In 2000, local playwright/performer/producer Dean J. Seal offered a show titled "The 17 Rules of Show Business," a jaundiced view of the performing arts from a longtime insider. Eleven years later, the actual rules seems about as true as ever, so we asked Seal to share his list:

  1. Get the money.
  2. All original material should be personal and emotional and therefore impossible to steal.
  3. Every contract has a loophole.
  4. Then Picasso’s Fourth Rule of Show Biz: All art is theft.
  5. There’s a new way to fuck up the show every night.
  6. Drink a glass of water before you go onstage.
  7. Never tell the performers how small the house is, and never tell the house how bad the show was.
  8. If you have comps, your job is to lead the applause, and not dish the show 'till you’re out of the house.
  9. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
  10. Make the easy stuff look hard, and the hard stuff look easy.
  11. Don’t wait 'till you’re ready.
  12. Get off the stage before they stop clapping.
  13. From Chekhov: No art is ever finished, it is merely abandoned.
  14. A good review does not sell tickets; it's only a tool to sell tickets.
  15. Lead actors take home the flowers, character actors bring home the bacon.
  16. It’s always your friends and family who fuck you.
  17. The secret of show biz is sincerity, and if you can fake that, you've got it made.