What do I do?
- I produce and host Queerstories, a monthly LGBTQI storytelling night and podcast. Usually hosted at Giant Dwarf in Sydney, Queerstories is also on the move, with shows planned in Western Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne (as a start!). In 2018, I will also be publishing an anthology of Queerstories stories with Hachette.
- I co-created and perform in Mother’s Ruin: A Cabaret about Gin, directed Anthea Williams and produced by MILKE. Mother's Ruin has been performing sold out shows for nearly two years, including a completely sold out Edinburgh Festival Fringe season, plus Sydney Festival, London Underbelly Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Perth Fringe World, Adelaide Fringe, Hobart Spiegeltent, Wollongong Spiegeltent, Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Festival of Voices and more. Mother's Ruin has been nominated for Best Cabaret, Perth Fringe; Best Writing, Green Room Awards; and Best Cabaret, Sydney Theatre Awards.
- I produce Lady Sings it Better, a feminist cabaret act that’s been touring about the place for 7 years now. We’ve made a bunch of videos and we perform heaps. The show features Libby Wood, Anna Martin, Annaliese Szota, Fiona Pearson, Lauren Allison and Hannah James. We won Best Cabaret and the Critical Stages Regional Touring Award at Sydney Fringe so other people think we’re good too.
- I co-produce and perform in Jagged Little Singalong (the Alanis Morrisette tribute you never knew you needed) and Spice! A Singalong. I play Sporty Spice. It's ridiculous.
- I perform a LOT with Libby Wood (and we take a heap of selfies), so you’ll see a lot of her here. She’s in Lady and Mother’s Ruin, but we also do gigs as a duo, Marsden&Wood, for corporate or charity or variety nights (and we made a show called Fat Calamity Jane one time).
- Oh and I do a bunch of ad hoc creative things, like shows for the City of Sydney, women’s comedy nights, cabaret variety nights and arts events.
- I am currently working on a new cabaret collaboration with Libby Wood and Anthea Williams, and a new musical with Benjamin Kiehne, Libby Wood and Ofa Fotu.
All this has been possible because of other people’s energy, passion, generosity and willingness to experiment. Musicians, artists, photographers, hairdressers, designers, vocal directors and more have donated their time. Audiences have returned to see our shows time and again, providing much needed enthusiastic (and at times critical) feedback. I feel incredibly lucky and happy.
But – and this will come as no surprise to anyone who knows a working artist – money is always tough. At times, it’s prohibitive. Launching this Patreon has given me the opportunity to do so much more with my work and I am keen to build it so that I can make more stuff that people like!
I’ll be honest about what it costs to put these shows together, in the hope that some of you will become ‘patrons’ of my work. I’ll tell you my current financial situation, what I could achieve were I to have a growing monthly income for my company, and what I’ll give you in return for your hard-earned cash.
How things are now:
I produce as a sole trader with performers I contract taking a fee. This is to say, I am financially responsible for our exploits. Slowly I’ve been able to increase artist fees and I am proud to say that in 2017 shows generated as much money for other artists as they did for me, which is to say I paid myself a salary and then I spent that amount of money again on fees for other artists.
- I used to rehearse in my lounge roombut Patreon funds have allowed me to start hiring rehearsal space.
- A lot of my contractors (publicist, photographer, designer) work for reduced rates, but since launching Patreon I’ve been able to do some great professional photoshoots for our shows.
- Mother's Ruin went on a 6 week tour to the Edinburgh Fringe, as well as London, Bristol and Birmingham, and Patreon money paid for upfront costs and living expenses for Libby and I.
- Libby has spent god knows how much money on props, kazoos and novelty hats, but Patreon money bought us new costumes for Mother’s Ruin and Lady Sings it Better.
- The current income supports basic costs (insurance, web hosting etc), but it still doesn’t allow me to undertake larger projects like recording, making regular videos, extensive touring or industry standard fees for performers.
With your patr(e)onage, I could make more work, take more risks, tour more, collaborate with more artists and support myself while I'm at it. Essentially, you'd see your venues filled with more comedy and cabaret and the artists you enjoy watching would be fairly compensated for their talents and work. And we could record more songs and make more videos.
What you’ll get:
Different pledge levels get different perks, which include recordings, podcast subscriptions, discount tickets, merchandise, personalised videos, performances and more. All supporters get access to regular patron-only posts with videos and recordings, ticket giveaways to shows and more. Oh, and if you tell us something you want, we’ll probably give it to you!
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING CURRENCY:
Patreon is a US site, so it works with US dollars. You'll be charged in US$ so an odd amount will come out of your account each month. We've set our pledges at approximate conversions of what we need in order to make our work happen. Contact us if anything is unclear.