Month: June 2017 (page 2 of 6)

Start the Presses

Gemini 29°

Question No. 7: What is the current status of your press. Are there journalists and editors who need to hear from  you and what should they know. Are you seeking coverage in as many places as you can?

The journalism thing is tricky. I have promises from the Boston Globe that they are doing something on us and Jared Bowen from Open Studio is also responsive. But then everyone disappears. Granted it is 4th of July (which seems to run a two-week spate) but my experience is that peeps have lousy follow through. What I would like to do is reach smaller press outlets harder, to maybe get onto radio, I’m also thinking that I should reach out to the local TV station and create some kind of show leading up to Afterglow which we can film? I dunno. There is much in the way of excitement going on and my goal this year is to be on one hand very relaxed and laid back about our prospects for success in fundraising and yet to pull out all stops connecting with people. I especially want to get the ball rolling. I want the feeling of having done all I can to get the word out. There is no Boston Phoenix anymore; but there is radio and such, and I should take this opportunity to reach the local TV stations as well. Okay I need a comprehensie press list for Boston. Thanks for letting me talk this through. I need to liaise with the people at ART as well and decide. It occurs that I should go after college radio and contact Harvard, Emerson and BU, for sure. I might also write whatever kind of “blog” the Herald asked me to do. Yes, welcome to the new age of journalism where newspapers don’t have staff anymore so they ask you to write the copy for them. Pay me bitch.

It does make sense to send out the entire roster that I have with a comprehensive press release and to make sure I have separate press releases for the festivals and series as well as a together one.

What’s crazy about this questionnaire format is: it seems to be opening up a lot of cosmic energy as, after just writing a few small paragraphs on the subject the Boston Globe scheduled the feature, the press liaison at ART just sent me a bunch of updates and emails for further outreach. I’m kind of liking what’s happening here. Maybe it will apply to other questions on the -aire as well.

To News or Not to News

Gemini 28°

Question No. 6: If you were asked to put a newsletter together in one day what stories would you feature for this new year ahead?

Right well the newsletter would certainly speak of the move to the Art House this year and also that we are newly expanding next year’s Glowberon and (drum roll) adding a brand new festival for Cambridge in July. I think we would talk about news associated with our family of artists past and present. We might talk about the achievements of our sponsors and so forth. And I would add in all the quotes from our advisors and artists.

In splashy headlines. What news of Morgan Bassichis and Jay Brannan and Bitch and other long lost performers. We should talk about our outreach to other venues and the production arm. Maybe the newsletter isn’t the best way to go perhaps there are other ways and means of getting the word out there although I do like a good news letter.

Barely Anything at All

Gemini 27°

Question No. 5: In considering social media, what do you think would make the best strategy overall and which social media outlets would you use. Do you have an original ideas on how to create interest in the artists you’re presenting and engage other individuals and businesses in the area and to liaise with other arts organizations and generate substantial buzz?

I do think that Twitter and Instagram accounts might make sense. The festival should follow performers and known audience. It might also follow some local businesses which share a sensibility with the festival. I really believe in taking the time to dialogue with audience and other creative entrepreneurs, citing them whenever possible. I do think it might be of some benefit to liaise with other arts organizations although this seems to have a parallel energy which is to say one of little connection. My desire is to find audience and to connect with people and to bring them what is sorely missing in the Boston area which is thriving, innovative performance. I think it’s important to project a good vibe with social media and I think that Twitter is better for putting out articles attached and so forth and any press or things of that nature, really information, whilst the Instagram would be best in portraying the feel and aesthetic of the brand.

 

That’s all I got on that one.

Shorter Sweeter

Gemini 26°

Question No. 4: What might you say to Boston- and Cambridge-based individuals to convince them to part with $100 donation so to become a Glow Sparkler and receive a discount on all this new festival’s. What incentives and perks might you offer them?

This reminds me of question 2. But I’ll try again.

