Taurus 29° (May 18)
Where to start: I’ll skip the sentence about this being extraordinary times and get right to it, and as I write this I’m thinking I will read this back and bold important sentences so you can skim. I hope you’ll forgive the group BCC—this is going out to artists as well as sponsors—as I have a few marks to hit here. Needless to say, I haven’t yet reached out to fundraise for this year’s festival because it felt inappropriate and tacky to do so. Though our Afterglow-at-Oberon series at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge was cut short this season, and shows that were scheduled for March, April and May have been postponed (gods willing) until the Fall, the Afterglow Festival proper, planned for September, as per our hosting venue, the Art House Provincetown, has been all systems go. Personally, I’ve been skeptical; but, regularly urged forward by direction of the venue with which we’ve been contracted, I pushed forward on all other fronts, including casting the festival with verbal agreements in place. Then, this past weekend, the venue contacted me to say that they were being ordered to stay shut this season by the town’s board of health, which I think is the right move. And despite having put the wheels in motion, I was nonetheless ready to pivot.
If you’ve ever received correspondence from Afterglow, you’ll know our primary mission is to preserve Provincetown’s birthright as the birth place of modern American theater and performance, and, via our non-profit, to remain a welcoming bastion for stage artists to explore, experiment and expand their craft, paying performers a fee plus covering their travel, hotel, even picking up food tabs and taxi cabs; putting no pressure on the artist to amass an audience in a place that has become prohibitive to a community of non-commercial artists who have culturally defined Provincetown for over a century. In this way Afterglow is more than a festival. It is a “Save Provincetown” organization in regard to a large chunk of its cultural and artistic heritage. And these past several weeks, reading the headlines from our local papers lamenting the hits and losses to Provincetown’s performance scene, it occurred to me that Afterglow is uniquely positioned to lead the charge to help not only the artists we usually bring to town but also those who live and work here, all season, who depend on these crucial months for their very livelihood.
It’s a shame that Broadway and TV stars won’t play P-town this summer, and that for-profit venues will lose pricey tickets from tourists, summer folk and residents who afford them; but our concern is for our more financially challenged artists. So, what Afterglow can do is pivot, as I say, and use its non-profit status to funnel money nowto our more so-called fringe performers, commissioning them to create or develop new works, which they can present in festival at a later date; and perhaps in the meantime stream or film. (I am putting feelers out to our historic Drive-In theater on Outer Cape Cod to see if we might be able to present festival shows on screen for enthusiastic audiences safe and comfy in their own cars.) There are a number of ideas percolating to the surface right now, and we will do anything we can do to help artists remain afloat and engaged in their work. If you are an artist in receipt of this email, whether or not we discussed your performing in September, or if you are a Provincetown-based artist whose usual summer livelihood is in jeopardy, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let us know if you’d like to apply for assistance.We will start a list and help those we can, in effect, pre-paying-out performance fees, based on the funds we raise between now and the end of the year.
Since the weekend I have run this idea by some loyal sponsors and have been so cheered by their encouragement in our activating Afterglow in this way through direct commissions to artists. Supporters are in agreement that we are uniquely poised as a non-profit dedicated to performers who are otherwise priced out of Provincetown, even in the best of times, to be of service to our ever-growing family of artists, championing their artistic creation, providing them funds to do so. Though we won’t make any money from ticket sales this September, Afterglow doesn’t have to pay out for travel or lodging or for the venue rental this year, so on that score it’s pretty much a wash. In fact, we hope to be able to support a goodly number of artists beyond those we had on the festival roster this year. Some of our sponsors might have us on an automatic annual payment schedule and perhaps some checks are already in the mail; others might be used to my putting constant bugs in their ears, which, in the circumstance, is something I’m simply not comfortable doing this year. I’m going to rely on sponsors who want to give to Afterglow this year to do so without my usual prodding, and we will funnel funds to as many artists as your generosity allows. So, if you would like to sponsor Afterglow this year and help us help performing artists keep their heads above water and create and develop new works, let us know—we will be most grateful. You can mail your gift to the Afterglow Festival to P.O. Box 129, Provincetown, MA 02657; or you can sponsor online by clicking any of the PayPal buttons on our website at www.afterglowfestival.org/sponsorships.
Okay, that’s going to be it for me today. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this today. If you want to reach out to just chat please do. Trust that whether you and I spoke yesterday, or we haven’t done so in an age, that you are in my heart and on my mind. It is genuinely sad that we can’t all gather together in a theater or at our favorite nightclub never mind around a table or piano, but we shall do so again. In the meantime stay well and treat yourself as you deserve, like your greatest love of all!
The following blocks of texs are exceprts from my first year of Blagues, nos. 291-295 I am reading through all my Blagues, five per day, and posting some samples here. Now, in my sixth year of writing this Blague, but the time I get to my seventh, I will have through all the daily Blagues of my first five years. If that’s confusing I apologize:
And yet again: There was nothing worth posting from the five older Blagues I read today. It has been really helpful to get an idea of what the content has been over the last five years. The first year was very much about the Sabian Symbols (see below), the bulk of that material I don’t want to post in this slot. And I’m nearly through that year so, once I get into the Blagues from 2016, there will be a lot more to post here (which is a good thing because I won’t have time to write a lot à la minute as we just got a new book deal and that is where my effort and attention is going!
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree point of the Sabian Symbol may at times be one degree higher than the one listed here. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°, for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360 degrees spread over 365/6 days per year—so they nearly, but not exactly, correlate.
Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go!
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