Monthly Archives: September 2012
When I was first offered the opportunity to be part of this charity TV adventure, the goal of $10,000 was so intense that my first reaction was “no way.” I had too much other stuff on (not the least of which was trying to get myself organised for my DVD taping later this year). The idea of spending months doing bakes sales, sausage sizzles and annoying people with pleas for help just made me think one big NUP!
I’d like to tell you my mind was changed by the goodness of the cause – and it IS good, more than good in fact – but that would just be me trying to make myself look better than I am. No, the first point that started bring me around was this: at the beginning of 2012 I decided my word for the year was “Yes.”
A little story: there I was, on the beach just outside of Byron, chatting with my wonderful brother-in-law David while we watched our kids frolicking in the surf. We watched as they invented a game – running up the sand-dunes, rolling down them and then bolting into the water to wash themselves off. Over and over again.
“Ah,” I sighed, “I feel like I don’t just play enough. Like look at them. They don’t even think about it, they just play. I wish I could just do that. Just roll down the sand-dune, get coated in sand and run into the surf!”
“Well,” said David, “let’s do it!”
“Uh…” I hesitated. Bare my eternally postnatal bod in my soggy op-shop faded swimmers, actually ROLL in front of everybody? Then it hit me. Why was I saying no? I’d just said that was what I wish I could do, and here it was, right in front of me and I was refusing to say that word that makes things happen.
“Yes!” I said.
And there it was. My word for the year.
Specifically, I decided to say “Yes” to getting out of my comfort zone, and so, when I really looked at it, this project fit the bill pretty damn perfectly. Would committing myself to raising $10,000 make me uncomfortable? You bet.
But…I strongly believe that despite what the ads would have us believe, life is not about being comfortable.
So, I started to come around.
Also, I thought about how I want my kids to grow up knowing that the world is not all about them, that they have a responsibility to contribute and help where they can! I realised that for them to see me doing this and indeed, to be a part of it, would be a huge leap towards that end.
And finally, when I say the cause itself wasn’t my first motivation, that is true, but what it IS is what sealed the deal. Of COURSE the services this charity provides resonate with me (I don’t think I could successfully raise any $$ if it didn’t.) My hubby worked for over seven years as a personal support worker for people with all ranges of disabilities. I went on community camps with him, stayed with him in a couple of clients’ homes regularly (with permission of course!); we were a part of that community and in meeting these incredible people and their families we saw in a first-hand way the HUGE need for support. Almost all of these organisations are massively under-funded, relying on goodwill and volunteers, staff working on less salary than they would otherwise get in the corporate world, these families truly do need support.
How could I not be moved to help? And so it was: I basically told myself to stop being such a selfish twat and just go for it.
I kicked off my fundraising efforts by putting together what I thought were pretty swish bang sponsorship proposals and sent them out. I thought – naively so, it turns out! – that it would be easy, that companies would jump at the chance to have their logo and name onscreen on a commercial television network! I was wrong.
I started to freak out. Had I just signed myself up for the impossible? I drafted an email to the show’s producer, one of the “I’m so sorry but I think I made a massive mistake!” variety and literally, AS I WAS ABOUT TO PRESS SEND, she called me.
She talked me through my panic, made me feel like it indeed was doable and then said this: “I think you’re stressing out because you’re trying to do it all by yourself.”
Then this: “I think it’s time to go public.”
I was terrified. TERRIFIED. Of annoying the shizz out of people (again!) with another round of “Support my project!” pleas. Of people thinking I was stupid for even taking it on. But mostly, I was terrified that if I went public and FAILED, I would feel like a total knob head.
Which brings us to today. Here we are. With just over 24 hours til d-day, the total now sits at just under 5k.
So. Unless a freaking miracle drops out of the sky within that time, I have to face the reality that I have not wanted to face. The reality that I most feared all those weeks ago:
I HAVE FAILED.
The question is, do I feel like a total knob head?
I feel a bit like a failure, sure. I feel disappointed, absolutely. BUT…those feelings are trumped by the absolute FIRE in my soul that has been lit by YOU.
You – friends, family, comedy pals, cabaret mates, the Candian contingent, blogging buds, tweeps, Facebook folks, audience members, complete and total strangers – who have supported financially and/or in other numerous ways.
I cannot even tell you what that has meant – and continues to mean – to me. I have felt so supported, loved and cheered on. That feeling of being a superstar team with members from all around the globe is something I never would have known had I:
a) said no; or
b) refused to go public and do it all solo!
Truly, it’s been a highlight of my whole life.
There’s so much bad in the world, but as I have seen over and over this past month – there’s a freaking lot of good too!
So, no, I do not feel like a knob-head because you have filled my love-tank too full to even allow it!
That said, here’s the deal:
On Monday, I fly to Adelaide bright and early and literally go straight from the airport to our first on-location shoot. Yes, that’s right! We’re shooting a TV show! Which I have had absolutely zero time to even think about. But I know it will be ridiculously fun.
So I have made an executive decision to just enjoy it, damn it! AND when I get back, I’ll sort out a plan to make the 10k. I have to. Not because they’re making me, but because after all you guys have invested in this, I will not rest until we’ve done it.
