This entry doesn’t fit into the remit of my blog. But it is a list. And it’s something I wanted to share.
My play Scenes from 68* Years (about life under occupation in Palestine) is due to go on at the Arcola in Dalston, London in April next year. Sandpit Productions are producing and we will be applying to the Arts Council for funding. What some of you who don’t work in theatre may not know is that with most ‘fringe’ theatres even when they select your work over all the thousands of other brilliant things they get approached with, you (the writer or producer or producing company) still have to hire the theatre. Pay for it.
In order to cover the initial ‘theatre hire’ cost (a deposit effectively), my producers Sandpit decided to undertake a crowdfunding campaign. It’s something I felt very uncomfortable about. But in our meeting with ACE it was clear they ‘approve’ of crowdfunding because it ‘builds audience’.
So 27 days into our 40 day crowdfunding campaign here’s three things I’ve learned.
1. Poor = Generous: I sent the link for the campaign to lots of people with this request:
“My darling friends who are cash poor but goodwill rich, please forward to anyone you know who is rich on both counts”
A very smart playwright I know responded:
“please remember that cash poor people actually give MORE than the rich! (And that is a fact, in terms of the percentage of what a person has).”
And you know what – she was right. Everyone who has given so far (and at time of writing we are at 57% of our target) has been an artist, an actor, writer, director or some other creative person. At first this made me feel REALLY REALLY BAD. People who I love and whose work I respect and who I will be asking to pay to come and see the show, and who are not millionaires, are giving their money to help fund a play I’ve written. I felt guilty. But then slowly I started to feel amazing. Part of a community of other artists and it made me feel happy and joyous and blessed. Really.
2. There is no faceless donor: I was keen to know when the rich philanthropists out there would start giving to the campaign. So I googled ‘life span of a crowdfunding campaign’ and other similar thing – nothing. And as I said in point 1 thus far it’s all people who know me or a member of the team who have been giving. So your campaign gets a donation when you give it a mention or a nod. It’s that simple.
3. I like to GIVE: The most amazing thing I’ve discovered about crowdfunding is that it has made me MORE generous. Don’t get me wrong – I’m no Scrooge but knowing lots of people (35 to date) are putting their hands in their pockets to fund my campaign has made me want to help others. And actually that’s an WONDERFUL feeling.
And if you fancy donating to any of those worthy causes click the links above, or if you want to help us get to our £2,500 total (and see me talk about the play in silly big glasses) you can do so here.
I’ll report back on any new discoveries at the end of the process.
(update May 2015 – read sister post Three more things I learned about Crowdfunding here)