Hello! Introducing the first annual non-profit Glow Festival for Cambridge this summer July 27-30 featuring a handful of performers including Justin Vivian Bond and Penny Arcade. We are starting small year one and hope to raise a mere $10K in the next month from among would-be festival “Sparklers” donating just $100. Please make a donation of which you totally write off and you will receive a special code for 20% discount on all shows as our gift. Plus you’ll be invited to party with us during the festival. We have big dreams to make Glow a big a fringe festival for Cambridge and to continue our work to create a home for progressive live performers, here, as we have with the Afterglow Festival in Provincetown and our Glowberon series over the school season at Harvard. We do it all non-profit. So please help us, take the write off, and come play with us in July!

The Wharf People

Gemini 25°

Question No. 3: The wharf in Provincetown has been sold to Ann and Chuck Lagasse who also spruced up Boston and Newburyports harbors. If you could reach them what would you say to them which might convince them to contribute to your non-profit cause? Would what you say differ from what you might send to Ryan Murphy, in writing or if you were together at a dinner party?

Dear Ann and Chuck

I’m happy to hear that you will be waving your wand over Provincetown’s wharf in the coming years. Though I don’t own a yacht, even a miniature bath tub version, I do know some folks that do, and it might actually be interesting for them to pull up to our pier one day.

I am writing you because I run a non-profit theater and performance festival in Provincetown called the Afterglow Festival. I started it seven years ago with John Cameron Mitchell and the festival is dedicated toward saving Provincetown’s heritage as the birth place of the modern American stage.

Progressive, experimental theater and performance is Provincetown’s birth right; but in the increasing gentrification of the last two decades, especially, Provincetown has become very resort-like in its presentation of to Broadway stars, at big-ticket prices, and we felt we needed to swoop in and help by creating a non-profit which would afford to stage artists and their works in Provincetown over a week each year.

Solo plays we’ve premiered and developed have moved off-Broadway and to great stages around the world. Our artists have developed works and acts that have won them grants, awards and top honors at other festivals around the world, like Edinburgh and others.

As our population changes in Provincetown, which will become increasingly slick, many supporters having moved away due to the rising cost of living or to find more bohemian pastures. I’m hardpressed to “meet” the newcomers “at the pier” if you will, mainly people of means, and door stop them like this, holding out my beggars cap, asking for sponsorship. I believe what people moving to Provincetown love about it—its progressive spirit—will be lost lest they help (to help) us keep artistic aspects of its personality alive.

I hope you will become a sponsor of the Afterglow Festival. That sort of thing….

Needs Condensation

Gemini 24°

Question No. 2: What do you think might be the most effective words you could muster to send to a dozen Boston/Cambridge busineses (who don’t know you) to convince them to make a donation, to (becoming a Missionary Sponsor of) the new Glow Festival you’re starting in just five weeks time?

I would say:

Hello Friend,

I wanted to let you know that we are starting a new non-profit progressive performance Glow Festival in Cambridge this summer, July 27-30 at ART/Oberon which we hope in time to grown to the proportion of an Edinburgh fringe, for example. We are starting small with a handful of performers including Justin Vivian Bond and Penny Arcade. As of this moment we have no sponsors to speak of and I am seeking to raise what is a fairly small budget of $15K to cover the full breadth of our expenses. I’m hoping to raise this through all small donations year one.

For a tax deductible donation of $100 we are offering to friends who can attend the festival 20% off all tickets (if you donate you’ll receive a special promotion code to use online when buying two tickets). This “Sparkler” donation also puts you on the guest list for opening night pre-party festivities (for two!). Of course if you’d like to donate more and become a Sponsor, by all means do!

And you don’t have to be in Boston or Cambridge to give. You can just do so to help me create this new festival which we can grow into something special. In a world of for-profit real estate and big ticket prices on theater and performance, non-commercial progressive, emerging and evolving stage artists need festivals of this sort to perform. They provide a safe space for experimentation and sustenance for developing works.

Cambridge once stood as a bohemian outpost for progressive performing artists, but gentrification and other factors (greed) have contributed to the slow demise of stage artistry in our city. To boot, more fringe performers from other cities around the world haven’t felt as warmly welcomed and celebrated in Boston-Cambridge as they have in other places like New York, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Austin, Toronto, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, Sydney, Paris, Berlin or even Zagreb.

