What is it they say? Life happens when you're busy making plans?
I had the perfect plan about how I was going to unroll the White Rabbit Theatre Company slowly to the public (re: everyone I know), little by little. I had a timeline of things to get done and when (I still do). I had also made a spreadsheet of pretty much everyone I know. I had sorted the names into groups that I would send emails out to. It was just too overwhelming to think about sending information about the Company out to everyone I know, all at once.
But that didn't really work out as planned.
On the morning of Thursday, September 7, I sent out an email to some of my friends who live in various places around the world. No one here in Zurich, no one back in Canada. (side note, on Thursdays, I often bring my personal computer to school because my students have a lot of specialist lessons, which means I have a lot of prep time, and I prefer to work on my Mac than my school PC).
So, Thursday morning, while eating breakfast, I send an email out to a carefully selected group of friends, along with the website link and the GoFundMe link. Aside from three people here who already knew about the company, this was the first time we were going "public". Beta-testing, if you will.
Around lunchtime, I got a notification on my personal computer that a friend from across the globe had posted the GoFundMe link of Facebook, and tagged me in the post.
Have you ever felt a sudden spike of white-hot panic mixed with pride and gratitude? I hadn't, until that very moment. It was a weird combination. I thought I was having a stroke.
On the one hand, he had posted it out of the goodness of his heart and wanted to help me try and raise funds. God bless him for that. On the other hand, he had tagged me in the post which means everyone who isn't his friend, but is my friend (i.e. everyone on the other lists) was going to see it.
The fault was completely mine, of course. I had forgotten to mention that I was making it public slowly. I was halfway through writing to him, asking to be untagged, when the post was re-posted by two other friends, here in Zurich. I know I'm not the most adept at social media, but how had they done that so fast? And shouldn't they be at work??
After those two re-posts, there was no turning back. I was suddenly bombarded with messages of "what's going on?"
and "is this true??". I briefly entertained the thought of just answering each comment individually, but instead made the split second decision to try and get out ahead of it as best I could. So I wrote to pretty much everyone I know on Facebook, who were on my lists, about the company. All at once. Spreadsheets be damned (a phrase I never thought I would say, because I love a good spreadsheet).
I still don't know whether that was the right thing to do or not, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we have already raised over 1,500chf, which is 10% of our final goal for the fall 2018 production.
All in all, it was a stressful day and when I got home from work, I went straight to bed, just to get away from all the emails. But looking back, I think we can all say it was probably for the best.
Stephen calls September 7, 2017 the Company's official "birthday", and I guess that's true. What an unexpected birth it was.
If you're able to donate at all, to help us reach our goal, please visit the GoFundMe campaign, and also please pass the link on to others.
Next time, I'll be writing with an update regarding casting, director and venue. Things are slowly coming together! It's really just a matter of capital now.