Welcome, fair companions and hearty friends! A new venture begins, that of seeking out small creative endeavors to shed light upon and support (with attention and alms), in the great aim of encouraging a rowdy world to behave better and more attentively.
Today's Call To Action: Visiting the Misalignment Museum in San Francisco, CA, USA, with a voluntary ticket purchase contribution if so desired. This installation is only open until May 1, 2023, so you'd better hurry. It is a blackly humorous look at what happens when artificial intelligence becomes too self-aware for humanity's own good. Plus, you can get a free paperclip in the shape of the Museum's logo to remind you of all that was before the 99 Red Balloons were shot down (name that Gen-X song, bonus points for the original language).
The catastrophic COVID19 disruption of the entire arts and entertainment industry has affected every performing artist and backstage/on-set worker I know, quarantining and de-employing my colleagues and friends from Hawaii to Maine, Canada to Latin America, Asia to France to Germany to cruise ships afloat... everywhere. Actors, singers, dancers, musicians, performers, backstage designers and support staff, camera crew staff. Our work often depends on the communal act of artist and audience coming together in person, on the "team sport" of a group of people creating something for an audience, and right now that work is at a standstill. Creating videos in our living rooms is fun, but it does not pay folks' rent. This is where you, Dear Patron, can help.
If you would like to help artists in need, the U.S. Actors Fund is an excellent place to start: actorsfund.org/
Every performing arts organization I know of has a way to donate to that particular company listed on their website if you would like to target your giving. Let your fingers do the walking! (Or typing in this case.)
Our unions have also stepped up to help their members: for instance, Actors Equity, the Screen Actors Guild, and the American Federation of Musicals Artists each have extensive resources linked on their websites as well as charitable giving options.
If you want to help someone you know specifically - the next-door neighbor who acted in that commercial you thought was funny, the office worker who plays oboe in her local symphony, the nephew who just lost three months' summer stock theatre work in the midwest when the company closed - don't be shy. Ask them for their VENMO username or their Paypal ID (I guarantee 90% of us have either or both), and be their Personal Patron! Even spotting them the price of a cup of coffee, which you could then enjoy with them over Skype or WhatsApp video, is a great way to connect and support.
Stay healthy and safe, y'all, and we will meet again in the theatre soon.
All my best,
I'm trying something new for 2021 (which some have called 2020 With Bangs, but I'm sure it looks WAY better than that) that involves something I call MicroPhilanthropy. Now, if I had a foundation on the order of Madame "Watch My Downton Abbey" Darlene Shiley, it would be Macro, for sure - and if I should win the California Powerball, she'll be the 5th person I phone for advice (after my lawyer, my cousin the financial wiz, my husband, and my mom) - but for now, my powers of largesse work on a much smaller scale. So chill while I figure this blog thing out, and I'll start in May, probably for a monthly update. Cheers!
Sometimes the only power you need is the ability to draw attention to a worthy thing.