Falling in Love is like ____ (fill in the blank)

Could you help us think about something? Could you fill in the blanks?

"Falling in Love" bit - Nina and Sammi. Photo credit: Valerie Giacobbe, Lights: Ashley W. Mills

Falling in love is like _______

Having your heart broken is like _________

I probably will not stop asking questions.

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Super Cool

I have good news for you and bad news. The good news is that we are officially just over half way to our funding goal. And this is how we feel about it:

Tactus thinks you are a lot of things - good things that make them smile!

The bad news is that we are down to a week.

Updates soon. Just thought you’d like to know.


On Collages (and script creation)

It is time to return to collages, and just after announcing our collage perk too (as well as the personalized thank you for those on more of a budget)! But why does a collage make sense as a perk for this show? Let me introduce Tactus supporter Miriam, and answer her question:

Eurydice Collage
Photo Credits: Valerie Giacobbe, Adrian Bridges

A question from Miriam
How did you happen to choose a collage, rather than a linear presentation?

An answer from Sarah
One of the fun things about this piece is that we developed it almost “backwards” in a lot of ways. When Nina, Ashely, and I started talking about doing a piece together, one of the things we knew is that we didn’t want to write a script, in the traditional way. We wanted to discover something, to develop something, not mold something that so that it already said what we “wanted it to say.” We wanted to create something that would be entirely open for us to explore in the rehearsal process.

I should confess that part of that was a personal, rather than strictly “artistic” decision. I have spent just enough time working on scripts I have written to know that I dislike it. When I’ve sat down and written out what I want to say, I find it hard to go back and find the balance of discovering the intricacies and subtleties of the piece with my actors while shaping the overall way the performance needs to unfold. And because I find it difficult to find that balance, it becomes much harder for me to support my actors and bring out the best in them. It doesn’t make me feel good or like I am producing very good art.

From working together the previous year, Nina and I also both knew that we are attracted to scripts that are more “lyrical” or “poetic” or “fluid,” rather than more “traditional” scripts. We are interested in the way physical language comes together with vocal language to explore things you could not express otherwise. This type of work – bringing together these languages, tends to work best with texts that are open and less “concrete.”

Nina suggested that we try using found text. She had studied this method of piece creation in undergrad and thought that they style of piece it creates would be the type of thing we could really get into. I liked the idea that, since it would not involve specifically writing, but instead piecing together things that had already been written, rehearsal would be less  like working on a play I’d written, and more like exploring language as we discovered the script. Ashley liked the idea too, and so we decided to proceed.

Nina wrote us an email that week to remind us that when you use found text, the resulting text tends to be a bit scattered in form and content. It sounded pretty cool to us. We decided to use a story that is, to some extent, about communication and miscommunication because of the scattered nature of the piece.

The piece is like a collage because Eurydice is struggling to re-tell her story, something that may not be a linear process, especially since she doesn’t fully understand it. It is a collage because found text is always something of a collage in its very form. We were drawn to this collage-style because of the types of work we like to do.

Please add your response to this to our comments section. We would love to hear what you have to add or say. Want to ask some questions of your own? Check out the perks on our fundraising site where you can find opportunities to ask the cast and crew questions, as well as other fun goodies!


Count Down

We are down to 19 days – small, countable number. We have just under 2/3’s of our goal left to raise.

Being down to small-numbers of days that means, it is time to bring out some things that we have been working on for a while: small-contribution perks!

Tactus "Thank You" example - Get your's by contributing!

For donations at the 10-dollar level, we’ll email you a personalized, one-of-a-kind thank you from us, featuring some friends of Tactus. Already donated at the 10-dollar level? We’ll make sure we get your thank you to you in the coming weeks!

 

And for those of you who donate at the 20 dollar level, we’ll make you a collage. Out of things from around us – newspaper photos, magazines, catalogs. It has been a year since we created Eurydice in Market East, and the world has not stopped talking. And we still have a lot to learn from that talking, from what falls into place when me mash all that stuff together. We’ll even incorporate a quotation from the play, just for you!

I will be sure to get a picture of one up sometime soon. And again, anyone who has already donated at the 20-dollar level will get one.

So go ahead- make me get out my glue sticks and sharpies!

 


Introducing Olivia

Dear all,

I would like to introduce you to Olivia Weiss – our most recent addition to Tactus.

Olivia and I worked on Nobody But Somebody together this past winter. She took on the difficult job of jumping in to re-fill a role last minute, and then did an amazing job. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be working with her again.

Also, she’s got a pretty awesome laugh and liked the cookies I brought to rehearsal. I mean, cookies are important.

Olivia is a graduate of West Chester University with a degree in Musical Theatre. Want to know more about her? Take a look at her bio on our “Who is Tactus” page.

Have I mentioned that I am excited? Because I am!

-Sarah


Marketing Thoughts (or, how you saved me this week)

I am beginning to think that if you want to be successful at raising money, you have to be somewhat obsessive. These days, I feel like a broken record – a slightly awkward one. One that is constantly asking people to hit the “like” button or to donate money or to email links to friends.