Those of us who live in New England know what I’m talking about. And we know that there is an appreciative progressive audience in Boston-Cambridge which would very much appreciate our town playing host to staged works by innovative artists, many of whom live not so very far away in New York City. With my work with the Afterglow Festival in Provincetown (the birth place of the modern American Stage!) and with my Glowberon series at Oberon/ART, I have aimed to keep the spirit of progressive performance alive. And with this new Glow Festival we feel we are at the start of something big, literally: That Cambridge we have the opportunity to grow a festival that might one day rival the size of the Edinburgh fringe and make Boston-Cambridge synonymous with smart, exciting and transformative live theater and performance.

Something like that. Or I can just say HELP!

Get Realtors

Gemini 23°

Question No. 1: Why do you feel that realtors in Provincetown owe a special debt of gratitutde’s to non-profits and what simple things would you say to a room full of them or send them in an email which might inspire them to give to your non-profit.

Well I’m glad you asked. I think that the real estate agencies in Provincetown owe a special debt to non-profits for a number of reasons. Whereas there is a hotel tax in Provincetown whereby the town makes a percentage on every room booked in hotels and inns, money which goes to to town to be doled out, by the Visitors Service Bureau (VSB) to all kinds of non-profits including our great Afterglow Festival. No money is raised in taxes from real estate agencies renting houses to visitors however. Never mind the fact that houses are sold, at increasingly soaring rates, to second-home owners who rent their places in the aforementioned fashion or let them sit empty, sometimes for all but just a few weeks a year.

Gentrification is rampant in Provincetown. The fact that nobody in the service industry can afford to live in in town any more is one whole conversation in itself; but Ptown is very quickly becoming a coastal town for the super-rich, to such a degree, that the real-estate agencies are the recipients of sales commisions on a scale that we’ve never seen before in town. And so what goes along with that? in the performance world it means that all the (two?) performance venues in town can put on shows by Patti Lupone and Bernadette Peters at big ticket prices, all season long. There is no such thing as new or emerging performance scene in Provincetown which is sad and ironic because Provincetown is the undisputed birth place of the modern American stage.

I would say to a realtor something like:

Dear Realtor,

I am reaching out to you as not just a business in town, but as a real estate agency, which in this point in Provincetown’s evolution, one might imagine, is a good thing to be!

With the rising (soaring?) property prices, the increased attraction of the super wealthy to town, buffered by plans to develop a new yacht-friendly wharf and musings on new luxury hotels and the like, Provincetown has changed, and no more so from our perspective as a non-profit in the performing arts.

Already, for years now, we have seen a shift toward big-ticket prices for shows by Broadway stars, in season. Long gone, now, are the days when the emerging artist could show up in town and secure themself a stage—we’ve all but lost what might be called a Provincetown performance scene, in the one place where that legacy should never be lost.

Modern American theater began in Provincetown one-hundred years ago with playwrights Eugene O’Neill and Susan Glaspell and the town’s eponymous Players.

But beyond that, for decades after, playwrights and performers who felt marginalized came to Provincetown—from Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee to performers like Eartha Kitt, Nina Simone, Paul Lynde, Jim Baily, Lynne Carter, Andy Warhop and his Exploding Plastic Inevitable, Lily Tomlin, Divine and on and on.

Unlike the Fine Arts tradition of Provincetown, the town’s progressive professional theatrical and performance heritage was these last years in danger of being lost completely—this is why we founded the Afterglow Festival in 2011. Now in its seventh year, Afterglow has premiered, produced and developed solo plays that have moved off-Broadway and performance art pieces, alternative comedy, neo-cabaret, interpretive dance, electronica and hip-hop poetry, high drag performance….the genres are endless…which have gone on to headline other festivals and win awards world-wide.

Afterglow receives a small VSB grant, moneys which are made from taxing hotels and guests. As you know, no money flows toward our or any non-profit from the rentals of summer, monthly or weekly homes. And in regard to house sales, as prices go up and up, and these houses are either rented to people who don’t make a home here or sit empty for second-home owners to visit them a few weeks a year, the population of Provincetown has become nameless and not anyone we would ever be able to reach out to for help.

