This is a sort of pay-it-forward scenario.
I didn’t know about Kickstarter until the good folks at The Hinterlands posted that they were seeking funds to produce their ambitious ISAAC NEWTON IS OUR DJ for their inaugural Milwaukee performance that took place last January. When Andy and I began working on THE HEART OF A DOG, we decided that we’d try and raise some funds this way as well. Not having any idea of what our parameters and expectations might be, we set our sights low and asked for a quarter of our overall budget, which you’ve all more than generously beat.
One of the people who donated is Jonathan West, who used to run a company in Milwaukee called Bialystock & Bloom. He closed the theater down just before I could direct Sam Shepard’s GOD OF HELL on account of ever-declining ticket sales, which made many, many people in Milwaukee sad. Not least of which was me, because that would’ve been a great production.
Jonathan is now the managing director at the Sunset Playhouse, where he’s quite happy, and he blogs irregularly at artsyschmartsy.com. Like me with The Hinterlands, he liked the idea of a micro-financing website and decided to give it a go. In just over 48 hours, his project “The Return of Something Great (It’s Time To Have Fun Again)” has raised the $2,000 he needs to cover the rights to David Sedaris’ THE SANTALAND DIARIES. So he and actor Tom Klubertanz are producing it again in December 2010.
Jim Higgins at the Journal Sentinel writes about it here.
Unbelievably, in the not-quite 72 hours since our Kickstarter campaign launched, we’ve received $925 in pledges of our $1,000 goal.
This is pretty overwhelming and we are INCREDIBLY grateful.
We’ve heard (directly and back-channel) that some folks are reluctant to give any money over Kickstarter because it requires that you register with the site – I believe all you have to give is an email address in this regard. I gave money to The Hinterlands at the end of ’09 and haven’t received any spammish stuff from Kickstarter since then. I think the reason for the emails is so that when we post updates you get emails saying that we posted updates. Social media stuff.
Other folks just don’t like giving out credit cards online. Fear not! If you’d like to help us out, we’ll be doing three benefit performances at Moct in May – the 6th, 13th, and 20th – three Thursdays. Alternately, you can make a check out to Bad Soviet Habits and send it in by traditional snail mail, which would make the post office happy.
Here’s how our budget roughly breaks down:
Minimal purchases for production: 50
Plane fare: 2 @ 1050 = 2100
Festival registration: 2 @ ~400 = 800
Prague housing for 2: ~700
Minneapolis transportation: ~150
Minneapolis housing: probably free, the MN Fringe is usually able to house out-of-towners
I’m not including meals and such for either city, but this alone brings us up to about $3800. We’ll get a cut of our box office at both Fringes (we’re not charging for the Milwaukee shows, over which we have control, but the Fringes always charge for tickets). Last year Decaffeinated Tragedy generated about $250. If we do very well at the two festivals, maybe we make $800 and our out-of-pocket is an even $3,000 or so.
The pledges to Kickstarter have already dropped this by a third – SO THANK YOU!