Fundraising. Yes, fundraising—something I have so many mixed feelings about as an artist. Through four production companies I have yet to have to go on a major fundraising campaign. I have hosted auctions for theaters whose doors remain open due to the generosity of patrons. As a performer and producer I have always self-produced by my own means, knowing that the support asked for was through ticket sales. This is the usual method of support for me. Buy a ticket. Fill a seat. Tell a friend. I try to do the same for my fellow artists as my budget allows. I curate a cabaret that helps support artists in need by passing a bucket and people can toss in whatever they can afford.
A mere 8 weeks ago I found myself confronted with a project, a HUGE opportunity for me and two actors to take my work and voice to NYC to participate in the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival. I knew I couldn’t do it on my savings, I only had air miles (hoarded over the past 6 years) enough for maybe myself and one other person to fly there. I had just spent my funds on the Hollywood Fringe Festival which required me to miss work and was finally catching up from that. So…what to do? Ask for help from those who over the years have shown their support for my work.
In four weeks we were able to raise $9,000 to take Etymology to NYC. Airfare, hotel accommodations, per diem and a stipend for all involved for work that is worth being paid for was raised. I cannot express my thanks enough to all who gave so generously and am buoyed by the support and love I feel for my community which stretches far and wide. I am overwhelmed.
But what I gained from this more than anything else? I finally believe in myself as an artist. That is priceless. And it’s been a long road getting there.