I've really felt like the shoemaker's daughter over the last few months, coordinating #newmedia bloggers and making sure tweets about #StarlightExpressSA introduced people to the Andrew Lloyd Webber mega musical, who would otherwise not know about @joburgthreate or this phenomenal show ... but never finding a moment to blog. I would usually beat myself up about that, if it were not absolute perfection that I finally get to blog when I reached the light at the end of the tunnel.
I have my feet firmly on the ground and I'm proud of myself, so I can't begin to imagine how the cast and crew of #StarlightExpressSA are feeling after technical opening night, pre show nights, opening media night and Joburg City Power sponsor's opening night. Amazingly, all I have seen is more passion, excitement, commitment and determination as the nights have rolled on.
When I was finding my feet as social media publicist for Joburg Theatre, the actors were also finding theirs, on skates. New worlds for all of us as I watched in amazement as put the show together at a mega fast pace. They were also watching on as I was drumming hashtags into their social media activities and flitting in and out of rehearsals with a trail of bloggers and Tweeters behind me. Pictures of them in mid fall and then a few weeks later in perfect formation ... this all unfolded online by an incredible team of #new media: @Gnat_J, @ChevePeters, @NocturnalWenchy, @shellspembroke, @maddog_sa, @SelloCR, & @TanyaKovarsky.
They skated ... we Tweeted! They rehearsed their hearts ... we Tweeted!
Both #newmedia and social media publicity are kinda made up and finding their way in the world. Luckily for me, we tale behind in social media and I've really managed to niche myself (with absolute pride). In the same breathe, bringing such a mammoth production to South Africa couldn't be pulled off by many and I'm confident to say the combination of Joburg Theatre, the director Janice Honeyman, the magical skating teacher Wendy Gila and a passionate all South African cast was the ingredient for ultimate success.
That point of "wow" had to arrive eventually. I know I worked hard enough for it and so did my amazing support and mentors Claire Pacariz and Saskia Goldberg who are the marketing team of the theatre. We all did ... from the backstage crew to the sound and lighting technicians.
That point of "wow" did arrive. It swooped in on Sunday night, opening media night, with the theatre filled with close to 1000 people.
"This is Control. This is Control. Tonight is the most important night in the history of the world!!"
That's how this incredible production opens and nothing could be more true about each and every #StarlightExpressSA show that takes to the stage, which is a masterpiece all on its own. The lights, the revolving stage, ramps, rising and lowing of portions of the stage and all this happening while an amazing cast is skating, singing, dancing ... and telling one of the most precious stories in the world.
You don't want to miss the 10 year old little boys who play Control (on varying nights), the quirky yet determined steam train Rusty, the gorgeous Pearl who really is lost in love, Poppa (who will make you cry from the second he begins to sing) ... I could go on and on, but I'm trying to get to the light at the end of the tunnel.
Here it is ...
The #StarlightExpressSA brought the house down with applause and there is no doubt that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber made the best decision to give the rights to the first EVER non-replica production to our amazing country.
The #StarlightExpressSA hashtag trended. It was the night of the Wimbeldon men's finals so I stared at myself in the mirror and told myself I had done all I could, the rest was up to my 150 odd #newmedia Tweeters and bloggers. That hashtag that once has a Tweet or two trended in Joburg, in Cape Town, in South Africa ... in the world! How could we not ...
Well ... isn't that the whole moral of the story. Oh, you don't know the story? Best you book for #StarlightExpressSA running until 1 September. It's worth the visuals, dancing, singing and acting ... but it's most worth being reminded that the Starlight is within you!
My sincere gratitude to Bernard Jay and Joburg Theatre for believing in the potential of new media, social media and making me a part of the great ride of my life.
Bookings: http://joburgtheatre.com or call 0861 670 670 ... book as a family because there's something in it for everyone.
Don't forget the hashtag ... #StarlightExpressSA
Cool jodene so cool i like #starlightexpressSA it was realy a banger ....i saw the tension on twitter wow keep up on the trend
Thank you so much Welcome. I'm so proud of what hard work, strategy and the right people around me are able to achieve 🙂
As connectingSA we support the trend #starlightexpressSA
Many thanks, it's really made me realise how well I understand hashtags and want to work with them more.