Mr. Votus and I are local performers–between the two of us, we perform a cabaret act, perform with a 7-piece jazz band, sing, play piano, bass, saxaphones, assorted other horns, drums and string instruments from various time periods, compose and arrange music, act and write, and have been known to dance on occasion. If you are going to spend money at holiday time, then spend it smart by looking for ways to keep your money local this holiday season, and for all of you who are gearing up for holiday gift-giving, here are some ideas that will help to support local actors and singers, local performers, writers and crew:
1. Give a CD of a local musician or band as a gift–some of the people you went to school with may have albums out!
2. Give two tickets to someone you love for a local theatre production.
3. Go catch a live theatre production this season. Here in Portland, Oregon, you can do it very inexpensively most Thursday nights, which at several theatres are pay-what-you-will–it gives them a nice house on what might otherwise be a slow night, and it gives you a chance to see a great show and support local actors and crew. Rush tickets are also available at some of the larger theatres about thirty minutes before curtain.
4. Bump up the fun at your next soiree by hiring local musicians (a band, a singer, a cabaret duo!) for live music at your holiday parties this season.
5. Give yourself a gift and go out to see live musicians performing in local clubs during the holidays–there are several here in Portland, including Tony Starlight’s Supperclub and Lounge, a favorite cabaret venue.
6. Stay or get in shape over the holidays by signing up for a dance class–they are available everywhere at a range of prices and skill levels, and dancing is something you can do at most any age. (The last band gig we played, I had the pleasure of watching from the bandstand a dapper 96-year-old gentleman take to the dance floor with a string of lovely ladies for every song!) Think of how elegant and lithe you will feel in your party clothes after those workouts.
7. Donate a book written by a local writer to your local library’s collection.
8. Purchase a DVD of a local independent film maker’s latest short or feature.
Do what you can with what you have right where you are at (thank you,Theodore Roosevelt) to support local singers, actors, musicians, dancers, directors, stage managers, writers, techies do their thing this winter! If you’d like to see someone (the performers) cry with joy over a gift you gave because of the support it represents, this is one great way to do it! (Putting a button at the end of her monologue as she steps down from her soapbox . . .)