...that is the question.
We've all been working so hard just to get everything in place for a smooth rehearsal period, tech week, and run that it wasn't until my Technical Director/Designer asked me on Monday night if we wanted to store the set for a possible remount that I stopped and asked myself, "What happens next?"
After meeting with my accountant last night and discussing how to best do my taxes in light of my burgeoning new business, I became painfully aware of how much is at risk for me. And as I move forward I have to know that I'm not being reckless and impetuous, and that whatever happens post May 8th, I'm not going to be filing bankruptcy or moving back in with my parents.
The problem and the reality is that I have to start concretely thinking about Helen's next steps, while simultaneously being consumed by Helen's immediate needs. (That little thing called a fully produced Equity Showcase that's happening next month.)
So how do I do that?
I guess I can start by looking at the "data:"
- This show sold out to the public two weeks after the tickets went on sale on Smarttix. I never even got to send an email to my Non-Kickstarter friends inviting them to come see it. No one involved in the production did. I won't even know most of the people in those seats!
- Based on the letters I've received in the past month, Helen was in the final running for some of the most prestigious Music Theatre awards, judged by some of the most prestigious Musical Theatre panels out there. This show is resonating with people, even in its written form.
- People from around the country continue to reach out to me to say how excited they are by the prospect of this show being available to do at their theatres. We were able to get a taste of this in Boston when we did a mini-reading at the Wheelock Family Theatre.
- There are so many people who want to see this show that aren't going to be able to, due to the limitations of an Equity Showcase.
If I had a million dollars and an eighth day in my week, I would likely add more stress to my life right now by starting to check theatre availability for a limited Off-Broadway run, or by actively reaching out to regional theatres about co-producing a full-scale production, and/or be meeting with investors to try to raise capital for the next stage.
Why? Because I absolutely and wholeheartedly believe that this show deserves a life beyond May 8th. I have from the beginning, which is why I've never worked harder in my life than I'm working right now to make sure audiences get to see Helen on stage. Because, if I don't do it, sadly, no one will. That's just the way the cookie crumbles in this industry when you have a show that doesn't quite fit into a specific "box" and you are relatively unknown.
But, alas, I don't have a million dollars. What I have are bills to pay, student loan debt, a likely rent increase coming in June when my lease is up, no 401K, and multiple jobs to juggle so that I don't go under as we develop this show.
So for the moment, I've got to keep my eye on making our spring production as rewarding, enriching, fun and educational an experience as I can for myself and my team--and as moving, beautiful and resonant as I can for our audiences.
And while I'm engrossed in the many details necessary to do that, I guess I'll have my Tech Director start getting some prices on storage units...
Because, you just never know.