For the past few years (2013) (2014) (2015) (2016),I have put out a blog post with financial breakdowns of my fringe festival experiences. With draws for Vancouver and Victoria fringe festivals coming up, I figure it is long overdue for me to write my annual Fringe Financials post for 2017!
In 2017, I decided to go ambitious with my new project, Hullaboo and The End of Everything. I had a costume designer friend help me create a custom look for Hullaboo. I wrote a TWO PERSON show (twice my regular number of people), knowing that it would also double my transportation costs. I booked a photoshoot just for this show. I had a puppet-maker friend help me out. The challenge for 2017 was going to be making a very professional-looking show.
In reality, the challenge ended up being that AND finding a new co-start with less than two weeks to go when the original actor got a long-term, paying contract elsewhere (which I totally understand and was okay with versus the uncertainty of profit-share fringing!).
So how did our 4.5/5 star-reviewed show do?
“This is a show that I can recommend enthusiastically. It’s smart, it’s fun, it tugs at the heartstrings — if you ever wanted to see a Pixar movie at the Fringe, this is it.” – Saskatoon Starphoenix
And at what cost?
For summer of 2017, I applied for seven lottery/first-come-first-serve draws: Saskatoon Fringe (first-come-first serve, put on waitlist, later got in), the CAFF lottery (did not win), Winnipeg Fringe (did not win), Edmonton Fringe (did not win), Calgary Fringe (did not win), Vancouver Fringe (did not win), Victoria Fringe (did not win).
So, I went 1 / 7.
All in all, those application fees (aka ‘put my name in the hat’ fees) set me back a fair amount:
Failed Fringe Application fees:
CAFF Lottery: -25.00$
Edmonton: -36.75$ (in a super awkward way of paying 708.75$ and then getting 672.00$ of that back, a month later)
Hullaboo production costs:
Hullaboo tuxedo costume: -208.69$
Hullaboo costume shirts: -20.98$
Hullaboo costume make-up (green eyeliner): -22.40$
Hullaboo photoshoot (for posters and handbills): -131.00$
Hullaboo props: -1.40$
Giant puppet monster/costume: -100.00$
Saskatoon-specific production costs:
Application fee: -50.00$
Festival fee: -680.00$
Plane ticket to Saskatoon (Me): -156.58$
Plane ticket from Saskatoon (Me): -156.58$
Plane ticket to Saskatoon (Katie): -156.58$
Plane ticket (Katie left a couple of days before I did, on a slightly more expensive flying day): -183.88$
Total cost to switch plane tickets to work for my wonderful replacement actor: 0$
(actual cost was 262.50$, but the first actor reimbursed that amount)
Handbills from eprintfast: -63.25$
Poster printing from Clubcard: -13.33$
Packing tape for posters: -3.35$
Expenses not included:
– Fringe bar beers
– Rent paid back home
– Food eaten / groceries bought
– Lost income from not working dayjobs.
Ooof! That’s a significant amount for a guy who doesn’t earn all that much.
So let’s take a look at the income:
Ticket sales: +489.49$
How’s that? Let’s break it down:
Advance ticket sales (12$): 0+0+0+0+2+2+4 = 8 sales (+96.00$)
Company/volunteer comps: 4+8+4+9+6+7+5 (I let volunteers in) = 43 tickets (0.00$)
Rush Media: 0+1+0+0+0+0+0 = 1 ticket (with that review quote above! 0.00$)
Frequent Fringer 5 Pack (11$): 0+2+0+2+0+0+1 = 5 sales (+55.00$)
Frequent Fringer 10 Pack (10$): 0+0+0+0+2+0+1 = 3 sales (+30.00$)
Frequent Fringer 20 Pack (9$): 0+1+0+0+1+2+0 = 4 sales (+36.00$)
Frequent Fringer – Child (7$): 0+0+4+0+0+0+0 = 4 sales (+28.00$)
And then this fringe removes GST (the only festival in the country to so do): -31.52$
Needless to say, that profit share with Katie didn’t really work out. We still had a fun time, though.
BUT ANDREW, YOU GOT A GREAT 4.5 STAR REVIEW!
Yes, yes I did. Unfortunately, they never printed the review in their print paper – it was only online, if you scrolled down a bunch. They didn’t even include it in their ‘best of fringe’ feature where they reprinted reviews, even though that feature included a large number of shows with worse review scores. Alas. And Saskatoon is a ‘reads the paper’ kind of town. That’s my guess as to why so few people saw the show. But I really don’t know.
FINAL FINANCIAL VERDICT: -1642.29$
Compare to 2016’s -58.21
Compare to 2015’s +897.63$ (due to fee for writing TITUS)
Compare to 2014’s +83.51$
Compare to 2013’s -1671.16$
Let’s not leave it on that rather dour (albeit tax deductible) note. For there were other fringe-related developments in 2017! I took part in a number of non-fringe festivals with previously fringe shows, and performed a few of them at the Heritage Grill as part of Way Off Wednesdays (run by the lovely Devon More). Let’s take a look at those:
Non-Fringe with Fringe Shows:
In March, I performed my Hatter show twice in New Westminster at the Heritage Grill as a by donation show:
First Performance Donations: +134.90$
Second Performance Donations: +10$ (yeah, it was a bit of a bust)
I also performed The Most Honest Man in the World at the same location that month, by donation:
And in December, I performed Hullaboo and The End of Everything once at that location, by donation:
Profit share to Katie: -78.20$
Heritage Grill by donation total: +325.65$
Due to previously being in Port Alberni during their fringe, I was invited back to their Solstice Festival to perform William vs The World:
Solstice artist fee: +650.00$
Ferry Expenses: -16.95$ (there)
Ferry Expenses: -16.95$ (back)
Stage manager pay: -66.09$
Solstice total: +550.01$
I also took my show, The Most Honest Man in the World, to a separate non-fringe festival in Salmon Arm, Theatre On The Edge, for two performances:
Festival fee: -225.00$
Greyhound to Salmon Arm: -62.90$
Return trip cost thanks to the lovely Andrew Bailey and thanks to his lovely girlfriend: 0$
Artist take-home from ticket sales: +757.90$
Salmon Arm total: +470.00$
I also performed in a Geekenders show (Slumber Here) at Vancouver Fringe, but it did not make any money. Which was to be expected, as we had to hire a live donkey for the show!
More generous end verdict:
If I balance these fringe show fees beside my fringe losses from Saskatoon, we get an end of 2017 financial figure of…. : -296.63$
Which doesn’t seem as bad. What do you think?