It’s been a little over a week since we hit out Kick Starter goal and we are all still on cloud nine [clouds one through eight were taken up by this week’s Noble Peace Prize winners]. We had wanted to give you all a little break from the weekly updates but we just can’t quit you! We just want to let you know where we are at and what the next steps are. As you can see from the frame grab below, our final tally was $68,553! That is not a typo! And once again, the reason that Kick Starter has a lower figure is because of the checks that came in from the cookie people after our deadline. It truly was a humbling experience to see such an outpour of support from friends, family and complete strangers (not to mention the strange family members). So to quote a line from our own show, “What happens now?” The simple answer is LOTS! There are so many things that we have to do between now and April that we thought we’d share some them. It dawned on us the other day that planning an off-Broadway run is a lot like planning a wedding. And in our case if feels a little like the bride is pregnant and there’s a shotgun on the horizon. But we’ve always worked well under pressure (at the expense of our finger nails). So here’s a little glimpse into our preparations and be forewarned, I predict that this whole wedding analogy thing will lose steam after two paragraphs.
The CD & T-Shirts [”The Wedding Favors”]
When planning a wedding, the favor is usually something that doesn’t get much attention. I have a whole basement full of wedding favors gathering dust (and each one has a candy coated almond in a white mesh with ants crawling around it). In our case, we have spent a great deal of time on our “favors”. One of the reasons being that since all of you were kind enough to purchase tickets in advance, we want you to have something to show for your money until the performances. We have been in the studio the past three weeks recording the final tracks for the sound track CD. We have one more afternoon of back up vocals that our multi talented, co-creator Frankie Keane will lay down in a four hour, coffee induced session. Then our magical engineer MP Kuo will master the CD and we will ship it off to Disc Makers in late October. We also just placed the order for our nifty “Hereafter Musical” t-shirts. We expect to ship all of our “wedding favors” in early November. We will confirm via email once they go out. Here’s a glimpse of the CD cover and the T-shirt logo!
The Theater [“The Wedding Hall”]
One of the keys to a fun and memorable wedding is the location. Now depending on all of the other variables (the music, the guests, the food) you can have an awesome wedding just about anywhere. I once went to a wedding at a Benhana’s. What a great time, until one of the guests decided to dance on the table and suffered third degree burns. In our case, we think the location is essential. There are so many little things we would like to do to enhance the production and having the perfect place will help us achieve that. We are almost done compiling a list of possible theaters and will be checking them out in the next few weeks. We’ll keep you posted with that and if you have any suggestions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need a space that can seat between 150-199 people (no more) and has enough room for a small orchestra.
The Orchestra [“The Wedding Band”]
The music at a wedding is the key to its success. Whether it’s a DJ spinning the latest hits or a seven-piece band recreating Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, you MUST have a great song selection AND a perfect representation of it. In our case we are half way there. We already know that the music and performers are great, now we need to create the perfect orchestra to bring it to life. Our trusted music director, Bill Hindin will be working very closely with us as we begin our search. With the exception of the CD, our music has only been performed live with just piano. Just wait till you hear how great the music will be when we re-create the CD live!
The Cast [“The Bridal Party”]
Here’s where the wedding/off-Broadway analogy starts to wear thin…but we’re almost done so bear with me! In a real wedding, the bridal party rarely has an effect on the success or failure of a wedding (except for the occasional, awkward drunk toast from cousin Kevin). And in a real wedding, the bridal party often has a few people in it that only there because of family politics. I once went to a wedding where one of the bridesmaids didn’t even know the bride! She was only there because of some payback from the old country. In our case, the “bridal party” has been handpicked and with us for a very long time. We do need to cast a new member because one of our original cast members has “another wedding” commitment. So we’ll be casting a net in the upcoming weeks for her replacement.
The Director [“The Wedding Planner”]
As one of the producers of our show, I feel like part of me is the wedding planer. But as one of the authors I’m more like the “father of the bride”. I think that Bill Persky, our director is the true wedding planner here. Frankie and I had our first meeting with Bill last week and it was very exciting. We are currently going over the script and making adjustments and now for the first time, with Bill on board, we are actually talking about the staging of the show. Of course every time we come up with some great new idea, Bill reminds us that we need to know what size our stage will be before we could explore all of these great ideas.
