C.S.E. Cooney (csecooney) wrote,
C.S.E. Cooney

My First Attempt at Fundraising: A Selkie in New York

Back in April, I got an email from ellen_kushner, entitled "Last Days of Estro submissions!"

"You should apply to this!" she wrote. "They are great folks, really nice - Get the hell offa Facebook & get your work out there!"

"Estro" is short for the "Estrogenius Festival," (http://estrogenius.org/), "an annual celebration of female voices, is one of New York City’s largest women’s arts festivals."

"Cool!" I thought.

"Get the hell offa Facebook..." Also excellent advice!!!

I had a heap of old 10 minute plays from my college days of 24 hour festivals, New Play Festivals, and sundry. So I dragged out the most pertinent one - my play "Selkie" - which engages in gender roles, domesticity versus chaos, how powerful women are sometimes written off as insane, and then I... I printed it out. Sent it in without, um, revising it. Or anything.

I figured, what the heck? I figured, I'll just forget about it.

I did. I forgot everything. Wiped it from my mind.

Much to my surprise then, in June I received a congratulatory email from Estrogenius producer Andi Cohen, accepting "Selkie" into the festival.

I had no real hope of going to New York to see it. I thought it would be enough just to know that it was there, going on, without me. That's enough, right?


Enter Ellen Kushner. Again.

"No!" she said. "It's your NEW YORK DEBUT! You can sleep in our romantic guest room with the Brian Froud print on the wall. So all you have to do is get here."

"I work in a used bookstore," I hemmed and hawed. "I am saving up my money to move across the country by the end of the year."

"SO FUNDRAISE!" she said.

And here I am.

I need $350.00 for a plane ticket.

Here's what I can offer you.

After the first $100, I will put up my play "Selkie" for all of you to read or rip apart, as it pleases you.

THRESHOLD ONE: Selkie, a Play

At $200, I will write a reflection on how reading Ibsen's Lady from the Sea provoked me into writing Selkie in the first place. This means I will probably have reread Ibsen's Lady from the Sea. All right. Go on. Twist my arm.

At $300, I will write a song called "Selkie." I do not know what it will be about, except the obvious. I will find some musician of my acquaintance to set it to music. Probably my brother Remi. WHY NOT?


For the last $50, I have asked my brother Declan, who raps, to create a Selkie rap. He said his spirit is willing but that "these things take some time." I told him he had a month. Tee-hee. Artists LIKE to work under pressure. SURELY!

But, poor kid, if he can't or won't... I WILL! It will be, at worst, a VERY ENTERTAINING CATASTROPHE.

Who knows? I may also have some visual art to offer as well in all this muddle. I have many talented brothers (their name is LEGION), and no compunctions about begging them to do things for me. That's what family (and their various Facebook walls) is for.

I'd love to go to New York.

I've never been, you know. It's this Magical City that I associate with plagues (Stephen King's The Stand), zombie-vampires (I Am Legend), mice (An American Tail) and, well, BROADWAY.

And, as you all know, "I'm just a Broadway Baby..."

"Selkie" runs from October 26-29th. In case any of you are local, and interested.

I know, also, that money is tight for EVERYONE right now. That's why it didn't even occur to me to TRY and fundraise. Please know that your well-wishes and good thoughts mean EVER SO MUCH to me! And signal boosting is ALWAYS appreciated. Thank you so much - in advance!

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