Hi everyone! I’ve just got back from a fantastic weekend performing with the other company I work with – Natural Diversions – at Glastonbury Festival! And slowly getting my head back around everything Austen.
Had the lovely surprise of another backing over the weekend – just £5 but every little helps! If we don’t reach our total, we have to pay 9% of what we make to Sponsume, the website that hosts us. Our first mini-aim was to get to £300 as that would cover the hire of the rehearsal space, and we’ve just inched over it so should now be able to cover the 9% on top of that. We’ve been lucky enough to have someone offer to loan us the costumes for this short run, so that is one short term issue we don’t have to worry about – however, we hope to do a longer run in the autumn, so will need to find the money for that at some point. The biggest cost of the show – and what is the biggest outlay in any business – is our salary. We are aiming for Equity minimum – £410 a week – but any money we gain now should hopefully be divided three ways. If it at least covers our expenses, that would make a massive difference to us. It can be quite disheartening to lose money on a production. We will give it our all no matter what, and acting is a career you choose for the love of it, not for the money, but the aim is to make a living at it. That this is hard to do has always been the case, but since the recession it has got harder. The Arts Council’s budget has been cut and cut in this climate of austerity and while there are a number of philanthropic trusts out there, often what they support is very specific. Some prefer to support capital projects, some specifically those that are participatory, and some prefer to donate to the bigger companies such as the RSC and The National. The politics of the arts cuts is not something I want to go into, and obviously philanthropic bodies have their own criteria of who they support, which I’m not going to argue with.
It is these reasons, plus the time period between the first production in April and the next few in July, that I suggested crowdfunding as the route to focus on for the project. I was hoping to engage people who have a love of Jane Austen, and that our rewards would be very exciting! However, there are some that I expected to be popular which haven’t been so far – such as the drawings of you in Regency dress, and copies of the DVD and script. So now I am turning to you, readers of this blog, to ask you what you think would inspire to back a project, if some of our prizes interest you but you think are priced to high, or if its just harder to get behind something UK based if you are based in the US? If you could comment below on what you think that would be a huge help – and don’t worry, I have no expectation on you to donate if you suggest something! I just think it might be worth a change up to see if we can drum up more interest, and as I know a lot of the readers of this blog are Austenites, your opinions would be a huge help. Please comment below! The page is here http://www.sponsume.com/project/evening-home-austens
I’m going to be relearning my lines this week, before we go back into rehearsals, so I’ll be keeping you updated on how both of those are going – and obviously how it all goes on the tour!
Phoebe : )