I promise this won’t involve any more “Please Donate!” posts (except maybe on twitter!) because heaven knows you’ve had your fill already, I’ve been annoying myself lately! But I will find a way to reach our target and keep you posted!
As I type this, I’m on the plane back to Brissie, meeting my fam at the airport who’re dropping me straight to my friend’s house so we can organise and price everything for tomorrow’s garage sale! Then some sleep (HOPEFULLY!!!!!) and off tomorrow night to headline Ladies’ Night at Sit Down Comedy Club.
The miracle might still come. Where are you when I need you, sugar daddy?
Either way, WE WILL GET THERE.
Thank you all so, so much from the bottom of my warmly lit and well insulated heart.
Just over four days to go, and the official tally as of tonight is: $3096.50.
Meaning of course: just under 7k to raise in the next four days.
Am I insane to still be thinking it is actually possible?
Of course, it still requires an element of magic – however, with several significant events planned this weekend alone (cabaret, comedy, and a garage sale among them: you can click here if you’re keen on the full details) so long as they perform well & with a bit of luck on the donation side in the coming days (by my calculations I need to muster up another $1k in donations, with the events taking care of the rest): I REALLY DO BELIEVE IT’S STILL POSSIBLE.
Likely? No. Ambitious? Totally. Possible? Yes!
Of course, come Monday morning, even that I have written this in quite a public way puts me out there as either:
a) a believer who got this shizz done!; or
b) a more than mildly embarrassed Pollyanna.
P.S. Donations will be welcomed with warm loving cuddles & metaphorical chocolate muffins straight out of the oven.
P.P.S. Thank you for bearing with me in this overwhelmingly overwhelming time of pleading, hair-tearing and fundraise-speak. Whether you donate or not, for that, I am so terribly grateful!
It’s a tough gig this fundraising thing. I am stressed. But trying to breathe. And taking massive comfort in the support of those around me who are jumping on board the mission to help make this happen. Like in life in general I guess, we have to remember in times of overwhelm that WE ARE NOT ALONE.
Take for instance this weekend just gone. Saturday morning, the morning after the comedy fundraiser here in Brissie – a cause to which many fabulous comedians I love donated their time to rock the house – I woke up feeling sweaty and panicked. Sweat-icked. Why? Because despite a ton of buzz on facebook, lots of RSVPs, an awesome lineup, some newspaper coverage and other indicators that it would be a near-full house, the audience turn-out to the gig was seriously disappointing. The audience itself, however, was quite the opposite, which was lovely. So supportive, I think almost every single one of them bought raffle tickets during the night and by the end of it we’d all bonded, in no small part due to the presence of an incredible trio of elderly people, including the star of the night, little old lady Peg, who stunned us all by going from “the elephant most likely to be offended in the room”to “the life of the smutty party”when she got up onstage, told a stunningly raunchy joke and then proceeded to share her other crackers with individual tables, liberally dropping the c bomb as I dropped my jaw-bomb.
It was indeed, a classic night. I loved it.
But yes, come Saturday morning, when I counted up our total raised, panic stations. I had planned for this evening to make around $2000, yet we were so far below that I wanted to cry. I nearly did. I wondered why the heck I had even embarked on this mad mission. Oh yes, that’s right. Because I’m a camera ham who cannot say no to an exciting idea. Cue my daughter: “Couldn’t we just clean people’s houses and then donate the money that way?” Two thoughts passed through my head. That of attempting to do over eight thousand dollars worth of cleaning in a week – indeed, a total likely to exceed my cumulative cleaning total of a lifetime – and then, that of the beauty of my girl. Her sweetness in even offering to to do that at all – a thought which made the sloth in me all but convulse – and that more importantly, SHE STILL BELIEVES THIS IS DOABLE.
I put an impassioned lay-it-on-the-line gut-spill on facebook and to my honest shock and delight, people started donating, small bits, large bits (mostly large bits!) and by the end of the weekend, we passed $2500. A quarter of the way there. NEARLY where we would have been at had the comedy night gone according to plan. PLUS several tremendously good people have offered to help out in other ways this week to make this thing happen. I’m still more than a little panicked, truth be told. But I’m hanging in there. My belief is finding its feet again. I AM NOT ALONE.
“”Phew!!!!!!!!”doesn’t even really cut it, as my true emotion is some combination of relief, hope, gratitude and happy dance. And this is only at the quarter mark point. There’s still 7 days – and a whole lotta turf – to cover. (Which, incidentally, if you do have a buck or two to spare, you can do that in two or three clicks here. Either way, whether you support in thought or in dollar, you have my huge gratitude!)
I seriously think at the end of this, if and when I see that fundraising total clip over the $10,000 mark, my reaction is gonna be one of either this:
but most likely this:
I don’t google myself anymore. I don’t search for my name on Twitter. Not because I’m not a self-obsessed narcissist (I am) but because if somebody’s saying something nasty about me online, I’d just rather not know.
Then the other day, while checking out comments on my charity fundraiser photo which a dear friend had kindly shared on her wall, I saw a comment from somebody I don’t know, referring to me: “I didn’t think she was funny.”
