25 years after this Bowie performance, I was looking for investors in the first LA production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It was my chance to earn my producer wings. David Bowie's publicist Tresa Redburn graciously shared an investor packet with Bowie's longtime business partner but there was no way to follow up. Ugh, I thought, that's like spitting in the wind but Tresa assured me if they were interested they would follow up.
Cut to several weeks later, the Monday morning post-Labor Day weekend, in a dingy attic office over the former Canon Theater. One of my team intercepted a call and said, "Karyn, there's a Bill Z for you." My jaw dropped and for a moment I really couldn't speak. It was Bowie's business partner. I did the whole stereotypical deep breath, clearing of throat, and pulled out my paperwork to fall back on so I'd be able to answer anything and everything he might want to know.
First he asked how it happened that we had any rights at all (apparently they inquired early on with the NY team but were too late), and when satisfied with my answer put in their offer to pick up the balance of the full capitalization needed. After I stopped choking on my own tongue, I ran down to the shiny conference room and interrupted Joan Stein & Co. to announce: David. Bowie. Wants. In.
Later that day when I looked out my attic office window (don't let anyone tell you The Arts aren't glamorous) I heard a little voice whisper, "All things are possible."
Thank you David Bowie for the lesson, the magic, and for helping me earn those producer wings. The man who fell to Earth, now our eternal Star Man.
A fresh notebook of thoughts on taking a social-first approach to modern marketing and the shifting sands of social storytelling. Shamelessly mixing metaphors on the way.