The Great Grant Rush

I’ve applied for a $5,000 design enhancement grant for my solo show, so that I can work with awesome designers, and they will have fun designing the set and lights to communicate the sterility of the way old people will be dealt with in the future. My solo show starts in 2059, in a futuristic hospice, as one old lady manages to tell her daughter one last story before she dies. The world has changed significantly between now and then, and our worship of youth, and denial of aging have grown tremendously – causing extreme separation between generations. It would be cool to get the grant and be able to communicate “we’re not in 2014 anymore” immediately through the design, right as folks take their seats and thumb through the program. Special thanks to my theatre company for making this a remote possibility.

The statistics of grants are not in my favor. I have to probably apply for about $100,000 worth of grant possibilities to land $2 – $5K. So I’ve got a lot of grant application writing to do!

What has been your grant application experience? Is it worth it? Is it a closed loop of the same-old same-old who always get the grants, and newcomers don’t? What do you think?

Wah! CD raffle ends – just over $300 !

merceroak_300_cropMy first fundraising effort comes to an end. I had a raffle of CDs donated by Her Wahness herself (Wah! – great kirtanist). The lucky winner was Fred R.V. See the drawing on facebook here. I raised just over $300 in raffle ticket sales. Good start. I am not great at asking people for donations. It feels so egotistical to say to someone “My show is really good and worth supporting! Be part of what launches a new voice!”, even though I believe it to be true. So a raffle of something wonderful like Wah! CDs makes it feel easier, because there is the offer of something, not just asking.

If it were not for DQT, my theatre company, and Andrew Frank’s workshop on asking people for money to support your theatre work, I would not be able to do this at all. Not even close. It’s a valuable skill – asking for what you want. Being specific. I want money so I can produce my solo show about the search for the fountain of youth, the finding of it, and the discovery that it comes with a curse.

Again – I have the intention of creating a dialog among all of us – what is it to mature, to grow old? How can we do it gracefully (because it will happen)? But without money, the show will not happen. That is the bottom line.

So my next endeavor will be some sort of “Thank You Party” for all my donors so far, and donors-to-be. I like being in a position to give something back to those who have been so generous to me so far. So my goal is $15,000 and I have just over $300, with the promise of another $100 from my mind map sister Jean F. I’m on the boards! Great oaks from little acorns grow!

First Major Setback, and Intention

I had a meeting with the Artistic Director of Theatre for the New City last week. Based on that frosty reception, and the harsh contract conditions, I did not sign. I am looking for a new theater. I don’t want to do the show at a place where on the first meeting they say “we don’t want to do your show.” Fuggetaboutit. So that took the wind out of my sails, and made me feel bad that my plan was already going awry.

Then today I had coffee with my very wise and good friend today, and he asked me what was my intention for doing the show. Through a chain of thought provoking, soul searching questions, I arrived at this: my intention for the show is to create a dialog among women regarding ageing, explore what is good about it, not just what sucks about it, and hopefully alleviate the suffering we go through as our society ignores us for the rest of our lives. We women of a certain age have to push back and say we are here, we are worth it, and we have a lot of wisdom to share. So put away your “anti-aging” treatments, and roll up your sleeves ladies! We are changing the paradigm.

Ad I saw in a shop window on Manhattan's upper west side.
Ad I saw in a shop window on Manhattan’s upper west side.

Fountain of Youth – my solo show

Oh Brave New World of Blogging! I am embarking on producing my solo show at Theatre for the New City, April 3 – 20, 2014. It’s a long ways away on the calendar, but I have so much to prepare for, and so much money to raise that I should have started yesterday. Actually, I did start last week. I am raffling off 2 sets of Wah! CDs, generously donated by Her Wahness herself (check out her music at Check out my efficiently organized raffle at It ends in time for Wah!’s visit to in late October. It will be so great to hear her live! It will relieve all the stress of writing grant applications, and asking people for money to finance my show. Ahhhh…. and so what about this show?

My solo show, “Fountain of Youth” is about the “real” fountain of youth that Ponce de Leon discovered way back in the 1500s, in the swamps of Florida. What if it was real? What if it worked? What if there was a curse on it though? Would you drink from it and stay eternally young? Making the same mistakes over and over, never reaching the self acceptance that comes with maturity? What do you think? Let me know.