Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gimmicks

To YTI Acting Pool.

If you might be interested in participating as outlined below...

This is a long shot, but lets see
anyway.

I was emailing w/ Keri, she is working with WHALE on the Wine Festival this Friday. They are lookingfor in two people from 630pm to 730pm and then two people from 730pm to 830pm to appear in 'fancy dress' of some kind, of their choosing. They are looking to have these volunteers appear around the auction tables to generate
interest. I don't think they are looking for a major production
or performance, but just generate interest, maybe even conversation.
The volunteers would have free addmission and ability to do some sampling of wine and food as well.

[sic]
I get notices from the award-winning (though grammar- and spelling-disenhanced) Your Theatre. Their own audition notices, mostly, but sometimes other company's or if a film crew is in town or anyone needs special skills. They're a great bunch of dedicated community theater operatives who annually present a satisfying slate of entertainments, although often featuring Alan Ayckbourn or Ayckbourn-like unpleasantnesses. They refuse to do any musicals, so I'm glad to work onstage with them, do sound and lights, and enjoy productions as an audience member.
I also enjoy the opportunity to attend fundraisers for local charities. I do that because I appreciate and support the people who work in my community. Whether they're personal friends or not, I think it is my duty as a citizen to support organizations that make my community a better place. Including women's basketball. As I have mentioned elsewhere, I do lurvs me some fundraisers.
I have, however, a low opinion of gimmicky fundraisers. If I believe in a cause, then I'm more than willing to write a check. If you have a dinner with donated food and bar -- mostly bar -- to thank me for my beneficence, so much the better. But if you spend my check on face-painting mimes, loganberry chipotle mashed potato martinis, chocolate fountains, and llama rides, I start to wonder...
I know how the planning meetings go. You say you want to have a fundraiser to raise some money for your softball team. Then somebody says, Let's do a dinner. Then somebody says, Let's get Swanky McSpensive to donate his restaurant for the night. Then somebody says, Swanky won't give up his restaurant's business for a night, why don't we have him cater the dinner at the ball park? Then somebody says, We'll need a tent. That'll cost money. And then somebody says, Unless we get it donated. Then somebody says, We'll have the team be servers -- in their uniforms! We'll save money there! Then somebody says, No, we should do the dinner like you have appetizers at first base, salad at second, entree at third, and dessert at home. Then somebody says, No no no, I've got it. Screw Swanky. Drinky Sloshentoss Liquors could sponsor the whole thing. We'll have drinks at each base. Like beer and wines at first, all the way around to port and cigars at home. But, somebody says, that could be pretty expensive liability. Why don't we just do the spaghetti dinner at the VFW like last year?
Because you're up against a long tradition of zany ├╝ber-expensive gimmicky fundraisers.Yours has to stand out. Something folks'll remember so that they'll come back next year. And then you can raise the bar a little bit more, make sure it's memorable, so they better not miss next year.
Where was I? Oh.
So WHALE is having their annual fundraiser. WHALE (Waterfront Historic Area LeaguE) is often mischaracterized as obstructionist preservationists who won't tear down ugly eyesores. Mischaracterized by those who want everything torn down and ugly eyesore cinderblock Dunkin' Donuts put up. Those knuckle-draggers are often mischaracterized as forward-thinkers. WHALE has been doing this wine-tasting thing for 17 years and have decided to raise the bar one more notch by providing (see above) carefully-chosen and brilliantly-prepared costumed actors to generate ¡EXCITEMNET!1! by providing scintillating observations at the auction tables. In fancy dress.
And how exactly is somebody in "fancy dress" going to engage me to bid on a basket of jellies and seashells from RibbonSurfeit Farms while all I really want is another chicken quesadilla from the No Problemo table? Well, I'll give it a go.
But if I'm dressed better than that "fancy dress" guy...

3 comments:

ThirdMate said...

Sorry the YTI notice doesn't show on many screens.

One thing I forgot to mention about these times and fun-raisers and "whine-and-cheese" nights is the number of politicians I NEVER see at any of these things.

Maybe that's why I like going to these things.

karie said...

I "copied" and "pasted" the top part into an MS-Word document, made the font bigger and giggled as I read it! Although I giggled as I read your entire entry, seeing the top YTI notice pulled it all together.

Thanks for making me giggle!

ThirdMate said...

For anyone without your c&p skills, I reprint the ACTUAL excerpt (which I had edited for brevity and privacy ONLY):

To YTI Acting Pool.

If you might be interested in participating as outlined below...

This is a long shot, but lets see
anyway.

I was emailing w/ Keri, she is working with WHALE on the Wine Festival this Friday. They are lookingfor in two people from 630pm to 730pm and then two people from 730pm to 830pm to appear in 'fancy dress' of some kind, of their choosing. They are looking to have these volunteers appear around the auction tables to generate
interest. I don't think they are looking for a major production
or performance, but just generate interest, maybe even conversation.
The volunteers would have free addmission and ability to do some sampling of wine and food as well.