Well, the right amount is, anyway.
When I’m at Trudi Mann’s Fabulous Open Mic for Singers, performers regularly appear there when they have NY gigs forthcoming. And they always mention the show while they’re up, and they always have promo materials to distribute. And this goes for some heavy-hitters such as Marilyn Maye, Karen Obermiller, and Barb Jungr.
I recently saw a couple of people with a forthcoming show performing to a room of people they didn’t know. There was no distribution of cards. Even worse, if one didn’t know the performers, one would have no idea what their individual names were.
A lot of people shy away from “self promotion.” But in the end, I feel that this does a disservice to the artist, the audience, and the genre. If an audience is interested in your work, they deserve the easiest possible avenue of getting more information about it ! (Because we are doing work that people want to see more of, aren’t we?) If an artist doesn’t attact their rightful audience, then that really does a disservice to the artist’s work. And if artists and audiences do not connect, cabaret will really be a dead duck!
And another marketing tip: I felt so sorry for an artist whose postcard I received in the mail the other day. She had taken a great deal of effort to write a personal note at the bottom of the card. (I had no clue who she was, and she was New York-based, so obviously she was mailing extensively.) However the post office’s zip code sticker made her handwritten message illegible. Always do a test mailing to yourself of your postcard!