I have been flagrantly panhandling online for far too long for the sake of the advancement of my project. I suck at marketing, sales, and advertising. In fact, all those departments annoy the living daylights out of me. I rock at playwriting, singing, playing the piano, writing music, musical direction, and homeless rights activism. Blogging probably falls somewhere in the middle.
It has occurred to me that if people perhaps knew why I’ve been asking for money, and where the money would be going, it might help me to get some donations from sympathetic people who can afford to do so. So here goes.
I’m a person who has written a musical, and I would very much like to see this musical produced. The musical paints a picture of the effects of homelessness on the youth of today’s America. It is a very positive, upbeat show with an extremely encouraging, happy ending. I have written the entire script, all of the music, and all of the lyrics.
But there I stop. It will not be possible to move further toward the production of this musical without getting the kind of green stuff that doesn’t grow on trees. This stuff is not known to come wafting through the window. So I need to make a pitch.
There are numerous hurdles I need to surmount before anyone is going to take a look at this show — that is, anyone having the power to produce it. First and foremost, I need to make an adequate demo recording of three or four of the songs, with real singers singing with their real voices, rendering the melodies and harmonies I have so meticulously created in the musical score that I have painstakingly composed, over a number of years, as I have been passionately absorbed in this project.
Talking around campus, and especially at the local School of Music, I get the feeling there are competent singers who will get behind me. But like all singers, they will need to be paid. My songs are catchy, urban, progressive show tunes, Broadway-influenced, and according to many, Broadway-bound. However, it’s not the kind of stuff that even the quickest of studies are going to be able to pull off with minimal rehearsal. No singer worth their salt is going to want to lend their voice to this endeavor without at least two or three rehearsals, prior to recording. The very least I feel I should pay such a singer would be $125 for the whole shot. I also need five singers to pull this off. Even some of those five voices will be doubled or tripled, in order to replicate the chorus sections of the musical numbers that I have scored.
I am a serious composer who emphasized in Music Theory and Composition at a major Conservatory, and I hung out with my composition mentor, Dr. Stan Beckler, till shortly before the day he died. My music draws from folk, classic rock, hip-hop and rap as well as from traditional comic light opera, but by no means does it entail your typical, tired old 1-4-5 progressions. I have taken great pains to honor the genre of my youth, and bring fresh life and vigor to my favorite Performing Arts Form. So basically, I need $625 to get started with this leg of the project, and create a decent demo of at least three songs.
I am technically situated so that I can record the singing over the instrumental tracks you hear on this page, eliminating doubled melody lines when necessary, to emphasize the live vocals. This will sound a lot more authentic than one might think, and any irksome complaints regarding the “canned” use of the “electronic” sounds wll be instantly jettisoned, once my project is heard. If I had the money to hire musicians and schedule studio time, I would probably go that route instead. But I don’t have the money, and it would take quite a bit more rehearsal time — so this is the starting point that I propose.
It has not been easy to write these words tonight, much less paste them in three different spots on this web site, and blast them all across the Internet, to the expected ridicule of those who don’t believe me. But because I know what I am doing — musically, artistically, and theatrically — in the realm of Musical Theatre where most of my lifelong experience lies, I can confidently tell you that I will back up my claims with action — as soon as I have the bucks to make it happen.
We can take it from there. I am not above self-producing the show locally, and directing it myself. But all these moves will require money, which a mere church musician in between jobs on a fixed monthly income cannot possibly conjure. Rather, if I could conjure up that kind of capital, I’d neither have the time nor the energy to pursue my passion, and the dream of my lifetime will land in my grave. Daylight’s burning. I’m in my sixties already. Let’s get a move on. Let’s get this show on the road.
If you’ve been reading this blog, and listening to my music, and reading my posts about the Homeless Phenomenon in America, then get the word out to those who have the power — assuming you don’t have the power yourself.
And power to the people. Power to all the people! Power to the Homeless People of the United States of America.
Please donate to Eden in Babylon.
6 thoughts on “My Pitch”
Done my best to share this Andy…very well done, this post is eloquent, compelling and to the point. I’m struggling with marketing too, drives me nuts sometimes! And the readers of my new novel are taking weeks over it, its excruciating! Then there are all the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’, but you have most certainly done the right thing with this post. Make sure you keep a copy of it for use elsewhere.
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Thanks again, Lynne, for all of your steadfast support for my ongoing endeavor. I think it must be pretty obvious to anyone who’s followed me that after finally succeeding in getting a decent draft of my script finished after a three year Writer’s Block, I sunk into a pretty deep depression when I realized how difficult it was to get decent singers and musicians to commit themselves to learning my music, without pay. I basically feel that if I want that depression to end, I have to take it upon myself to attack it at its core.
I’m also very grateful for your having affirmed the value of my “pitch.” It’s reassuring you find it to be “eloquent, compelling, and to the point.” I abhor selling myself so much that I barreled out the post in nothing flat, stopping only to make minor corrections in the text before posting it. I figured what it lacked in eloquence would be made up for in earnestness. It’s encouraging to hear in the very first comment that I may well have succeeded. God bless you, Lynne Fisher.
Just a thought here, and it can be very annoying if someone tells you something you are aware of already, but…how about crowdfunding? http://crowdsourcingweek.com/blog/top-10-usa-crowdfunding-platforms/
I’ve never done it but I’ve heard good things about it in the UK. Cheers for now!
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Somebody mentioned this earlier, in light of self-publishing my anthology. I looked into it briefly at the time, and was a bit intimidated on first impression. But I do want to go about this through the appropriate channels, and I’ll make sure to look into it deeply. I mainly wanted to distinguish what I’m about here from the evidence of “online panhandling” I felt I was creating with my earlier unexplained donate button, and the brief statement parroting a homeless person’s sign flown on a sidewalk.
The reason for this is that I actually did receive a couple donations recently, but in one of the cases someone had read my published piece at http://www.thestreetspirit.org/a-new-way-of-seeing/, and since the published did not put the date of the writing beneath the piece, it was assumed I was still homeless. I accepted the donation and spoke with the woman who had made the donation later, and it was not particularly awkward — but I do want to get this show on the road, so I thought it time I clarified my purpose.
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I like that you are sharing a specific goal for a specific part of the project. And a worthy project it is. I’m not sure what you mean by “Not Just Anything Helps,” but I’ll see what I can do.
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I changed it back to “Anything Helps.” I was trying to make a joke but it was too obscure. In the homeless realm, people often fly a sign that reads “Anything Helps” — and so somebody gives them a sandwich. In this case, I can make my own sandwich, but money doesn’t grow on trees. Not sure why I thought that humor would be clear, but I don’t know. Living on the streets for a lot of years has a way of messing with one’s head.
Thanks for your willingness to help me find help for my project. I agree that selecting a solid short-term goal is a good idea. Thanks again, and God bless.
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