version of “Thinking of You” here sung by Barbara Lea, from her 1955 album entitled A Woman In Love.  Hope you enjoy it!


Hi!  I want to start this post with a quick update to our weekly schedule.  We’ve offered the Cabaret Soiree since February 2012 and although I think it’s still a good idea and a great way for entertainers and audience to connect online, it just hasn’t taken hold with our audience.  Therefore, we are dropping those Monday posts.  Also I am moving the Thursday Featured Cabaret Blog, Website or Venue posts from a weekly post to a more occasional feature, as interesting online sources catch my fancy.  We will continue to write the Tuesday Cabaret Tips, Wednesday Cabaret Questions and Friday Cabaret Through Time posts every week, as they seem to be the most popular with our readers.  We thank you so much for reading our blog, and it really encourages us when we hear from you in the comments or email!


Wednesday is the day of the week when we at McElrath Cabaret post a cabaret question for the consideration of our readers.  The questions have something to do with cabaret, in all its many aspects.


We encourage you to send us any cabaret question that you have that you would like us to pose to the group! You can leave a question in the comments section below, or you can email it to us at kjandathenacabaret [at] Just fill in the [at] with the @ symbol—we need to foil the spam bots, don’cha know.


This week’s question is: How do you keep expenses down when producing your cabaret show?


I think this is always a hot topic with cabaret singers, because when you think about all the expenses that go into producing a show, it’s fairly difficult to make money at this.  It often is a labor of love, but at the same time you don’t want to go in the hole at the same time.  So what can you do?


One idea we utilize is to do our own publicity.  If you have a nice camera and someone willing to take pictures, you can do your own publicity shots and save a bundle.  You’ll have to set up and style your own shots, but with practice you will gain this important skill.  One tip I have is to start a folder of flyers and shots of singers and their shows that really appeal to you, and make notes of what it is you like about those photos and then apply those ideas to your own photos–it’s a good way to get started with this.  Photo editing software is available free online, such as Gimp, and it makes editing much easier and your final photos look more professional.   In the same manner, you can use these materials to make your own flyers as well.   Another aspect of publicity that can be done by yourself is to utilize social media online.  We have an email list that we send an announcement to before each performance, but we also announce on Facebook, Google + and Twitter, as well as the upcoming performances page on our blog.  The Internet won’t do everything for you; you still need to network and get to know people so they will hopefully respond to you when you send a show announcement out, but it does make it easier and it’s all available for free.


Some singers form long-standing partnerships with their music director, who shares in the profits from the shows.  Then the MD will often write the arrangements and charts as part of what they offer to the production, without charging an extra fee for these services.  This can also help save on production costs.


Another way that we save on expenses is to do our own styling, which I love to do.  It takes only a little bit of research and experimentation to discover what styles of clothing look good on you and everyone in your production, and then select colors that work to give an overall cohesive appearance.  You can also learn to do your own hair and makeup–visit You Tube, where there are thousands of different how-to videos that will show you how to create any makeup or hair look that you desire, and then practice until you have it down.  You’ll easily save hundreds on taking on this fun aspect of your show yourself.


So how how do you keep expenses down when you are producing your cabaret show?   I can’t wait to hear what your responses are to today’s question, so let me know down in the comments here. 


You can also leave a comment on LinkedInGoogle+Facebook or Twitter.  And you can always feel free to drop us a line, either in the comments below or send us a direct email, and let us know a cabaret question that you would like us to ask, and we’ll do our best to include it in an upcoming Wednesday post.


I truly look forward to your joining the conversation with your comments! We value each of our readers very much, and hope to entertain you and give you a place to come and learn more about cabaret.


 If you like this post, you can Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our blog via email or RSS–thank you!  


We are now also on LinkedIn–which has a Cabaret group you should join (!)–and Google+.  You can connect with us there as well.


We appreciate your support!

Till next time, 


ps–The Cabaret Soiree Link Party is still going strong–you can visit anytime to click on the links and see what others have posted, or you can share your own recent cabaret blog or cabaret website link from now through Thursday.  Link is below.


Weekly Post Lineup At McElrath Cabaret:

Mondays:  Cabaret Soiree Cabaret Blog Link Party

Tuesdays:  Cabaret Tip Tuesday

Wednesdays:  Ask A Cabaret Question

Thursdays: Featured Cabaret Blog, Website, Performer

Fridays:  Cabaret Through Time

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About Athena at McElrath Cabaret

Athena McElrath is an entertainer with a love for theatre and singing. She enjoys delving in the area of historical cabaret, researching the singers and clubs that were in business from before 1920 to the present, in New York and beyond.
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