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How fan videos made ‘Six’ the musical a hit on Broadway, beyond



How fan videos made 'Six' the musical a hit on Broadway, beyond

“Get your phones out — you’re gonna wanna film this!”

In the theater world, the sentiment would normally be a form of sacrilege. It’s distracting to actors onstage. It impedes the view of fellow audience members. It’s antithetical to the immediate, communal, ephemeral nature of the art form.

But with “Six,” the scintillating stage show that reimagines the wives of Henry VIII as a chart-topping girl group, it’s practically a requirement, kicking off a closing number written specifically to be recorded and shared on social media.

Audiences film while dancing by their seats, singing along and cheering with excitement. Spotlights swoop from side to side. Confetti falls from above. And each of the six actors — dressed in jewel-toned Tudor fits, fishnet stockings and bedazzled boots — reprise the catchiest sections of their characters’ signature songs for the crowd and their phones. The “Megasix,” as the number has come to be called, turns musical theater into a full-on pop concert.

The three-minute arrangement has helped transform a scrappy Edinburgh Fringe Festival act with no set changes, no intermission and no stars into an international phenomenon, capturing the attention of an elusive demographic in ways theatrical producers usually only dream of.

“Like a lot of ‘Six,’ that was not intended to be a huge, colossal thing,” said the show’s co-creator Toby Marlow. “We really were not thinking, ‘How can we take over social media with Megasix videos?’”

Evolving from a mellower medley attempted after the production’s 2017 debut, the Megasix picked up its defining feature from producer Kenny Wax. His suggestion that viewers record the number was both a dramaturgical choice and a form of affordable grassroots marketing.

“Our show is supposed to feel like a pop concert,” said “Six” co-creator Lucy Moss. “So getting people filming made sense because it’s within the genre, it’s connected inherently to the concept.”

Soon enough, attendees began to post their footage online, forging community with other “Six” fans, supporting the show’s revolving door of actors and promoting the cause of theater accessibility amid high ticket prices and, later, COVID-19 risks. A number of actors also embraced it as a digital souvenir, one that preserves their onstage successes and snafus and allows fans to feel more connected to performers than ever before.

On Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok — at the time a nascent social media platform gaining steam with Gen Z users — the proliferation of Megasix clips teased “Six” as a musical with a hypervisual aesthetic, self-deprecating humor and unapologetic pop sound.

“It looks like a concert but it clearly isn’t; it looks like the place to be,” said Trevor Boffone, author of the forthcoming book “TikTok Broadway: Musical Theatre Fandom in the Digital Age.” “This is not your grandparents’ musical theater.”

Each subsequent staging yielded more Megasix uploads — except in the United States, where filming the performance is against union rules. Moss and Marlow could easily have considered its burgeoning social media popularity a risk: “Most of the time, creators are a little bit hesitant getting that [intellectual property] out there without the greater context of the show,” said Jonathan Breitbart, a 20-year-old Colorado theatergoer who came across “Six” videos in late 2018 and became a fan.

Instead, in an industry still dominated by print ads and billboards, the Megasix turned into the most organic, continuous and occasionally intense social media marketing campaign in recent memory — “a form of free publicity that has allowed for a greater amount of visibility and accessibility for the show than most professional theaters can boast,” wrote Samantha Eve Marchiony in her University of Houston master’s thesis.

Tara Dawn Schwartz, 38, hadn’t heard of “Six” before watching Megasix videos while at home in Long Island, N.Y., during the pandemic. “I remember thinking, ‘I want to see this in person. I really want to see it live and hear it live and connect with this music on a new level.’”

“Six” now spans open-ended runs on Broadway and the West End, two concurrent U.S. tours, a United Kingdom and Ireland tour, two ongoing cruise line productions and a staging in Asia, plus a recently wrapped stint in Australia and performances in Canada and Holland starting later this year. And because “Six” casts its royal characters diversely across ethnicities, body types and vocal tones, “the content is continually interesting,” Boffone noted.

“They created fan-driven marketing that doesn’t really cost the show any money. People are paying to see them, and then marketing their show for them.”

One of the performers from "Six" illustrated in purple

(Rebekka Dunlap / For The Times)

In “Six,” which follows a competition among the queens to be their group’s lead singer based on how terrible their lives were while married to Henry VIII, the cast is onstage nearly the entire 85-minute run time — and “every single tiny little beat is very, very planned,” said Moss, who also co-directed the show.

