Thank you for reading my blog, I appreciate your support. Today I am making a plea for you to turn that support into something to help me realise a dream.
Here it is: I want to put up a show in next year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This has been an ambition and plan of mine for some years, and frankly I am sick of seeing year after year pass me by, and festival after festival go off without me in it. It's annoying, and it's frustrating, and eventually the practice of sitting around looking at other people doing something and grouching "I could do better than THAT" becomes a little sad when you're not giving it a go. There must come a point when one must just do it, or give up the dream. I do not intend to give up.
The show - at this stage named "Ben Pobjie's Funeral" is planned out, partially written, and, modesty aside, potentially a right corker, with lots of musings on life and death, social commentary, invective against irritating people, and jokes about Jesus and animal sex and stuff. What you're used to from me.
But the problem of money now presents itself. As anyone who has read one of the seven hundred newspaper articles about struggling comedians which are printed every year around Easter knows, it's quite expensive to mount a comedy festival show. It runs into the thousands, with little hope of earning it back for the enthusiastic newcomer.
And it's money I don't have. My not-having is, I admit, largely my own fault, having chosen against all respected professional advice to have children, including, madly, twins. I blame myself entirely for this impetuosity, but the fact is, the kids are here, and they're not going to go away just because I want to crack some funnies at Trades Hall.
And so, with a due sense of shame and remorse, I'm asking for your help. That's the purpose of this group. Begging is a terrible thing, but I am doing my utmost to ensure that those who donate will get SOMEthing for their trouble.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
In a bald, blunt sense. give me money. But wait! There's more!
Firstly, anyone who gives anything will be acknowledged at showtime. Anyone who goes to the show will be informed of everyone who helped the show become reality. Any donation, from one cent up, gets you a spot on the list of Official Sponsors of Ben Pobjie's Funeral.
Now, there are several ways you can help out monetarily:
Buy something from my Zazzle shop. At http://www.zazzle.com.au/mrbehemoth, you'll find Ben Pobjie merchandise. This includes both festival-specific stuff, and also, for those who prefer something less promotional, other stuff, with quotations from my work, Handy Latin Phrases and Guanacoman merch, etc. There are t-shirt and hats and mugs which are awesome and you should buy, but also badges, magnets, key-rings etc., which are much less expensive of course. Everything bought sends a percentage to me, and anything earned from the merchandise goes to the Festival Fighting Fund. So that's a way you can help out and get something that hopefully you think is pretty cool. As is...
Buying a book or CD. At http://www.lulu.com/benpobjie you'll find my books for sale, Handy Latin Phrases and The Adventures of Guanacoman. You can buy them and again, give me royalties. OR, since they'll be coming from the US, you can order them direct from me. From me, a book costs $20. Any revenue from these, again, will go to the Fighting Fund.
Or for $15, you can get my CD, Hypnoprophet, featuring my sort-of-legendary live set performed at Blue Velvet last year, and all my sort-of-beloved best-known spoken word pieces.
To get a book or CD, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can pay via that address on paypal, or via bank deposit to:
Acc. no: 0037222
Or naturally just give me the money in person if you meet me, and I will hand over your goods.
Those are of course the details for any donation you might make - if you do, make sure you tell me so I can put you on the sponsors' list.
should you make a bigger donation, there are EXTRA inducements, so to speak.
For example, if you want a CD or a book, but want to pay $30, I'll personally autograph it for you. WITH REAL INK.
$30 WITHOUT buying a CD or book will get you, if you so desire, a personalised recorded message of your choice, to be used as a ringtone or a voicemail message, or just something to scare friends with at slumber parties.
$50, on the other hand, will see me write a specially dedicated poem or story JUST FOR YOU, which I will give you in text and audio form for your lasting enjoyment.
More than $50? Well, very generous of you - let's negotiate as to just what I can do for you.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
Well, look, I don't expect people to throw money at me, especially because I know most people don't have a lot to spare. That's why I want to give you something for any money you do spare, and also why I understand people might not be able to. But if you could help me out anyway, that'd be great. If you could spread the word to your friends, show them my work, ask them to join the Facebook group "Get Ben Pobjie To The Comedy Festival, show 'em the merchandise, encourage them to join the Pobjie Army and help out, that'd be wonderful. If you know any people or businesses that might like to sponsor or invest in a new comedy show, that'd be great.
And those of you who are poetry and comedy bods organising nights and rooms and gigs etc, if you think I might be suitable, or if you know someone looking for talent who you could recommend me to, that would be awesome too. Looking for paid gigs obviously, but anything to help raise the profile would be great too. Any income from public performances for 2010 will go to the Festival Fighting Fund.
Also, if you can join the Facebook Group, in order to build up the public campaign, you can be my friend forever and ever!
But most importantly, if you read this blog it's because you like my work and you want to SEE this show happen. So a really huge thing you can also do to help out is, if you are at all able, actually go watch the thing next year, and also keep on spreading the word so a lot of other people will want to go see it too.
So there's my plea. I hate asking for help, especially financial help, but I'm looking to do something special here, and I do need help. I love you all, and thank you for your support - financial, moral, and all other kinds.
Keep checking back - there'll be more merchandise added to what's on offer currently, and as time goes by there'll likely be more books as well, and gigs that I hope to see you at.
Thank you for your time, and hopefully your willingness to not just roll your eyes at my fundraising efforts with a cry of "How freaking lame is THAT?"
Lots of love,