Interview: Daniel Kuney from 10glo

                Daniel Kuney 

Daniel Kuney: In my day job I am Broadway general manager. I founded and run KGM Theatrical, representing shows like Rock of Ages, Slava’s Snowshow, Puffs, Heathers, Born for This and many more. Before the pandemic, my life was like many of us who work in business operations for Broadway shows. Our office is in Times Square and that’s where you’d find me Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM. My days were spent with clients, creative teams and our various departments to support the work of our running shows, soon-to-be running shows and shows in development. And then, at 6 PM a few days a week I’d head over to Sardi’s for drinks with clients, colleagues and friends in the industry. It was and is a very special community. We all love what we do to support these amazing shows, and being surrounded by the energy of creation. These days the work still continues, but without the chance encounter with a friend in the elevator or while grabbing a coffee in the lobby of 1501 Broadway.

DK: 10glo.com came about quite organically as we looked at a few problems we wanted to solve. One, and most immediately before us, was how do we help artists get their work seen during a pandemic? And, two, how do we make it easier than it had been for artists to get their work seen when we come back from the pandemic? If you recall, prior to shutting down, artists had limited tools to promote their work that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Festivals and readings could easily cost upwards of $50,000. And posting videos to YouTube, among cat videos and technology reviews, was like asking producers to search for a needle in a haystack on the off-chance that they might discover video content for emerging talent. The whole process was inefficient and, in many ways, rigged against the artists. Finally, we wanted to make it easy for the decision makers: artistic directors, producers, theater owners and casting directors, to discover new works and new talent. Readings and presentations probably won’t completely go away, but many of these decision makers struggle to make the time during the work day, when they have so many competing meetings, rehearsals and auditions, to attend readings. So those were the problems we were solving for. And the answer was and is kind of obvious: curation. Let’s create a site that does what YouTube does, but just for theater.

Now, if I’m a composer, I want to post my work on 10glo because I know that the producers and artistic directors are on here scouting for new work. And, if I’m a producer or artistic director, I want to look for new work on 10glo because I don’t have to sift through cat videos or hope that I just magically find some new talent on YouTube. It’s a win-win for everyone. 

CMT: How are you hoping to help theatre artists with the site?

DK: We’re breaking down the traditional barriers to entry in three fundamental ways: location, gatekeepers and money.

One, you don’t have to live in NYC or Los Angeles, or even in the United States to sign up and post your video on 10glo. Two, you don’t need to go through any gatekeepers to join 10glo. There is no application process, there’s no approval process, and nobody to say yes or no to your work. And, finally, money. 10glo is free. It’s free to post videos and it’s free to watch videos. And many of our most popular videos are just folks singing into their phones. So you don’t need to have fancy editing software or hire a camera crew. Just open up your phone, hit record and then upload. A composer could, if they wanted to, stop spending money on their own private website that is largely undiscoverable unless someone is intentionally searching for them, and build out a robust online presence on 10glo. Upload your video, post a bio and some photos, and point us to all of your other social networks. We’ll even link a composer’s profile on 10glo to their landing page here on contemporarymusicaltheatre.com so they can sell their sheet music. What more could you want?

CMT: What kind of theatre artists can post on 10glo?

DK: Every kind! Composers can share videos of their projects at all stages: from final productions, to readings, concerts and even works in progress. But if you go onto 10glo you’ll see videos from all kinds of theater artists, from performers to choreographers to designers. We also have an Education section if you just want to post videos to impart knowledge about your craft.

CMT:  We’re thrilled to be starting a partnership with 10glo. What other organizations are you working with.

DK: We’re thrilled to be partnering with CMT as well. You two have been so supportive of the vision we have for 10glo and nothing would make us happier than to see all of your composers create profiles on the site. As I said above, we can link composer profiles on 10glo directly back to contemporarymusicaltheatre.com so that they can easily sell their sheet music.

And we continue to be open to collaborations with all kinds of industry partners. We’ve worked very closely with Eisenberg/Beans Casting on our #10gloChallenge promotions which has been a phenomenal way for early career performers to get their work seen by a Broadway casting company while singing contemporary musical theater songs.

If you have an idea for a new collaboration we’d love to hear from you.


CMT: Looking ahead, what other things do you hope to be able to achieve with the platform?

DK:  We have a lot of powerful features we’ll be rolling out over the next few months that will make it even easier for artists to get their work out there, but the big emphasis for us will be on community and conversation.

There are obviously a lot of streaming platforms being launched right now, but they are, by and large, walled gardens, and within those walls, just one way streets, meaning a gatekeeper decides what shows up on the platform, and then a viewer pays to watch that content. There’s no interaction, there’s too much focus on polish, and someone in a suit is deciding what gets to go on the platform and what doesn’t. That doesn’t seem right to us, nor does it align with how most of us are using technology right now. If you recall in the early days of the internet, it was AOL versus the open web. We think of those other platforms as AOL. They look pretty, but they are walled gardens of content. 10glo is completely open. We’ve built our entire foundation upon this premise of openness, and now I think we can really dive into making 10glo a two-way street, with our community members interacting with one another. For instance, we’d love to see more composers upload songs, or even parts of songs, that they are tinkering with. What we love about 10glo is that a work doesn’t need to be beautifully filmed or workshopped for months. Just point your phone at yourself and your guitar or piano and sing! Then upload that to 10glo and let a conversation develop organically. We think there’s a lot more we can do to encourage this and we have some exciting tools we’ll be rolling out to further facilitate community and conversation. We’d love to see a musical fully developed on 10glo without the need for expensive workshops.

CMT: How do theatre artists get involved?

DK: That’s easy, just upload and share. Simply head to 10lgo.com/register. You can literally be uploading your first video in 30 seconds. If the CMT community has any additional questions for me personally they are welcome to either email me directly or they can find me on Twitter @danielkuney, which is where I’m most active when I’m not watching 10glo videos.

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