Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rehearsal Rooms vs Offices

  • Or: "Why was that lady yelling at me all through the town hall meeting on Saturday night?"
Actually, I'm not going to answer that above question.
  • Will someone make the bad lady stop yelling at me?
Yeah, once we start a new organization we'll get a new website and you won't be reading all this stuff on this blog anymore.
  • So wait, you're holding on me? There's a plan of some kind?
Of some kind. I only actually spoke to the landlord on Friday. I haven't heard back anything of substance yet.
  • Will you tell us when you've found out anything?
No. I'm going to keep it under wraps. Just the same as I do with everything I think.
  • I'd rather have the lady yell at me.
Would you? That can be arranged.
  • Dear Heavens no. I'd rather listen to you go on and on about square footage and... and oh no...
Do you like running numbers? Yes. Yes you do. Get out the spreadsheeps and open your mind to wild speculation.
  • Baaaah.
The question on today's menu is: do you make more income per square foot with rehearsal space or office space?
  • No, the question on today's menu is why was that lady so aggressive and yelling at everyone at the town hall meeting?
But I'm not answering that question.
  • In fact YOU didn't say anything at all at the town hall meeting.
Stipulation: at the 177 MacDougal Street space (hereafter known as "177") offices and rehearsal are not mutually exclusive.
Stipulation: we need rehearsal space in and of itself. We make plays. Plays need to be rehearsed.
  • Why didn't you say anything at the town hall? Why let them go on and on with their BS unchallenged?
Plenty of people were challenging it.
  • Yeah, but not you. 
I was there to support others.
  • Do you think that supporting them was better by being quiet and supportive or telling the yelly lady to shut up?
Rather than trying to use a conservative vs a liberal estimate in order to test the numbers I'm using, I'm kinda going for whatever makes the most sense. Ripley Grier has a space just a foot smaller in either direction than the office now called "DigitalSource". They call the room "1R2". Their book rate on that room is $14/hour.
So I'm going to say we can charge $15/hour for the DigitalSource space. (Note that we absolutely must find a way to air-condition that space once April rolls around so some capital expenditure will be involved in making that a usable space. It was 83 degrees in there last night. And it's the middle of November.)
If we open at 2pm and can run the rehearsal room until 8pm and can seriously keep it booked six hours a day for five days a week (booking that rehearsal room during a show will be very annoying to those in the show at 8pm because they'll hear the rehearsal in their own dressing room), that's 30 hours at $15/hour or $450/week. Can we really book that room 30 hours a week? Heck, we haven't been able to book the theater for rehearsals for 30 hours a week. But 30 hours a week is a reasonable goal.
At 50 weeks a year, that's $22,500 a year in rehearsal room bookings. Remember that right now we only make about $1500 a year in audition room bookings.
  • Any why wasn't anyone given an agenda for the town hall meeting before the town hall? Was that just a way to help them sandbag everyone else at the meeting so they couldn't come prepared with real questions and solutions?
The expenses involved in operating a rehearsal room include having a babysitter for the rehearsal (volunteer or otherwise). We need to calculate the cost of the volunteer vs the benefit (financial and otherwise) of having a rehearsal room. And yes, volunteers do "cost" something. Indeed, I have this whole notion that we shouldn't waste volunteers' time on things which bring in less than "x" dollars an hour but that's a whole nuther post.
Only baby owls will be allowed to run meetings from now on.
Now, if we were to put A/C into that "DigitalSource" room, add some Aeron chairs you'd have a windowless office in a back-office space (but conveniently located in Greenwich Village.) It's still "back office". There's no receptionist or free coffee all day long. But we could likely put four "cubicles" in there for $300 each per month. And probably keep them rented for 10 months a year (on average).
Four cubicles times $300 each is $1200 a month. That's $12,000 a year.
So offices are worth about half of what a rehearsal room is worth. Maybe a bit more. Advantage office: no need to have a babysitter on staff. Disadvantage office: you sure as heck better trust your office-mates as they'll have keys to come and go as they please. Advantage office: booking is a lot easier. You just need to do it once every so many months (or in some cases, so many years.)
  • Will any of this keep the bad lady from yelling at me?
Wow. That's so interesting I so thought offices would win out. Even with average of 10-month rental at $450/cube you're only at $18,000 a year, which is substantially below the potential revenue from rehearsal room revenue.
  • So this means I don't have to go to any more town hall meetings where some lady yells at everybody that everything is going great and everybody's doing a great job?
It means you put offices where offices can go and put rehearsal space where rehearsal space can go. Those two kinds of spaces are not mutually exclusive at the 177 space. And you fight dog-and-claw to get those rehearsal spaces booked. Or you just say "full-time booking two rehearsal spaces and the theater is just one too many things for us to do" and you find other revenue.
  • Put some pants on, will ya?
Baby owls don't wear pants.
  • All this time you were channeling a baby owl?
That's why the post is so coherent.

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