The Megasix, by contrast, is “more about having fun with the audience,” she added. “It’s not a full free-for-all, but there are moments where [the actors] can have their bit of self-expression. You can play with intonation and rhythm, or play with a different attitude. We encourage them to do their own thing.”

After a spirited roll call of the four-person band, the cast amps up the reprise with personalized vocal riffs — provided they’ve been approved by the show’s musical director — along with spontaneous dance moves and reactions to fellow actors and the audience.

“You can’t lock it in, which keeps you on your toes,” said Gabriela Carrillo, who plays Catherine Parr on the West Coast tour. “It’s less improv and more listening and responding to each other. And even though we’re supposed to always keep moving, there are still five other people onstage. If you deviate too much from any spot you’re supposed to stand in at any moment, there will be a collision.”

“Six” fans watch Megasix videos the way sports fans catch the highlights from a winning game — even though you already know the outcome, you want to see how it happened this time. Justin Smith, a 25-year-old fan in Texas, searches daily for clips of all the ongoing productions and pays attention to the vocals — particularly, the overlapping hooks between Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, as “the Boleyns have a loose interpretation of the melody there, and the Australian cast especially riffed the heck out of it.”

Aimee Stern, a 30-year-old New York City resident, eyes the choreographic choices: Did Katherine Howard do that helicopter move with her high ponytail? How far did Catherine Parr bend backward on her big note? And Carly Baker, a 20-year-old New York City theatergoer, looks out for the actors’ interactions: the smiles, the laughs, the nudges. “It’s entertaining to watch because every day is different for them based on the energy and the camaraderie on that stage.”

1684676502 712 How fan videos made Six the musical a hit on

This is especially true when a “Six” performance features an alternate, a circumstance celebrated in “Six” more than other productions. “Our creatives do not prefer to do what typical musical theater does with alternates, which is to do a carbon copy of what the [principal actor] has already done,” said Cassie Silva, the dance captain and an alternate on one of the show’s two concurrent U.S. tours. “In fact, it’s the exact opposite. They’re very passionate about us building our own authentic version of each queen. So when you get to see an alternate go on, it really shakes things up.”

Fans like Stern regularly buy last-minute tickets upon notice of an alternate, specifically with the intention of filming the Megasix and sharing it online. “I try to think about how happy I feel when I get to see a Megasix of somebody who I don’t think I’m gonna have a chance to see, and I try to bring that joy to fans who either can’t afford theater or maybe don’t live around where ‘Six’ is right now,” says the New York City resident. “Of course, it’s not the full show, and it’s not the same thing as being there. But it’s a really cool way for people to at least experience a little bit of that person’s performance as that queen.”

“Six” actors are often tagged in viewers’ Megasix uploads on social media. “[Alternates] never got professional pictures on Broadway; we never got any B-roll of us performing,” said Courtney Mack, who has covered nearly every role across multiple “Six” productions and is playing Katherine Howard on the West Coast tour. “And some of these videos that they got are really nice! There’s stuff from fans that I’m probably going to keep forever.”

The influx of Megasix clips has prompted some viewers to come back again. And again. And again. Stern has seen “Six” 89 times across five different productions. Helen Sullivan, a 23-year-old Brooklyn resident who discovered the show while studying abroad in London, has seen it 97 times in the name of “swingo,” or seeing an alternate play every queen: “I told my mom it’s cheaper than therapy.”

The videos also whet fans’ appetite for new “Six” stagings. “My friends have already sent me a Tiktok of the first Megasix with the Seoul cast,” said Marlow days after the South Korea production opened. “Seeing the view counts, [it] hit me that people are seeking out these videos.”

“I’d be interested to see what it’s like for the actors, though,” Marlow added. “I’m sure they’ll have different experiences with it because they’re the ones that are immortalized every night in these videos.”

One of the performers from "Six" illustrated in blue

(Rebekka Dunlap / For The Times)

So is the “Six” cast supposed to play to the in-person audience or the phones in their hands?

“Both,” said Moss. “It’s very much for everyone there, but also having those little moments with the cameras. And it’s also for the people in the room to see these famous pop-star queens playing to the cameras.”