Opening Night [“The Wedding Date”]
Ok, this is the last wedding analogy. If what we’re doing with “Hereafter Musical” is like planning a wedding then you can multiply that. We’ll be doing the show for two weeks (approx. seven shows a week) so it will be like planning fourteen weddings!!! We still haven’t confirmed our “wedding dates” but we could ballpark it to being the last two weeks of April. We’ll be done with both Easter and Passover by then and we can work in some interesting marketing tie-ins to the holidays. You know something like, “It’s Easter, Christ Is Coming Back And So Is Hereafter Musical”. Or how about; “Don’t Get Passed Over For Tickets, Get Yours Now”. I know, it needs work but you get the idea. Anyway, as soon as we lock in our theater, we will coordinate the dates that work best for you all to attend. And we’ll do it before we sell other tickets. Those “Johnny come lately” folks can wait! But if you do know anyone that wants to come see the show, we will be selling tickets starting in December.
The Final Roll Call ["The Thank You Notes"]
In addition to updating you all on the progress of our show, we also need to thank this final batch of ticket pledgers. These folks came in with their ticket orders on the last day and insured that we not only made our goal but eve surpassed it! We are indebted to all of them as well as the rest of you for the amazing success of our campaign.
Muriel, Gil and Gabby Remo – I only just met this special family (pictured above). They are close friends of Frankie. But don’t let the short time we know each other fool you. In that short amount of time, I have had the pleasure of having Muriel’s beautiful voice grace two of the songs on our CD! We spent an unforgettable day in the studio and you all will be blown away by her performance. And if our show has the long run that we hope it will have, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll see Muriel’s daughter Gabby in it one day!
Scott Farley – I just met Scott this past summer. He is one of the best electrician’s I have ever encountered (and I’ve met a lot…I went to a vocational high school!!!). If you need any work done let me know and I’ll hook you up. Thanks Scott.
Ezequiel Gutierrez – I don’t know this person. I’m afraid to even type her/his name again cause it might break my keyboard. It’s another one of those brilliant Scrabble words…two “Z’s”!! But we are so thankful for her/his pledge that I will be signing all of my paperwork with this name for one entire week.
Benji Bronk – We know Benji. You all know Benji. Some people say that there are like fifteen different Benjis. The Benji we know is talented and super sweet. He came to last year’s showcase and now he does this. I can’t wait till he writes a musical so that we could support him.
Jim Mellett - We don’t know Jim Mellett. That is awesome because it means he bought tickets because he likes us…he really, really likes us!
Rachel Miller - Here’s another person we don’t know! How great is that?! Thanks for supporting us Rachel!
Jennifer Lebeau - I met Jennifer through Frankie. They worked together on that great Simon & Garfunkel re-issue from last year. Jennifer and I spent an awesome night together once…relax, there was a cover charge and other people watched (wait that sounds weird). It was at Sugar Bar when we watched our favorite singer (Frankie!) perform.
Maureen Costello – Maureen is a new friend and appropriate for the wedding theme of this update we met at Kerry and Steve’s wedding when were seated at the same table…now that was a GREAT wedding!
Luree - We LOVE Luree! We met her, along with Joe Mooski through the super popular "Stern Superfan Group" on Facebook! Luree came to see our show last August. Thanks Luree for being the nicest person of Facebook!
Johanna Fuentes - Love, love Johanna. She is one of TV’s top publicists so you know what that means right? Well not much because we’re not a TV show. Damn, why couldn’t she be one of Broadway’s top publicists.
Glenda Jinks – Wow. There are two things we love about Glenda…one is that we don’t know who she is and two…how about that last name! I’d say this is the first time we’ve ever been lucky by being “Jinks-ed”…thanks Glenda!
Steve Kingston – The only person that knows more than Steve about radio is Marconi. And since Marconi is now broadcasting from the Hereafter, I nominate Steve as the King Of Radio.
Mwolff – Ok how great is this. You may remember this person (whom we don’t know) from a previous pledge. Well, he/she/canis lupus is back with an upgraded pledge! And with a name that sounds like the title of movie, I say we refer to them as “Mwolff 2…This Time It’s Musical”
Jeffrey Ballabon – Jeff is another pledger who doubled down! Either that or he has short-term memory loss and if that’s the case, we’ll be selling him lots of tickets!
Dolly & Neil – I think it’s pretty ironic that the last person on the honor roll is “Hereafter Musical’s” number one fan…the fabulous Dolly Marting and her husband Neil. We met them when they attended our reading back in June and it was group love at first site. It’s hard to describe but Dolly was so taken with the performance that day that I almost questioned whether we saw two different shows. Frankie and I are too close to it and see all of the problems and things we need to fix, make better or get rid of. And here comes Dolly with this insightful commentary on every aspect of the show. Dolly and Neil were in New York earlier this week and the entire cast came together to enjoy lunch with our patron Saint Dolly!
Thank you (we can't stop saying that) and we’ll update you when the merchandise goes out!