A POST IN DESCENT
Hey all. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a Delta jet somewhere over the Oregon, Idaho border, beginning what must be the longest approach in commercial aviation. I’ve flown back from Minnesota to the land of my birth, Oregon, several times, and this long, long descent always gets to me. And when you produce audio theater, ear popping is a very difficult thing. Well, the stewardess is telling us to turn off our electronic devices. So I’ll pick this up later.
Fully 20 hours later now, and I am safely encased in the home of my youth; or at least that part of my youth that happened after my folks moved to this particular house when I was 15. From 2000 miles away from the Icebox of the Nation, I find my thoughts still drift to the coming podcast season, the live show on July 29th, and all the other things that go into making the IBRT continue to grow.
First and foremost, I want to mention a very bold step the theater is taking (or hopefully taking) later this year. As we looked at all the different ways we could grow in the coming months, it became clear that looking outside International Falls was going to become key. The Icebox is our home, and the birthplace of the theater. But we can hardly fulfill our dream of bringing the Northland’s stories to the World without shining our light out into that world. So, while we continue to do live performances in the Northland (at least one is planned for the coming months) we will focus on our podcast for at the six months from October to March. And here’s the kicker:
We’re going to pay our people to do it.
On the day before my family left for vacation, I finished writing a grant proposal for a local foundation set up to help groups like ours. Now the foundation is new, and though I’d like to think our small attempt at professionalism will be to there liking, I really can’t say for sure. It is our hope that this foundation, along with the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council (from whom we’ve received grants before) will be able to fully fund twenty episodes of our podcast. This means the writers, directors, and actors will all get small stipends for doing what they love to do. I should take a moment and stress the word ‘small’ in that former sentence. No one is going to get rich and no one is going to be able to buy that lake home. But I feel this will be a very important step toward broadening our audience around the globe. After all, who doesn’t work a little harder knowing there’s a paycheck at the end of the day. And for me personally, it will be very satisfying to reward some of the people that have so generously given of their time and talents over the past five years with at least a small token.
That’s the blog for this week. I’ll write more later. Thanks again for all the time, efforts and downloads, and Keep Listening!