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How exciting is THIS?

I’m Co-Producing and Co-Starring in a play in New York City for one weekend starting the 1st of November…and I’m making mistakes.

We are first time play Producers and even with our city savvy and stage bidness know-how, we don’t know everything, and it’s really hard to admit that.

I’ve realized I’m on a journey. Not in that I-just-dig-spiritual-terminology kind of way, but in that “We’re literally on a path and sometimes we take a wrong turn or hit a bump in the road and pray for a yield sign” kind of way. It doesn’t do us any good to say to we’ve made every correct decision in this process. We haven’t.

Truth: We need more funds. We need your help. Don’t stop reading.

It was challenging to predict the full spectrum of expenses we would come across during this process. Believe me when I say, we are not making a single red cent off of this production. There just wasn’t a handbook that could tell us our original budget and fundraising amount was just too low. Beyond that, fundraising was kinda hard for us, in general. We’re hardworking folk who couldn’t quite wrap our heads around asking people for money in support of our dreams, so we lowballed it. Oopsy.

The upside to there being no handbook for making your dreams come true? We’re creating our own.

How exciting is that?

So, the good news? There’s plenty:

First off, we got the rights! Thanks, Samuel French.

The play is amazing. Relevant. Hilarious. Heartbreaking. Timely. Witty. Powerful. All of those things, all at once. I know.

We have a stellar cast. Oh, you just wait until you meet them.

Our Director has both energy and focus.

One of our nearest and dearest talented friends is Stage Managing.

We’ve booked a fantastic marketer to design the graphics/posters/postcards/flyers – also from our pool of  talented friends.

…and much much more! (we’ve been busy, did I mention we’re also memorizing our lines and rehearsals have started? Oh yes, that too.)

The biggest thing of all is that we’re learning how to ask for help. We’ve always “done everything ourselves” and while that fosters a lot of pride and helps us grow as humans, we’re realizing that another sign of strength is knowing when to ask for help.

How can you help? We’re short on cash because, well, theatre space in NYC is expensive…to say the least. Donations can be made via that cute lil’ paypal button below. $5 adds up fast. $20 is at least an hour of rehearsing. $50 rents rehearsal space for the night. $100 goes to our light and sound technician. $500 keeps allows for publicity helps get industry in the seats…I could go on and on and on.

Every little bit helps. Every dollar, any amount. Please leave a comment and please share.

I’m no Guru, but I am growing up. This is still the path I’m proud to be paving.


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She’s Nobody’s Fruitfly

I was coming out of the grocery store in my neighborhood and bumped into a friend of a friend who, when telling her my evening plans, said she “couldn’t wait to meet my gay.”

My…what?

Let me back up a bit. Growing up, I was familiar with homosexuality because of some of my family members. In college, a few of my classmates came out to me. Being involved in the performing arts, my comedy duo partner and I have performed in most of NYC’s gay bars and clubs. I have plenty of gay and lesbian friends and consider myself lucky for living in a city that is literally bursting with diversity. I am a generally liberal and open-minded person.

Now that we’ve gotten my history out of the way, let me say first that I understand the term “faghag” and if you don’t, here is the wikipedia entry. Because my comedy partner in crime, Jason, is both gay and one of my closest friends we’ve run into this stereotype before. Jason and I have been friends since college where we first performed together, and our on stage comedy chemistry translated into both a friendship and a musical duo. Despite hanging out and working together often we don’t fall into a lot of the other gay-male-straight-female stereotypes. I was never hopelessly in unrequited love for him. We didn’t date before he came out. We are not each others only close friends. He doesn’t pick out my clothes, hairstyle or makeup.

We’re friends. We respect each other. Onstage together we find ourselves hilarious. We do tell gay-themed jokes sometimes but he usually writes for me and I usually write for him. He doesn’t introduce me as his faghag. I tried once to say “my gays” recently and it felt both ridiculous and insulting although it did not insult the gay male I said it to.

In short, people are not property. He is not my gay. I am not his hag. If he were straight, would we still require labels for our friendship?

Some of you may be thinking, “Lighten up, it’s just slang and not usually meant to be offensive” and I know what you mean by that. When you’re out drinking and blowing off some steam sometimes it’s fun to just shout out stupid  things. We’ve all been there. However, if we all really believe that equality is a human right, then why do we keep celebrating stereotypes? If I want my gay friends to have all of the rights that my straight friends have, that I have, than why do I have to label them at all? I’m not thrilled when heterosexuals are referred to as “breeders” either, for that matter. If your parents weren’t “breeders” you wouldn’t exist. Boom.

Furthermore, when did anyone else’s sexuality become my business at all? Frankly I could care less if  someone sleeps with men or with women (or both.) If you’re anything like me you might have been introduced to a new group of people like this: “That’s Lisa, she’s an accountant, Maggie just sold her first painting, Jenny is the one from Jersey that I told you about, and that’s Brian and James, they’re gay.”

Oh really? That’s it? Brian and James don’t have jobs, talent, and aren’t from anywhere? The fact that someone is gay can easily be the least interesting thing about a person…and how did you expect me to start that conversation anyway? “Hey, I’m NotYourGuru, I hear you’re gay…how’s that going?” What all of this comes down to is that I love and respect the gay community and hope that members and supporters alike can be a little more open-minded as well. This is just my not-a-guru point of view. Thoughts? Leave me a comment below.

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