The Chase Community Campaign certainly has its detractors. I'm not one of 'em. In fact, I want this so badly for my theatre company and for our sister/brother theatre companies that I'm willing to get louder and louder about it.
Chase considers Arts and Culture to be viable charities. So do I.
However, if it makes you feel icky to ask for votes for a theatre company, you can vote for primary and secondary education, youth development, healthcare, housing, community development, the environment, combating hunger, human services, and animal welfare. (And, if it makes you feel icky, in general, to participate in this competition then just put a bubble over your head for the next 18 days. It'll be over soon. No need to worry.)
Which brings me to my favorite part of this particular competition.
You can vote for what you believe in and you can know your vote counts. Or, on the other hand, you don't have to vote. It's your choice. But, above all else, a choice is given to the people, the fans, the supporters, the believers. The people have the say. The little guys can win if they try. It's an equal playing field. And, once you vote, you can vote for 19 other charities so you can help out your fellow community. It's very much about the give and take.
You don't have to donate a penny to a charity, though, of course, the charities will use your pennies wisely.
It takes a few seconds to vote for your chosen charities. It's as hands off as it gets. You don't have to open a Chase Banking Account. They're not passing out t-shirts to wear. Once the contest ends, you can remove the application. Done and done.
GreyZelda, sadly, has fallen WAY off the leaderboard but I'm not gonna sit here and bitch about the process, how evil Chase is for donating money to people's chosen charities (what?), or how it's a popularity contest. Those are easy things to say.
I know that if GreyZelda is to stand a chance at this, we need to go directly to our friends, fans, supporters and talk to them about our theatre company. We've been off the Chicago storefront boards since April 2008 which means some people aren't familiar with our work or others need to be reminded of what we do and why. I believe that we're a worthwhile theatre company. I believe that we can put on 4 quality-driven shows that will speak to our community with $20,000 which would also allow us to pay everyone involved in a production equally. I hope our push doesn't come across as obnoxious but, seeing where we are on the leaderboard, we're going to have to work a little bit harder than some of our fellow theatre companies. I'm going to attempt to "rock GZ's vote", so to speak. Many of the theatre companies doing well in this competition are doing so because they're putting on a united front that I very much admire. That's what our theatre company needs to do and this is a perfect example of how to go about doing so. We're gonna do this.
Nicolle, Gene, Chris and I are going to have an Action Meeting tomorrow night where we're going to make as big of a push for votes as we can. We're going to directly ask our friends for a vote. We're going to touch base with everyone we know. We're going to record videos as to why we believe that GreyZelda deserves to be a player in this competition. If we end up being contenders, or not, at least we've been able to reintroduce ourselves to the community and help our fellow theatre companies out. If we're not able to obtain the $20,000 donation, that's ok. I'll be bummed out but at least I know we gave it a shot and put effort into it.
By the by, if you still have a few votes left after voting for GreyZelda, please visit Backstage Theatre Company, Vicarious Theatre (Babes with Blades) Strange Tree, Barrel of Monkeys, Stage Left, Livewire, Will Act for Food, WNEP, New Leaf, Red Tape, Bruised Orange, Neofuturists, Halcyon, Bare Boned Theatre, Riverrun Theatre, Prologue, Chemically Imbalanced, Strawdog, etc, etc, etc, if you're looking for other local Chicago Theatre companies to vote for.
You can also donate to The GreyZelda Theatre Group through Paypal. All donations will go towards our 2011 and 2012 seasons which will include The Rough Guide to the Underworld by David J. Loehr and continuing our adaptations of Denise Giardina's Storming Heaven.