Cue me trying my best to fulfil my desire to be one of those cool people who just doesn’t give a hoot what anybody thinks, but you know…I’m just not. Indeed, sometimes I think I’m just too damn sensitive for this whole public performing gig. I mean, come on. In terms of things to say about somebody online, that one is pretty damn tame. And nice, actually, when you consider the way this person even worded it: “I didn’t think…” THANK YOU! Actually acknowledging it for what it is: an opinion.
But yes, point is, reading it still felt like a little jab in my well-padded guts.
Then yesterday, on another friend’s wall, one who again shared the fundraising photo, another comment, again from a stranger, saying: “I love that girl!”
Again, written as an opinion.
So who is right?
Am I funny? Am I not?
They’re both right.
I’m funny to some. Not to others.
And while I’d like to say I’m okay with that – not desperately hoping that I can be THE ONE PERSON IN THE HISTORY OF THE PLANET WHO HAS APPEALED TO EVERYBODY ALIVE – I’m…working on it.
Insert your own punchline-that-appeals-to-your-comic-sensibility here.
Life you crazy minx.
There’s SO much I want to do, that’s part of the problem, knowing how to not get distracted by the next shiny thing that passes through my sight and stay on path to the big picture long-term things I REALLY wanna do.
In Adelaide? Please come! You can buy tix which will directly go to my fundraising total by donating here either:
$40 – entry to the entire show and after-party. WOOT! OR
$20 – entry to the after-party only.
Make sure you write “Launch” or “After Party” in the notes of your donation and I will be in touch with your tix.
It’s such a rocking line-up of entertainment, as you can see, would be rocking to see you there to send off me and my fellow TV fundraiser/adventurers on our wacky way.
Gathering prizes, trying to plug upcoming fundraiser gigs, running pizza nights…
As crazy busy as things are, as many knots as I’m tying myself in trying to sort out the bazillion details, as many moments as I have to force myself to take a breath and just trust that things are actually gonna work out and that I AM gonna make the $10,000 deadline within the next two weeks, one thing is for sure.
Putting my efforts towards something that is an incredibly worthy cause – something that is not in any way ME ME ME (well, you know, aside from the whole strutting-my-hammy-stuff-in-front-of-TV-cameras part) – but doing my thang for something which is so undeniably good and needed in the world?
FEELS FREAKING GREAT.
Fundraising page is here.
As I type this, I have exactly 18 days til the cameras roll and we start shooting this television extravaganza! ROCK!
Which means…yes. I have exactly 18 days to come up with $9000. Breathe. Just breathe.
The good news is, I actually think it’s gonna happen. Am I stupid? Yes. Am I naively optimistic? Naturally. Am I right? HECK YES.
We’re on track. I hope.
This Friday I’m doing a pizza fundraiser at my son’s indoor soccer club. I’m also planning to do as many guest comedy spots as I can between now and the end of the month and asking for gold coin donations to the cause. The other night I MCed a comedy graduation gig, mentioned this crazy adventure onstage and afterwards was bombarded with beautiful peeps donating in my little hand-held whipped-up-at-a-moment’s-notice donation bucket…bringing my grand fundraising total ALMOST (let’s not dwell on that, shall we?) to the $1000 mark! WOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!
I’m also doing a fundraising comedy night right here in Brisbane! It’s on Friday the 21st September, 8pm at Coorparoo RSL. Cannot freaking wait. I’m so excited by the line-up: headlining is the just damn fabulous Rob Brown, with support acts from Jen Bourke (an up-and-comer on the scene who is going places. I LOVE her), Gary Fludder (freaking hilarious, just love this man), Steven J Whitely (crazy funny and in your face) and more surprises. What can I say but this is gonna be VERY EXCELLENT INDEED. The Facebook event page is here if you care to share the love around, invite friends, RSVP or just ogle the guest list.
I’m very happy to say that I’ve had my socks rocked by many generous businesses donating prizes to the cause…basically everybody who donates will go into the draw for a share of these! Thus far they include Coffee Club vouchers, Cineplex movie tickets, Sit Down Comedy Club tix, Albion Comedy Club tix, a hair salon experience from The Pink Salon, a music repair from Audrey’s Music and more are a-coming.
I am still terrified.
And excited about strutting onscreen in my startling array of wondrous tutus. I have heard whispers there might be diving involved…I hope my tutus float!
Feeling: Overwhelmed, anxious, out of control, like my house is never gonna look clean again, like I’m gonna crack one of these days and just rip the page that says “tidy” out of the dictionary.
Looking: Like a sweaty thyroidy wet patch. In fairness, this is cos I just got back from the gym. Yes. I am going. Again. Hold me. Not that close. I smell.
Doing: A ton of stuff. Gigs. Trying to work out how to crack this whole $10,000 target thing. Celebrating small victories. Fluffing my life away on Facebook. Beating myself up for not being more efficient. Getting lost in the vortex of visual candy that is Pinterest. Forgetting how to cook well. Taking comfort in articles like this.
Needing: Sleep. More arms.