So many people, especially those who work in the service industry, have left town and/or are scrambling to afford to be here on the earnings they make in the span of three months. It used to be that this segment of the permanent population felt less strapped and more forthcoming with small donations to our non-profit—but we’ve seen that change as well.

It occured to me that one segment of the commercial population—the real estate agencies—was one from which we’ve never recevied a sponsorship or a donation. And yet, one imagines, it is likely the most of businesses in town. And again, though tourists who stay in hotels contribute, via the VSB, to grant money we might receive, this isn’t true of the renting of houses to tourists. I know people think a tax on rentals should be enacted, but I have no opinion on that. I only know that when I sat down to meditate on which sector did I feel might have the means and, hopefully, the kind and generous motivation to give to our non profit Afterglow, the real-estate agencies shot to mind.

We would love if your agency would sponsor this year’s Afterglow Festival with a sponsorship starting at $1K. We also offer a Missionary Sponsorship of $500.

Questionnaire Part 3

Gemini 22°

Question No. 21: Don’t you think this making of questionnaires is a good thing to tell people to do. Would you not consider it one of your “action items”. Have you created a place where you log all your “action items” that you’ve prescribed to clients which might make for good information in a book somewhere. Do you need to be more mindful of such items that you and Stella devised that have really helped people?

Question No. 22: Are you an alchemist? And if so what does that mean (to you)?

Question No 23: What is it about JD Salinger that you like so much. What is it about all the people, places and things that you list in the concierge sections of your websites that you like so much. Can you distill your thoughts so they might be at once more poetic and also more efficiently categorized?

Question No. 24: Do you need to ritualize any actions? Do you need to have a regular café or something you go to x many times a week? Should it coincide with some friendly bumping into people on the streets? Do you need to be reminded to bring your business cards with you wherever you go?

Question No. 25: Should you get some stationery printed? Would it be nice to bring back tangible thank-you notes, or note cards. Are you looking forward to enlisting another person in your household’s help once said person is finished with her own masters degree program? Do you need some help deciding on some aesthetical things?

Question No. 26: Do you need to start putting together you 10 five-minute curtain speeches with some funny bits about life. You had something about welcome signs. And you had some funny aptronym ideas which I think are written on an envelope somewhere. Wouldn’t it be fun and creative to get those things into works.

Question No. 27: Have you set up all your Instagram accounts? Are you putting pictures out there as you should? Are you asking all the artists who’ve performed at Afterglow for some helpful quotes to zhush up your info packs going out to people?

Question No. 28: Have you thought about doing a search on FB for folks who went to Harvard? Have you saying that you are asking all your creatively spirited friends who might be in a position to help to do so with a small donation. That you believe through small donations you can grow this into an Edinburgh sized festival.

Question No 29: Have you thought how Provincetown was always about people on the fringe, and now we have one. Should you be using the word fringe more.

Question No. 30. Do you need to contact Glamour and other magazines about some column writing this year. Have you thought about updating your writing resume in any case?

Questionnaire Part 2

Gemini 21°

Question No. 11: Before me move on: Do you think it makes sense to pencil some of these topics (that might require a greater deal of work) into days on your calendar. Do you have some sort of count-down going. Have you divided the weeks more sweeping themes or have you assigned certain days for certain topics. Is there a day, every couple of days, dedicated solely to fundraising?

Question No. 12: Do you have a full handle on what artists need, technically. Does it make sense to sort through emails and make sure you have a full handle on that. Did you pair any other info gathering needed, like, say, travel, so that you can hit two birds with one stone?

Question No. 13: Do you have an updated Hotel schedule or have you let the artists know you are confirming their hotels. Does it make sense to reach out to other hotels or other such people with places they might donate to the directorship of the cause?

Question No. 14: Does it make sense to frontload any one performer in the Glow Festival, like, say, Justin Vivian Bond or Penny Arcade, or both, who might have a better chance of filling houses. Should you also put this out to Provincetown people and tell them to please ask you for some complimentary ferry tickets? Should you see if any of the Cambridge hotels—like say the Sheraton Commander—might give you a discount on rooms you can pass along to people.

