Last Friday, we premiered The S.M. Cabaret: Slaves of Sallie Mae at The Duplex to a sold-out house. Our second performance coming up this Friday is already on a wait-list and we expect it to be sold-out as well (please don’t let the wait-list deter you, there is a high chance of you getting in if you sign up.) I can’t fully express how excited I am of the work we have done, the process we took to get here, and the collective collision of ideas from 4 other incredible women. From the feedback we’ve gotten, we succeeded in the fine balance of politics and pleasure, which was always the goal. With all of this excitement of a well-received show also comes the pressure and desire to keep it going. The Grace Period Blog will no doubt continue to create new works as a collective, but what is to become of The S.M. Cabaret? Now, it’s time to put our business hats on!
So we’ve been brainstorming. The initial goal is to get us out of our 10 part-times jobs combined and into a full-time position with The Grace Period Blog. This is the dream that every theater-maker wants I presume, but how in the world does it happen? Right about now, I’m wishing I double-majored in Business I’ll tell ya!
1. Find investors who will buy into your product. Broadway producers, philanthropists, corporations with community programs, elected officials, literary agents and managers, and mega Off-Broadway theaters. Anyone out there know anyone that is interested in our cause? We are planning to have a special industry night and cocktail reception this summer showcasing our work.
2. Plan a College Tour. I am hearing more and more often that performance artists are making at least (!) a modest living by presenting their work at universities. With well over 40 college campuses in NYC alone, I am smelling a serious market and a great opportunity to present our work in the gold mine itself, the university. This option seems to be for the entrepreneur spirit and offers longevity if you craft the perfect formula in your proposal.
3. Apply to arts residencies that will supply you with the money, space, and the administrative and technical support to develop your work. The main pros of this option are that: it introduces your work to a broader audience of the theater’s own patrons and supporters, and we can solely focus on the work itself instead of the producing aspects.
4. Continue to produce the show ourselves in various venues, open mic nights, piano bars, and cabaret theaters. Or find ourselves in the weekly line-up at a popular venue. Apply to well-known festivals that will get our name and product out there as well. We definitely plan on using this option partly because quite frankly we love performing this show and performing is like exercising your muscles: if you don’t use it, you lose it! However, the downside to this is that we would again be relying on our friends (many in the same financial situation as ourselves) to fund us and we don’t want to do that when there are more profitable fish in the sea who are equally as passionate for our cause.
It’s my natural character to think GO BIG! However, I realize that all great things are a process and financial success doesn’t happen over night. This first small success at The Duplex just gave us a taste of what’s to come and I am finding myself scratching at the door in eagerness. It’s not a terrible position to be in by any means; I am so thankful for the response we have had so far and the generosity of our audience, friends, and press in making this show so special to us.
I am confident that there is a future in The Cabaret and we are dedicated to making it happen! It will be a learning curve, but I am prepared to do what it takes to get over the hump.
Thanks for Believing in Us <3
The Grace Period Blog