Significant Stuff

January 22, 2010

“I need another person to work coats.”

That was the thought in my head this morning when I woke up.  No deep meaningful epiphanies.  Just business.

To make Shakespeare in the Park actually happen, we need a whole lot of people to come to the fundraiser on the 30th, so we’re optimistically prepping for the best possible scenario.

We’ve got about 30 dedicated, brilliant and highly attractive volunteers on board who’s jobs will be to ensure that everything goes smoothly and everyone has a great time.  Everyone’s got an assignment or two.  We’re beefed up at potential bottlenecks, with back-ups just in case — so shifting someone to coats is no big deal.

Now, how do we fill the hall with enough party-goers to keep these volunteers busy?  That’s the challenge!  How can we help people who understand the importance of free Shakespeare in the Park for Milwaukee turn the corner from fans to patrons of the arts?  Two words…

Personal Invitation

(now, for some more words…)  One-on-one personal invitations.  It takes getting people talking.  Get the words out into the air.  Transform a thought or idea into reality by giving it life.  Give it life by saying it out loud to another person.  Tell another human being that you care about something.

It’s Magic.

The most significant thing I can do today is ask people to talk about Shakespeare in the Park and the Brave New World fundraiser.  Please tell your friends and family about it.  Tell them that there’s a party on January 30th.  Send them to the Optimist Theatre website for details.  Make it even easier and email them the Optimist Theatre webpage

Let’s see how we do today.


Susan Scot Fry


My head is spinning with all the one-on-one contact.

Beyond ticket sales for Brave New World, there’s a much larger phenomena happening.  Ron and I met with Jason Fassl today to talk about lighting for The Tempest.  Jason Fassl.  He sat in our living room, exuded quiet intensity and brilliance, ate a cheese sandwich and talked to us about lighting.  And became our official Technical Advisor.

I was a fan of Jim Pickering before I met him.  Now, I’m a devoted would-take-a-bullet fan.  His takes no prisoners approach, infectious enthusiasm, and amazing work ethic sets the standard we should all aspire to.  And, what a peach.  And, funny.  Did I mention funny?  He’s the kind of funny where I get a little jolt of anticipation when I see an email from Jim in my inbox.

Margaret Welch – our newest Board member – exemplifies pitching in with expertise to back her up.  This is a hugely talented woman who is giving so much.  Her time, her knowledge, her experience — she has an uncanny ability to tell it like it is and have you still love her all the while.  She gets it.  And she shares what she gets with us.

Tom Reed.  Don’t even get me started.  We’d be no-where without Tom.  Period.

I must stop or else I never will.  The names of so many people are swirling in my head and I want to spend the rest of the night basking in them.  TJ, Amanda, Lynette, Stacy, Max, Fletch, Molly, Barbara, Dwellephant, Patricia, ML, Char, Norma, Amie, Fred, Joanne, AE, Tom, Stefanie, Edie, Elizabeth… the list is so so so very much longer than this but I have to stop — and beg your forgiveness..

It boils down to this — the fundraiser will be what it will be.  We’ll keep working to get the word out, to sell tickets, get great auction stuff and have a super party.  We’ll raise X amount of money and it will all go straight into production costs.  In the process, I’ve found myself surrounded by amazing people.  People I thought I knew, but obviously didn’t.  Not really.  People I never imagined I’d know and now can’t imagine going forward without.

Pretty Significant.



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