August 29, 2011 by Kat Richter
So remember the time I got really bored and decided to do something crazy? And no, I’m not referring to My Great Date Experiment. I’m referring to my other “it seemed like a good idea at the time” project: the production of an all-women, all-tap revue for the Philadelphia Live Arts/Fringe Festival, complete with live music and an all-star line-up of professional dancers.
Too Darn Hot will make its debut in exactly ten days. Am I stressed? Oh no. Not stressed—suicidal, to be precise. Those of you who’ve been following the show’s development over at our official blog know that my partner in crime and I have built this entire show from the ground up, literally.
Having never worked together before, we’ve also had our share of artistic differences (not to mention administrative differences) and although I’m no stranger to choreography, performance and costuming (all of which I’m doing for the revue) I’ve never actually produced a show before. Unless of course you count the “Nutcracker Extravaganza” I orchestrated for my preschool students last December, which was a walk in the park compared to this…
We’ve made a lot of mistakes (a lot of expensive mistakes, to be honest) but seeing as my co-producer and I are both perfectionist, workaholic types, we’ve also landed ourselves a fantastic venue, a fabulous photo shoot with dance photographer Brian Mengini, the rights to restage a piece originally choreographed by Parris Mann and a great write up in the Northeast Times.
Admittedly, the production of Too Darn Hot has turned me into a bit of a b*tch (you trying waking up at 4:00am every day to think of new things to worry about!) and I intend to hit the bar the moment the show is over, if I haven’t done so already.
As such, when I got an automated email from PayPal alerting me to the fact that my college roommate had purchased a ticket, I nearly broke down as I sat drinking my chai latter amongst the hipsters at Grindcore Coffeehouse on Saturday morning.
Why? Well, my roommate lives in Scotland. She’s not even going to be here for the show. And she bought an $18 ticket anyway, just to show her support. I was incredibly touched—especially as she’s currently in grad school and everyone knows that grad students are perpetually broke.
It took me a while to figure out what to do with the ticket (between Fringe Box Office procedures, our PayPal ticketing system, cash sales and press comps, I’m hyper-manic about making sure each and every ticket is properly accounted for) but then I had a brilliant idea: my students.
And I’m not talking about the students who spend thousands of dollars or competition fees and new costumes every year; I’m talking about the ones who dance in hand-me-down tap shoes in a church basement. When I took them to see Savion Glover at the Kimmel Center last spring, I learned that some of them had never even seen a live dance performance before, and in Philadelphia, there’s no shortage of inner-city kids who don’t get exposed to the arts. (Perhaps in part because there’s no shortage of fledgling dance companies that can’t afford to offer comp tickets… but that’s another rant for another time.)
Here’s where you come in. I’ve received countless emails and Facebook messages from readers, friends and family members telling me they’d love to come to the show but can’t make it/won’t be back on the East Coast in time/have a prior engagement, etc. Well, thanks to my college roommate, we’ve now set up an official scholarship fund so you can support both the arts and arts education by purchasing a ticket for a deserving student from the Philadelphia region.
All you have to do is:
1) Click here to make a secure, PayPal purchase. Tickets are $18.00 each.
2) Select the 5:30pm show.
3) Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Student Scholarship Fund” so that we can allocate your ticket accordingly.
And that’s it: a win/win for all involved.
UPDATE: We’ve received a FANTASTIC response to the launch of our “Arts By Proxy” Student Scholarship Fund, including donations from readers as far away as France Australia! Thank you to everyone who has contributed. We’ve reached our goal and are no longer accepting donated tickets but if you’d like to learn more about opportunities to support tap and arts education, please email email@example.com. THANKS!