December 22nd, 2010 → Leave a comment
In my 10 year career, I’ve always relied on grants, fellowships, ticket sales, honorariums, merchandise sales, and side gigs to make it happen. I always thought that the time it would take to raise money from individuals would never justify what I’d raise. And I really feared being that annoying panhandling artist that everyone went out of their way to ignore. I feared that asking for money from individuals would be met with annoyed stares and unsolicited retaliation cries of: “You talentless bitch!”
And my pride couldn’t risk that rejection. Yes, there is a kernel of pride under this thick mask of self-deprecation.
I mean, weren’t all my friends broke? Certainly all the people I’ve dated have been. And this show I’m making doesn’t even look like it may play as many cities as Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest did. Why would anyone want to put money into a show they may never get to see live?
But curiosity (and a real dire need to raise finishing funds for CAT LADY) got the best of me when I was approached by the US Artists website to be part of their group of “Alpha Artists.” Essentially, I am part of a group of (vetted) guinea pigs who is helping test drive the site. Unlike Kickstarter and Indiegogo which is open to everyone, the US Artists project site is only open to artists who’ve been “vetted” with specific grants they’ve already received. US Artists takes 19% percent of what we raise (the other sites take less than 10%) BUT the advantage is that about $2k of the funds I raise will be matched by grants within the US Artists site. So almost all my contributions are doubled!
With 75 days to go, I’ve raised 76% of my initial funding goal. I am having that Sally Field, “You like me, you really like me!” moment as each day contributions roll in faster than I can write this blog about it.
I had thought: ” I think I can find 1000 people to give me $5 a piece.” What I didn’t realize is that I had friends more generous than that. A few of my friends who have given generously are pregnant (well, Leilani just gave birth, but the point being, people with families are helping me!), artists and students are throwing cheddar at me!
Most contributions I am getting are for $50! And right now, all my contributions are being automatically matched! So they actually turn into $100 contributions! So exciting!
But most importantly, I’m feeling really validated for my work, and energized in a new way about completing my process. This artist life stuff looks ideal but it’s depressing as hell sometimes. So to know all these people, some who I haven’t seen in years care enough to give me some money is so exciting and affirming.
I think at this rate, I may raise my goal of 5k at the end of the year. My real goal is to raise 15k. I set it at 5k because I didn’t want to risk falling way off the mark and not get any of the money pledged.
I’ll post my tips for how I am making this campaign work in a future post. In the meantime, help make my campaign a success!
(Also, I’d like to ask my family to only give after I’ve made my target goal, reasons to be explained later.)