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How Two Theater Superfans Became Theater Influencers

What’s a theater influencer and how do you become one? On the latest episode of “Stagecraft,” Variety’s theater podcast, Kristin Hopkins and Ashley Hufford, two influencers with strong social media presences on Instagram and TikTok, explained how they did it.

Listen to this week’s “Stagecraft” podcast below:

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The first thing to know: They both have day jobs. “I’m not making tons of money from this,” laughed Hufford, who is a video content editor by day. “If I wanted this to be my day job, I should have done something like beauty influencing — something that just has more money involved. But I picked theater, so that’s where I’m at.”

Hopkins, meanwhile, is an entertainment lawyer whose profile got a boost when she appeared on “The Bachelor” in 2020. For both Hopkins and Hufford, posting about theater on social media was something they were doing anyway. Their days as influencers began when the industry took notice.

“After I went on ‘The Bachelor,’ I got a blue check mark. After that, people started noticing that I was going to the theater and tagging shows,” said Hopkins. “But it was just a natural thing that I was going to be posting about theater anyway.”

On the new episode, the two influencers broke down how much time they spend making theater content — a lot! — and revealed how many of their theater tickets they pay for and how many are given to them. Hufford discussed the specifics of working with a production’s marketing and PR teams, while Hopkins talked through the process of posting reviews on Instagram and TikTok.

Both of them expressed an interest in using their platforms to broaden their followers’ knowledge about new shows and about the ticketing options available that make theatergoing more accessible.

“A lot of my followers and the people that I think that I’ve influenced to go see shows are corporate people, people I went to law school with, people I went to college with — people who are not necessarily going to see shows otherwise,” Hopkins said. “I get to expose people to shows and give them a real understanding.”

Hufford said a lot of her followers are younger theatergoers and students. “What I try to do is tell them: Anyone can go see a show for a somewhat reasonable rate. Here are the different options that exist for that.”

To hear the entire conversation, listen at the link above or download and subscribe to “Stagecraft” on podcast platforms including Apple PodcastsSpotify and the Broadway Podcast NetworkNew episodes of “Stagecraft” are released every other week.

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