If we were trying to sell cat food to cats, he told me, we’d be out of luck because none of us have any idea what cats are thinking. But we’re telling stories to humans, he said, and we all know what it’s like to be human.We launched Liars’ League in London in 2007 with a simple concept: Writers write, actors read, audience listens, everybody wins. We accept themed submissions from writers, our team selects the best handful, and then we cast actors and host rehearsals before they perform the reading in front of a live audience. The original idea grew from our desire to give writers’ work the best possible public performance: not every writer loves reading.
When we decided to set up Liars’ League NYC, the London series had been running successfully for more than five years. Given our fairly uncomplicated model, we assumed the transatlantic translation would be relatively straightforward. It wasn’t: it turns out there are more reading series in New York than there are in London. Like, a lot more. In New York, you can be competing with several readings on any given night. So we realized we had to do more than just throw up a Facebook page and wait for the world to beat a path to our door. To find our audience, we had to tell our own story—to brand ourselves.