South will be a self-produced and self-published project by moi. It’s a short list of theaters that have the chops to develop a thing like this and musicals take time to figure out, so opportunities to get picked up by a producing entity are rare. It’s not exactly like they are gatekeepers, they don’t know themselves what shows will be sustained by a good run, if people knew how to do that reliably, everyone would do it that way. It’s chaos, I tell you. Everybody is busy and my show needs an infusion of accomplishment.
The resources I have free at hand are my studio and my skills, so I’ll self-fund with my time for all of the tasks that I can competently do. I can handle the arranging, recording, mixing and a small role or two in the show, but I’ll need to pay some singers and instrumentalists to record the parts people actually pay attention to, which is about half of the tracks. I need around ten people in all, at $300-$500 each that comes to around $5,000. I think I can get good results from a mix of natural (amateur) and professional performers with a little dough to throw around.
It’s also kind of harrowing to just record and produce all of this by myself. It’s not that I don’t have faith in the show, I wouldn’t be going to the trouble otherwise, but it’s nice to have some company on such a journey. So, I’m reaching out for support among my ukulele friends to fund the performers. I’ll make some online and terrestrial events where we can hang out and discuss the show and its progress, reaping some of the benefits of having an audience. It will just be better if I don’t do it all alone.
I’m approaching people for funding directly at the moment. I’ve got five pledges for $500 each and one for $100, so I’m more than halfway to $5,000. I’m looking for enthusiastic participants who want to find their own niche in helping me produce my original musical. I’ll stop the fundraising at $5,000 until we are close to having a CD in hand, maybe the funders will help me figure out what to do with the show next.
Once we’ve got a complete recording, I’ll make a two-CD set at my own expense to pass around as needed to funders and theaters. I was thinking of elaborate packaging in the form of a book, but that’s pretty expensive and is less important than having plenty of a nicely packaged basic thing to pass around.
To fund the show, I’m taking on people who will provide funding, creative input or both. The money will be solely for paying performers. I’ll recruit casting of small roles from the funders, like a let’s-make-a-musical social club. I’ll press CD sets for everybody when we’re done. It’ll be fun.
That’s the funding strategy and progress for now, halfway to $5,000 already!