It is more than that. Whenever I think of a new project – of a piece to develop or a festival or read a play I would really like to produce, I wonder first if it is financially possible. And I am often very unsure. Even though we do “really low budget theatre,” the costs add up. It makes it hard to think about the art itself, hard to find the excitement and energy that drives it forward. I had my personal “this-doesn’t-make-sense-art-is too-hard-I-should-give-up-it-doesn’t-matter” moment last week. It is a moment that tends to drop it periodically.

I think we all wish it weren’t like that.

But here is something else I am starting to realize: I really do believe in this art enough that I am willing to keep learning how to raise funds for it, keep being this broken record. And more than that, the extraordinary generosity of my friends, family, collaborators, and their communities makes me wonder if this art doesn’t mean a lot other people too.

Tactus is pretty much made up of people in their twenties, who’s friends are in their twenties or artists or often both – not the most money-having types. And yet I watch donations roll in from the most surprising places. Simply put, you guys are amazing.

Art is amazing.

People coming together over art is amazing.

If art is about reaching a someone or few, then this process is proving artistic. After a tough few days last week – a week where I spend a lot of time wondering if I should be doing art, if we really needed another show or yet “another theatre company in Philly,” I found myself stumbling into peers and friends who wanted to talk about art – this project and others. We talked about questions we are asking, about logistics we face, about communities we were proud to be part of. And then I came home and logged onto our fundraising page and discovered that we were up to over the one-third mark.

I have thought about how theatre depends on a partnership between audience and performance, but this is a new connection that I had not made before. You guys restore my faith in the work we are all doing. I had not realized how much I would need that, and how amazing and motivating it would be.

Remember that broken record? Here it is again – because I owe it to everyone who has donated to keep pushing so that their donations help us reach a fully-funded project.

Ways you can help – the count down begins:

First, please, if you have not already, consider donating to the campaign. We are down to under a month.

Second, please spread the word. If you do not have money to donate right now, this is a great way to help us that does not cost money. I was reading around this week and heard that this is the most effective way to raise money because people are much more likely to donate if they hear about a project from a friend. Here is how:

  1. “Like” us on FB.
  2. “Like” “+1” or “Tweet” on the fundraising page itself.
  3. “Like” or “+1” the posts on this blog.
  4. Email the links to the fundraising page, this blog, and the FB page to friends and family.

If you have already donated, spreading the word will help make sure your donation goes the farthest by being part of a project that is funded well enough that we can focus on creating the best art we can.

Final words – my promise to you:

So yes, I will continue to be a broken record. I will continue to become obsessive about funding. I want to make sure that those of you who donated see your donations going the farthest possible.

But more than that: I promise to make every kind word, every dollar, every supportive email, “like” on FB, or text shout-out count by pushing forward, even through the though weeks. I will work to make the art better and better. I will keep searching for community and participating in it. I will keep finding ways to keep costs low so that we can bring work to as many people as we can as often as is possible. I will keep finding new ways that theatre and audience connect. I owe you that much and more.

Thank you.


One Third

Dear all,

First, thank you thank you thank you! We made it past the 25% mark! And we have you to thank!

Which makes me think that it is time for a new challenge.

Yes, we can reach for the stars – the one-third mark. 33%. 767 dollars. And you know what? We are only 84 dollars away. So, if we can get another 84 dollars by the end of, oh, let’s say, Wednesday, everyone who has donated up to that point will get an awesome one-third of the way thank you card – wallet sized for showing off. One of three types! I just spend the last few hours making them – we really are going for the hand-made goodies this year aren’t we?

"One-third" Cards

"One-third" landmark thank you cards by Sarah

Please excuse the poor-quality picture and instead, get excited about the awesome quality cards you will receive when we reach this goal. And help us get the word out so you can get your card!

Here is the breakdown. To get 84+ dollars we need:

  • 5 20 dollar donations or 4 21 dollar donations OR
  •  3 25 dollar donations with one ten dollar donation OR
  •  8 ten dollar donations with 1 5 dollar donation OR
  • Some other combination

So hurry and donate here, or get your friends to do so. And remember, we will keep rolling out landmark goodies, so the earlier you donate, the more little things you’ll get as well as your main perk.

I have some other news though too:

We are in the process of finalizing the contract to perform this spring. Once it is signed, we will be able to release the days, times, and locations of the performances. Keep watching this space – I hope we’ll be able to share this soon. I just wanted to let you know that we are working on it and that we should know soon.

Also, we have a new way to keep in touch with us: we have a new email list! You can sign up by clicking this link or by selecting the “Sign Up for our Email List” tab at the top of our blog. It has been my goal for a while to sign up with a service that would manage any emails lists we wanted to create so that there would be an easy way to subscribe or unsubscribe from the list at any time. So yes, that is the promise: we will not re-distribute your email addresses and you will always have the option to change your mind about being on the list. So why sign up and see if you like what we have to say?

Rehearsals will be starting soon for our Spring trip to NYC. Can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Thank you again for all your support. Please keep it up – we depend on it.

-Sarah


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