Saturday, February 06, 2010

Two Half-formed Ideas

I’ve heard / read statements from three different local theater companies about the serious impact the snow is having on their finances. Here’s a wacky idea that I’m going to follow through on come Monday morning: I’m going to send a check that would cover one admission to companies whose shows I might have gone to these two past weekends but didn’t because of the snow. And I would encourage anyone who reads this to do the same. Pick your favorite company, or even a few, and send them a check for one admission (or, if you can, two or 10 admissions). It won’t completely make up for lost attendance from these past weekends but every little bit will help.

Also, it occurred to me recently that many of the talented theater folks in town have prodigious and varied talents off the stage and many offer services that other theater people might want to make use of. Jimmy Hicks is an accomplished massage therapist. Jen Meharg and Vicki McLeod are personal trainers. Michael Hawke is a real estate agent. My wife tells me Lauren Leinhaas-Cook does catering. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Wouldn’t you prefer to support one of your fellow thespians as you go about your business?

But where can you go if, for instance, you are looking for a personal trainer and you’d like to see if a fellow theater person offers those services? Is there some secret underground listing? Nowhere I know of. That’s kind of a shame. I might suggest that people could talk to Lisa Kotula about listing themselves in the Richmond Marquee. Or, if people are interested, I was thinking of adding a new section on the left side there to post links to folks’ professional listings if they have them. I have to think up a snazzy / silly name for it but, once I do, I’ll be moving the link to Robyn O’Neill’s Photography web page into it forthwith, at least, and any other links I can come up with. Any other ideas for increasing commerce between those of the theatrically-inclined?

9 comments:

Jason Marks said...

I do professional accompaniment/background tracks and orchestration. Need a hard to find song, or a rehearsal piano track? I'd be glad to create it for you!

Anonymous said...

While I certainly understand the plight of the local theaters losing money, we should also remember that the actors who put their time and energy into rehearsing these productions (and don't get paid for rehearsals) are losing/have lost money as well that they were counting on. That is also a serious problem to be looked at closely.

Good thinking, Dave. Keep the ideas coming.

kb saine said...

so, clearly, the Rouge Crew adores this idea. anyone who wants to play along with our 'virtual ticket' campaign can do so by clicking here & typing in whatever ticket price they please. (bonus: if we get 110 'ticket sales,' lacey & elise will do an interpretive dance of gratitute this friday during our arts walk!)
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=10715412

i became a lamppost society person at 'Servant's opening (& i encourage others to do the same!)but if Henley & CAT (& anyone else who has had to cancel this week) could post their online means of giving here, it would help us all to have a central 'where to go to help out' place in the infoweb world...
thanks, dave!
kb

Jacquie O. said...

Thanks KB for leading people to join Henley Street’s Lamppost Society (only $20 bucks - the link is on our website). In addition to Sycamore Rouge and Henley, I know that Theatre IV took at huge hit - losing all it's student shows for Mulan last week, Swift Creek Mill Playhouse lost two opening weekends, CAT Theatre lost shows last weekend and this weekend and Barksdale Theatre lost shows at Hanover Tavern. All of these theatres could use your support. For Anon (and everyone reading this) - it is true that most theatres (including Henley) have actor contracts set up so that if a show is canceled the actors will not be paid. In my perfect world this would not be the case. I know all the theatres are scrambling now to make up shows so that our actors do get that money back in their pockets (as they deserve). So another suggestion would be to attend or spread the word about these wonderful shows and have your friends and family come out! Thank you Dave for this great idea!

The Cole fam said...

Regarding your "supporting local artists" idea. I've actually began creating a ning site (not unlike facebook) for the expressed purpose of networking and supporting those within the Richmond theatre community. A kind of "safety net" of information and resources in order to help one another. From posting something like "we need a guy who can play the banjo" to resumes to other occupations etc. Your blog may have inspired me to go forward with the idea if you'd help me pass the word to others!

Sarah Cole

Jen said...

Great ideas, Dave. And thanks for the plug!!

Mary Anne Pastore said...

I love your ideas. I'm not very good at creating things on FB, but why doesn't someone start a FB page that local actors can list their skills and businesses on? I know I'd check it out when I need something.

Frank Creasy said...

I'll echo the "great idea" sentiment Dave.

And I appreciate Anon's point about actors who've lost some pay as a result, which is true (I'm one of a number in that boat). Personally though, while I enjoy whatever compensation I can get from acting, right now it takes a distant second considering how hard hit theatres are overall in this economy and especially due to the weather.

Let's all write a check or two, for whatever we can give. Let's reinvest in our theatre community that has enriched all our lives so greatly.

Janine Serresseque said...

How about a side bar on your blog called "Moonlighting"?