Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

How This Entrepreneur Is Bringing Broadway Stars Into Your Living Room

The founder and president of Broadway Plus shares how theater fans can connect with their favorite talent and offers advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When Broadway officials announced theaters would be closed until 2021, Nathaniel Hill knew he had to do something for the hundreds of actors who would be out of work. Hill, the founder and president of the VIP Broadway experience provider Broadway Plus, decided to put his business online. The digital transition has made it easy for theater lovers to book meetings with more than 250 performers from shows like Hamilton, Mean Girls, Frozen and Six while providing actors with a steady source of incomeFans can book virtual one-on-one sessions, group meet-and-greets, voice lessons and more with some of Broadway’s biggest stars. 

Hill is passionate about giving back. “I’m on the Junior Board of the Make-A-Wish [Metro New York chapter], and in that role I raise $10,000 per year, plus we supply in-kind donations of Broadway Plus experiences as wishes,” Hill says. “We also donate regularly to Broadway Cares and the TDF Stage Doors Fund.”

In this video, Hill talks with Jessica Abo and shares how Broadway Plus has evolved since Covid hit, what’s next for the company and his number one-piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Jessica Abo: What made you want to start Broadway Plus?

Nathaniel Hill: I was 26 when I actually started the company, but it started as a kernel of an idea. I was working an entry-level job on a show that Sting wrote, and it sort of fell on me in my position to handle all of the ticket requests and experiences and backstage tours for Sting and his friends when they came to see his show. 

Hamilton exploded and people were really willing to pay a lot of money to get a premium Broadway experience. I went to buy a concert ticket and I noticed that there were all these VIP and meet-and-greet options that were available for concerts and also sporting events, but none of those existed for Broadway. So as I started to refine the idea, I figured out why this wasn’t being done, what the challenges were that would need to be solved and whether or not I could do it. I wanted to give it a shot, and so I did.

Up until the pandemic, we were the only official provider of VIP experiences for Broadway shows, which means that when a Broadway show wanted to create something above and beyond, typically it would include an amazing seat to see the show, a backstage tour with one of the actors from the show and other perks, like a gift bag or a drink in the theater, they would engage Broadway Plus and we would create and then market and sell that experience for them.

This year we lost all theater, pretty much worldwide for what’s looking like will be over a year, which was of course scary and challenging for myself and for the Broadway community. But I took a moment and I said, Well, there’s still a lot of ways that people can engage with theater. And I’ve been doing meet-and-greets with Broadway actors and those actually translate better to Zoom than Broadway shows themselves.

This year we’ve worked really hard and created a platform that helps people connect with Broadway actors, whether it’s for a quick meet-and-greet or a video message or something more involved like voice lessons, acting lessons. We’re doing a lot of big event parties where your group might meet the whole cast of a show or do a virtual concert with them. I’m really lucky because I get to sell something that everyone likes and enjoys. I’ve always gotten amazing feedback. People who love Broadway tend to really love it. And they’re really, really excited when they get to meet their favorite stars or go backstage.

How important has this platform been for the actors?

Hill: It’s of course been a really challenging year in our community. And a lot of actors are making the majority of their income on Broadway Plus right now. And that’s, for me as an entrepreneur, been really fulfilling. We’ve had actors saying it’s making them feel connected to theater and theater fans. It’s providing a really valuable and necessary income. And it’s something to do in a way that connects. So it’s been really fulfilling for me. And I hope for the actors we work with.

Can you tell us what’s on the horizon for Broadway Plus through the holiday season and beyond?

Hill: We just launched a new program called PlusPass and it’s a very affordable subscription program. The PlusPass is only $19 a month and it affords our fans access to one amazing group experience per week. Where, for example, we’re starting with a Q-and-A with three actresses who all played Karen in Mean Girls on Broadway. So we’re doing really fun stuff like that. Virtual concerts, coachings. That’s our new exciting program that we’re launching just in time for the holidays. And, of course, we have built out some really fun holiday events like Rockette dancing lessons, concerts with women who have starred as Elphaba in Wicked, doing “All I want for Christmas is You.” We’ve tried to build out a lot of fun holiday things. Sometimes people want gift certificates and we’re launching those as well this week.

And what’s your number one piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs out there?

Hill: Think about your unfair advantage. What is it that you uniquely can offer the world or your industry or people who might want to buy it? For me, I had a background in theater management and I met a lot of people. So that meant that Broadway Plus was more doable for me than for someone who didn’t have that background. This year, on March 12, when the Broadway industry lost everything, I said, Okay, well, I’ve been doing something for four years and no one else has done it yet. So how can I somehow parlay that into a virtual offering?