Close-up Megasix videos feature these actor-audience interactions — another routine “Six” occurrence that would be a rarity in any other show. “As time went on and the fan base grew, I definitely got more used to putting my face in a few people’s cameras,” said Natalie Paris, who played Jane Seymour in multiple U.K. productions and is now on the show’s West Coast tour. “Once I got used to breaking that barrier, I had more fun with it and was a bit more playful.”

1684676503 523 How fan videos made Six the musical a hit on

The clips show the cast looking directly at certain cameras, pointing, winking, smiling and dancing toward them as if they’re the only phones there. Some actors even grab a viewer’s phone for a selfie video — an idea attributed to Maiya Quansah-Breed, who played Catherine Parr when the upbeat Megasix was first added to the production.

“We want people to be hooting and hollering and cheering at this show,” noted Mack. “If you don’t have a high-energy audience, it’s hard to keep the energy up the whole time. So if there’s someone giving you their positive energy the whole time, interacting with them is almost like a thank you.”

As with any collection of fan content, not all Megasix videos are uploaded in good faith. “There are all of these comparison videos that make it an issue when someone strays from certain characterizations or how someone says a certain line,” observed longtime fan Breitbart. “Posting opinions on social media can impact the actors, they can see it all. And it’s like, is this productive? Is that really what you want to take away from that experience?”

When the decision to encourage audience filming was first made, members of the creative team told the cast that the choreography and the vocals “need to be so hot now because it’s gonna be on camera,” recalled Paris. “As a performer, what’s so special about theater is that you get to leave everything you’ve got on the stage. It’s a daunting thought to know that a lot of people can capture that moment forever and put it straight onto social media.”

The added pressure also means “Six” actors carry some reservations about the practice. “You do a mental shift because it isn’t just live theater, it’s live theater plus whoever gets to see this,” Carrillo said. “People will make a judgment about the way someone plays a character from one video, when they don’t realize it’s so much more. And if a video ever got out there where I wasn’t a perfect human being, well, I can’t control that.”

“That expectation is so much higher as an alternate,” added Silva, who likened an alternate’s Megasix debut video to a rookie player’s baseball card. Since joining the cast, Silva hasn’t been shy about asking fans to remove videos of onstage snafus. “They don’t typically post stuff if it’s bad, and if it is, they’re usually pretty decent about taking it down. I’ll reach out even if it’s of other people but doesn’t show them in the right way. Like, let’s not do that.”

Paris tries not to watch too many Megasix videos of herself — “sometimes even it comes down to a bad camera angle,” she said — and many of the “Six” actors who spoke to The Times avoid reading the comments on the uploads. “Most of the fans are pretty supportive, but somebody on Instagram once wrote in all caps ‘HORRIBLE,’” said Mack.

“I don’t care because those people are not in my position. They don’t know how hard the show is, or how heavy those costumes are. They don’t know what I’m going through mentally, physically, vocally. I could have bad allergies, I could be just recovering from a sickness. So even if it’s not our best night, they don’t know what’s going on with us at all.”

An illustrated crown, sparkling on top of one "Six" performer's head

(Rebekka Dunlap / For The Times)

On Broadway and on the two U.S. tours, where filming the Megasix is prohibited, the aforementioned lyric has been changed to “Stay on your feet! I wanna see everybody clap your hands!”

That’s a tough reality to face for some audience members, especially those who might have bought a ticket specifically after watching the clips. Many sneak recordings anyway, to the dismay of ushers across the country. Others, like a number of the “Six” superfans who spoke to The Times, have been willing to travel abroad to experience the Megasix in its intended form.

“When we were asking for permission to have the filming, I was like, ‘It’s part of the show,’” said Moss. “It’s really important to respect their rules. But in some ways, it’s a shame that U.S. audiences don’t get to experience that.” Added Marlow, “There’s something nice about that audience getting the experience of watching and dancing and feeling like you’re at a pop concert in a different way.”

Such was the case for Smith who, after years of watching Megasix videos daily, finally nabbed a front-row seat for the Christmas Eve performance. “One thing I didn’t expect is just how shiny and gorgeous their costumes are up close,” he recalled.

“The energy, the confetti flying everywhere, it was amazing. And not having to squint to see their facial expressions, because they were just right there. No phones, no heads, no hands — nothing blocking my view.”

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024



Make money blogging


Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.


Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?




Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach



Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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