So...it begins again: the daily hawking and harrassment of all my friends, colleagues and acquaintances via Facebook, Twitter and email to pledge to this latest worthy campaign. The opening of the campaign page on Kickstarter to see where we're at and the disappointment as it slogs through sluggish slowness or elation when it begins to pick up momentum. And that wonderful, joyful feeling in the center of my chest when people pledge, which signifies not just a dollar amount (which in and of itself is important and the goal and all that) but something even bigger and more significant: this person believes and supports what I'm doing as an artist and human being.
Kickstarter is an interesting and fabulous animal - it works something like this, in the case of artists: you (or your group) creates an online fundraising campaign for a particular project. You must have a goal in mind, and there is a deadline. If you do not reach your goal by the deadline, you don't get ANY of the money. This is great, actually - it raises the stakes and creates a sense of urgency. And the beauty, for would-be backers is that you can pretty much donate any amount of money you want to, as little as a BUCK, or as much as you want. I, personally, am pretty strapped for cash at the moment, barely have two sticks to rub together, but somehow, have still been able to back projects in a small way...I like to call it "microphilanthropy".
Also, it works through word-of-mouth, via social media, email, newsletters and your actual MOUTH! The more people involved, the more people there are to get the word out, and if their people tell people and those people tell people...well, you get the idea. It has the potential to be very wide-reaching, and it can spread like wildfire when the momentum hits.
In running a Kickstarter, however, you have to be a little mindful. More than one per year and people get Kickstarter burnout. Didn't you just ask me for money for that other thing? My first two were two years apart. I worry now that my 2nd and third are not far apart enough, and perhaps my people are all experiencing the aforementioned burnout, despite the fact that it's for a completely different theatre company.
(On a side note (and this is MY blog, so I can rant if I want to), I always find it interesting that most extended family members are always right there when it comes to shelling out $$ for wedding gifts, or a child's birthday or what not, but when it comes to something like this, it's like crickets. It's more the principle of the thing, really, since I'm not the greatest when it comes to sending out gifts/thank you's etc - mostly has to do with being broke. I tried the handmade gift thing for awhile, but am never sure if those are appreciated, though they actually take more time, thought and effort than going to the store and plunking down a credit card. But whatever. I'm fairly certain that even if I was someone who sent out cards and presents to everyone's birthdays and weddings, these Kickstarters would still be overlooked by most of my family. It's just my weird art thing I do. They don't understand that each project is actually like one of my children, because that's just ABSURD. How could art be as important to someone as a CHILD or getting MARRIED for heaven's sake? Anyway. Rant over.)
This is the third campaign I've been directly involved with promoting. The first one, for Stings Like Acid by New Amerikan Theatre (of which I was one of the writers/produers) was an amazing, eye-opening experience that garnered us several hundred dollars beyond our original goal. The 2nd, for the Double XX Festival at Stone Soup Theatre started out similarly, had tremendous momentum behind it...and then I got fired over it - mostly due to a difference of opinion about how it was to be used (BAD, EVIL Carolynne for wanting to give each of the productions a little $$). Since a number of my personal friends had backed the project, many of them pulled their money after this occurred, and I saw the campaign lose momentum. It floundered and floundered...and then got "rescued" in the final week.
So now I'm helping run a campaign for eSe Teatro for the upcoming Oedipus El Rey at ACT's Eulalie Scanduzzi space in December. It started somewhat sluggishly, but now is beginning to build a little steam. The first few days were a little disappointing, and I felt personally responsible, but I guess this particular rollercoaster just started out with a straight and only slightly curvy track instead of a scary, upwards climb. It's only the beginning...
Third production of Pandora & The Box under my belt now. And I totally got a little geeky thrill after reading this article on the Seattle playwrights' scene this morning and realizing, WOW, my work (not only as an actor, now, but as a PLAYWRIGHT!) has been produced at a well-known and reputable theatre - ACT! Hee hee hee...