I called up the Broadway stars that I was closest with and I’d worked with the most and said, “Hey, I’m going to try putting some things on Zoom. Would you be interested?” And they all said yes. It took off from there. Don’t think about, you know, what are people going to buy or what is it that everyone wants? Think about what you uniquely can offer and how can you take your own life and your own experience and network and turn that into an unfair advantage that no one else has.

Related: How This App Is Helping Parents Become Entrepreneurs


Top 3 Little-Known Productivity Mistakes

Are you struggling to stay on task? Well these three little-known mistakes might be tanking your productivity without you even knowing.

How One Startup Is Trying to Revolutionize the Low-Code/No-Code Industry

The CEO and co-founder of Zenity shares how his company is dedicated to governance and security for low-code/no-code applications.

4 Things to Do When You're in a Negotiation

The executive director and CEO of WIN Summit shares her advice for entrepreneurs looking to elevate their negotiation skills.

Matt Horn on Finding Purpose in Family and Flames

In-depth interview with CEO, pitmaster, and James Beard Award Nominee Matt Horn about growing his global food brand with social media, operating multiple restaurant concepts, and why he decided to "burn the boats."

This Entrepreneur Believes the 9-to-5 Work Week Is Dead. So She Created a Platform That Matches Talent With Project-Based Work.

The founder of NuuWork shares how her company will help people navigate the future of project-based employment.

How This Company Is Helping Ecommerce Brands Scale and Grow

The co-founder of 8fig shares how his platform is helping online sellers plan and execute their growth around their supply-chain needs.

Eitan Bernath on Becoming a Teenage Food Entrepreneur and Social Media Star

In-depth interview with cookbook author, food personality, and content creator Eitan Bernath about starting an entertainment career as a child, teaming up with Drew Barrymore, and building an inspirational business empire before his 20th birthday.

Ask Marc: Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph on Facing Challenges, Bringing on Co-Founders and Growth

In this episode of our new series 'Ask Marc,' the serial entrepreneur and mentor offers advice on how to get started.

3 Science-Backed Ways to Break Bad Habits

Become powerfully productive with these three patterns.

Meet the Co-Founders Making Conscious Shopping Easier

Goodbuy's Cara Oppenheimer and Cary Telander Fortin share how their browser extension helps consumers buy products with both their wallets and values front of mind.

Nina Manchev of Forte Tapas on Engaging Customers with Social Video

Interview with Forte Tapas owner and entrepreneur Nina Manchev about connecting with social media, learning to be confident on video, and appearing on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

This CEO Believes We Need More Women In Crypto

Jaime Leverton, head of NASDAQ-listed Hut 8 Mining Corp., talks the future of digital currency with 'Entrepreneur.'

How to Create Your Path to Profit

Financial expert and author Michelle Jacobik is on a mission to help people be profitable, so she created the EnVision + Thrive Academy. She shares her journey to success, business tips and what you'll learn in her new book.

Toast CEO Chris Comparato on Why Restaurants Need a Tech Partner That Cares

Interview with Toast CEO Chris Comparato about leading with the customer in mind, having a digital-first mentality, and how technology like Toast is helping restaurants thrive.

The Science of Visualization: Maximizing Your Brain's Potential

In this video, we discuss why visualization is so effective and offer four tips to harness it.

Discover Entrepreneur Series

Whether you need advice on how to get your business off the ground or you’re just looking for inspiration, our video series have something for everyone. Browse our library below to find a series that speaks to you and your interests.

  • An original series streaming weekly where you can Click-to-Invest while you watch. THEIR JOURNEY. Your decision.
  • Your favorite pitch show is back with new entrepreneurs pitching Entrepreneur's investors.
  • Host Nicole Walters interviews small business founders to discuss their unique challenges and experiences running and growing a business. 
  • How many times have you been told “that will never work”? Probably not as often as Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph. The veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur provides a healthy dose of humor, and actionable advice that will benefit founders - and would-be founders - at every stage of their business journey.
  • Jessica Abo covers the causes people care about, the powerful work they do and how they got to where they are in the first place.
  • Bestselling author, Ben Angel, takes his audience on a journey into the entrepreneurial mind to uncover why we do what we do through his powerful short films and educational videos so you can unleash your ideas and potential.