Corps get bailouts. Artists don't. Ever has it been, fairness be damned.
(This post is unelegant and scattered due top-of-head typing hot after coming off another 16-hour day. Over the next couple/few days I'll return to decorate it with some pictures I've not yet shared, but I won't rewrite it to be Pretty. I don't have the time.)
Besides being the longest-running improv venue in LA, ComedySportz LA gave me a chance when I decided to finally step out and attempt to do a live stage thing as part of the inaugural Hollywood Fringe Festival, despite my complete and total lack of credentials. I have longed to be part of theater as more than audience at least once, and to me a Fringe means here's your opportunity.
I will not go into details, but when everything went to Hell barely two weeks before opening night and I was in tears trying to decide if I should cancel or attempt to rebuild, a CSLA rep called me - a complete and total unknown quantity - and forced a Conversation that was long and ended up with me deciding to Roll Out despite what seemed to be an overwhelming obstacle at the time.
I will never forget what that man said to me at the start of that Conversation. I have called upon those words more than once since.
There was no benefit for them in encouraging me to rebuild. By contract they could have said Don't Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out. But they didn't. I didn't understand Why then. I think I kinda do now, but I had to ponder it muchly in the time since Fringe ended.
As my show improved over its 5 performances from opening to closing night (and it did) that is solely because of the candid input from their people. Seriously...I was so 101-level ignorant going into it that I didn't understand what a tech rehearsal meant! Their candid input wasn't restricted to what was on stage, it encompassed the Big Picture stuff that is part of this type of art life.
What I know about the people who do the Samwise work to run ComedySportz LA: pretty much all of them are also artists. Improv yes. Visual artists, too. Writers. Musicians.
They do the hefty admin Samwise work needed to keep that space operational for others while also pursuing their own art life. And that lovely venue is also ADA accessible, which is supremely important to my heart. And it's a family-friendly improv venue, which is rare.
Full details about the current economic crisis and how you can help are available at the link. Watch the video:
We need your help. The economy has taken its toll, and our plan is to close at the end of October. It is possible that we can prevent the closure, but not without the support of you, our loyal fans.
We are asking you to step forward and support us--not by giving us a handout, but by buying tickets to come laugh with us. ComedySportz is selling ticket packs at a tremendous discount. If we sell enough of these ticket packs we can perhaps push back the closure of our theatre and perhaps eliminate the budget deficit altogether. This is possible if we have enough support.
A couple of weeks ago a friend and I were there with a full picnic to enjoy a concert featuring fab local musicians on the patio. Last month I saw a stand up showcase, a hilarious scifi improv show and a regular hilarious improv show. I've been eying my calendar trying to find room to catch the female improv Shakespeare show running there now, and the college/student student shows.
If you are not local, or if you are but for whatever reason you don't want to purchase a ticket pack, you can give a straight donation via that link. (I get what they're saying with the We Don't Want A Handout thing, but dude. Now is not the time for that sort of humble.)
So. What am I gonna do, besides post this asking for whoever reads this to give them money to keep the doors open? Earlier today I purchased some tech that I need for a Thing down the road. Haven't even opened it yet, and planned to spend part of the holiday weekend setting it all up and figuring out how it works. But when I think about it, actually I can continue to make due with what I already have for a few more payday cycles, so I'm going to return the tech tomorrow, take that money, hand it over to ComedySportz LA. The ticket pack I will get in exchange I will further donate to a worthy nonprofit that I happen to know has a garden party coming up later this month which includes a silent auction.
I can take a small action to help two organizations with one strike. If my life were not paycheck-to-paycheck, I would do more. As it is, I will do what I can now.
Whatever you can do to help, please do so. I'm already trying to figure out what I can do for Hollywood Fringe 2011 at that venue, so learning about the threat of closed doors was a shock to the heart.
OMG Yes All About Me. I want it I NEED IT to still be there so I can learn and evolve and get better at what I want to do. I need these people at ComedySportz LA to pull it off. I trust them. And I pretty much operate from a default setting of Trust No One. But these are good people who operate beyond themselves. They give in service to the bigger picture.
Meanwhile, don't know when regular service will resume around here due to the fairly brutal schedule I've been on for the past few weeks (some of it fun, so it's not all bad), but as soon as it can, it will.