...and it reminds me again, that I'm not just an actor, I'm a multidisciplinary artist, and while I don't mind being a hired gun for someone else's production, I really am at my best when doing mulitple things on a given project, even if it stresses me out. And by "my best" I totally mean the cheesy and woo-woo "walking the path I was put on this earth for". And this go-round, I not only wrote and produced my little piece, but also designed the graphic for the entire Nuevo y Solo event.
I got lots of great feedback on the piece, and was encouraged to submit it for the Northwest New Works festival at On The Boards next year. Was also encouraged to continue to explore the horror genre onstage, and it was "really scary" - perhaps the best compliment I received (and MULTIPLE times, I might add).
Also, it was FUN. Rehearsal started out mostly just myself and Rebecca (Goldberg, my director & partner in theatrical world domination) for the first few weeks, and that was going along nicely. Then when Kevin (Heard, the Sound Wizard) came back from his out-of-town excursion, we added the sound layer. It was the most wonderful, awesome thing in the world to tell him what I was thinking, then, gear set up, to hear with my own ears those creepy and epic voices in my imagination! And when we put it in front of our audiences, it was surround sound: it felt like they were trapped inside the "box" of the small Eulalie Scanduzzi space with all these terrifying and manipulative creatures trying to get Pandora to open up and let them out!
It makes me want to do MORE of this...
I haven't written here in the blog since April. One might think nothing was going on. One would be wrong.
XX Fest passed and I was thankful to be completely divorced from the theatre it is associated with...moreso its artistic director than anything or anyone else, but either way, onward!
Spring melted into a pretty decent summer, compared with last year, and a trip to Colorado to visit with La Familia Wilcox-Kiedaisch for a gi-normous reunion...which was interesting. I always feel like an outsider at those gatherings. I just don't have a whole lot to contribute about child-rearing, ya know? My babies are my art projects, and most folks with actual human progeny don't really understand that. Some of us really are NOT hardwired to be interested in reproducing. My biological clock never really ticked. I like children fine...and think I'd be a pretty good mother, HOWEVER, I just never felt like giving up my art babies for a human one. If that makes me selfish, well, I guess I'm selfish! Or, to look at it another way, does the poor, depleted earth really need another kid? It's not like we're in any danger of dying out (unless we blow ourselves up or whatnot in one fell swoop).
Anyway, enough of THAT tangent. Got back from said reunion and got a part time job. My friend Rebecca and I started SLAC (Slash Artists Collective) with the first bunch of 9 guinea pigs. We met for six consecutive Saturday mornings to teach each other. We each facilitated one workshop for the rest of the group and learned:
1.) Dramaturgy and writing
2.) Choreography workshop & Voice/Character
4.) Physical Scores
5.) Devising Theatre
6.) Artist's Toolbox & Writing an Artist's Statement
It was kind of an awesome experiment, and we are going to continue into the fall with an eye towards devising work - I've got a fun monologue workshop I'm kinda psyched to try out on the group! I did it with my Acting 101 for Nonmajors students when I was in grad school, and it was fairly successful with the eyerolling jocks and sorority sisters, so I'll be curious how it translates to actual artists!
Rehearsed and performed in the ensemble of Don Quixote & Sancho Panza: Homeless in Seattle for the Multicultural Play Festival in July at ACT. Did a whole mess of graphic design work. Started rehearsing for Pandora & The BOX which is coming up as part of eSe Teatro's Nuevo y Solo showcase, also at ACT.
Went down to Oregon to see my friend Joel - a whole mess of us camped on what used to be his brother's farm, now owned by another family who opened up their farm for the occasion: Joelapalooza 2012. A good time and good eatings were had by all!
And now it's September, and time is dwindling in my Fremont apt - S.O. and I will cohabitate begining October 1st, in a cozy little Greenlake abode. First time I will have lived with anyone anot
Day to day thoughts, rants and mental detritus.