Question No 15: Is there a very personal way that you can reach out to Boston people, or people anywhere really, to tell them what you’re doing, generally, even if they don’t live here, and ask them to help fund what you’re doing. Someone like a childhood friend you grew up with. Everybody really. Maybe it makes sense to create a FB page with very clear instructions and invite everyone on your FB list one at a time? Maybe ad a donate button? Duno

Question No 16: Do you think it makes sense to have one document with condensed bits of speech at the ready to cut and past for any occasion? Should you feed addresses into your mailing list?

Question No 17: How does what you do non-profit marry to what you do for-profit. Are they both cosmic on some level. Is it about upliftment on some level?

Question No. 18: Have you given any more thought to going back to school. What about Harvard? Have you thought about getting that ball rolling toward getting some kind of MA?

Question No 18: How many artists have asked you to maybe reach out and help them book other shows come September. Does it make sense to come up with a short list of places you like to perform? Does your list of people include Dane Terry, Lady Rizo, Fauxnique, Joseph Keckler, Dynasty Handbag, Mary Birdsong? Any others? Does it make sense to write something up that you can send to venues. Do you have something already written that you sent to the Soho Theater? Shouldn’t they know you do a series at ART each year?

Question No. 19: Why do you like papier maché and did you recently have a dream about it where you were making giant papier maché figures, dressing them in real antique courtly constume?

Quesiton No. 20: Can you have fun being more itinerant, moving around the Cape and Boston and all New England, really, connecting the dots. Don’t you miss taking and posting pictures, being out and about. Try to search your feelings and ideas on this. Having gotten through all the other questions and feeling rather caught up on your ideology. Do you think you can create words and pictures now as you move forward and realize you are never truly behind but right on time and if you end up getting to the next project which requires the raising of money don’t you trust that you’ll put out an all-points bulletin to get the help, financial and otherwise, you need to not sink below your necessary fundraising goals?

Questionnaire Part 1

Gemini 20*

One might want to read the previous Blague to understand what’s happening here. Bascially, its me trying to prod myself to write a dozen or so documents that I need to send out to varying populations of peoples, groups and individuals. (Information is so Gemini!)

Question No. 1: Why do you feel that realtors in Provincetown owe a special debt of gratitutde’s to non-profits and what simple things would you say to a room full of them or send them in an email which might inspire them to give to your non-profit.

Question No. 2: What do you think might be the most effective words you could muster to send to a dozen Boston/Cambridge busineses (who don’t know you) to convince them to make a donation, to (becoming a Missionary Sponsor of) the new Glow Festival you’re starting in just five weeks time?

Question No. 3: The wharf in Provincetown has been sold to Ann and Chuck Lagasse who also spruced up Boston and Newburyports harbors. If you could reach them what would you say to them which might convince them to contribute to your non-profit cause? Would what you say differ from what you might send to Ryan Murphy, in writing or if you were together at a dinner party?

Question No. 4: What might you say to Boston- and Cambridge-based individuals to convince them to part with $100 donation so to become a Glow Sparkler and receive a discount on all this new festival’s. What incentives and perks might you offer them?

Question No. 5: In considering social media, what do you think would make the best strategy overall and which social media outlets would you use. Do you have an original ideas on how to create interest in the artists you’re presenting and engage other individuals and businesses in the area and to liaise with other arts organizations and generate substantial buzz?

Question No. 6: If you were asked to put a newsletter together in one day what stories would you feature for this new year ahead?

Question No. 7: What is the current status of your press. Are there journalists and editors who need to hear from  you and what should they know. Are you seeking coverage in as many places as you can?

Question No. 8: What is the mission of the Afterglow Festival and how does it differ from that of the Glow Festival and even the Glowberon series for that matter.

Question No. 9. What are your thoughts on generating “concierge” information  for both festival’s websites. Do you need to make any changes to the website, hire any designers, so forth.

Question No. 10: Do you have all the right print and electronic collateral that you need? Do you need to review with the venues what printed materials might still be effective and what exactly is needed when.

 

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