Mariah is creating feminist theatre, literature, and joy
86

patrons

$299
per month
(Video shot by Kacey Anisa Stamats, edited by Mariah MacCarthy. Transcript at bottom of page.)

Who are you?
Hi! I'm Mariah. I write plays and other things. I'm also a producer, teacher, curator, storyteller, burlesque dabbler, rapper, birth mother, immersive-party-play-maker, and all-around creatrix. My plays contain tenderness and brutality in unequal measure. They tend to be sexy, women-driven, queer, and funny. They've been done everywhere from subway stations to Paris, and have won some awards.

Non-play things I write include Squad, my Young Adult novel about cheerleaders (recently picked up by FSG) and this advice column, as well as articles all over the Internet

I also run a theatre company called Caps Lock. We do funny, human, ugly plays. I curate and produce innovative and provocative festivals for Caps Lock and The Brick in Brooklyn. I'm trying to transcend isolation through performance, events, and the written word. And I'd like to make a living at it.

The world is burning, though.
You are correct. It is. That's why I'm doing this.

In the words of my colleague, shero, and friend, Monica Byrne: "I have work to do. I’ve always identified my art as a kind of protest, and now it will (and must) get only more explicitly so. I'm literally writing us a better future. I'm creating beauty to counter evil. Nothing I do, now, is not a political act."

After the election, every single artist I know (myself very much included) went through the same crisis of faith: Does our art matter in the face of this horror show? And then one of my mentors said: "Anyone who tells you history is written by the winners is full of shit. History is written by the writers. This isn't when you falter. This is when you rise."

So, I'm rising. Whether it's by making the love interest in my YA novel transgender, curating a monologues festival that celebrates women's voices and bodies, or writing an article about my own queer family, I am continuing the activism I've always done with my work but putting it on steroids. And you can be part of that by joining me here on Patreon!

Convinced? Cool! Click this button in the top-right-hand corner: 

Wait. What is Patreon?
Patreon is a way for artists to make a living from our work via direct monthly patronage. Over the past couple years, I've watched Patreon become an incredible community and support system for artists. I've been inspired by artists like Amanda PalmerMonica Byrne, the Sex For Smart People podcast, and Geeta Dayal - artists using this forum as a way to let their art survive and thrive.

We're all familiar with crowdfunding by this point, but Patreon takes that crowdfunding model and it makes it sustainable and steady. That way, artists don't have to keep mounting Kickstarter after Indiegogo after GoFundMe, you can just MAKE the art.

Tell me more about these rewards levels, though.
Each level is named after the leading ladies of rock that I was obsessed with in middle school through college, ranked roughly in the order of how much I listened to them. And the more you give, the more you get back. Want a postcard of my face or my cat? This can happen! Want me to name a character after you? Can do! Want your very own custom advice column, monologue, or short story? All these things are available to you at different rewards levels!

OK, let's do this thing.
Amazing! Thank you! Click this button in the top-right-hand corner:

Actually, I don't want to join Patreon, but can I give you money some other way?
Absolutely! You can do that on PayPalVenmo, or Square Cash. Thank you so much!

Video transcript:
ARTIST'S NOTE: I wrote and shot this video before the election. None of it has stopped being true. However...
Know that I plan to use my voice to oppose everything this administration stands for.
Know that I will use my words to worship the things this administration deems disposable, like consent and women's autonomy.
Hope and courage are necessary weapons now, and I will do everything I can to give them to you with my work.
I love you.

Hi. I'm Mariah MacCarthy. I'm a creatrix. That means I make things. I'm a performer, I'm a writer, I'm a producer, I'm a storyteller, I'm a burlesque dabbler, I'm a tap dancer, I'm a teacher, I'm an advice columnist, I'm a novelist, I'm a restless maker of STUFF, in many different genres and media.

My work is unabashedly feminist, with women's stories and queer stories always at the center, but above and beyond that, every single thing I create is about connection. I want you to know that you're not alone. I want you to know that you deserve love. I want you to come away from something I've created understanding a little better how your fellow human operates. I want you to know that you're not broken because everyone is broken, so if everyone is broken then no one is. You're fine.

Here's what I'm working on right now:

Two upcoming productions of my solo show, Baby Mama: One Woman's Quest to Give Her Child to Gay People, coming up in New York City and Cincinnati;
I am currently finishing my young adult novel, Squad, about toxic friendships between cheerleaders, which was just picked up by FSG;
I write a weekly advice column, "Help Me, Dylan," in which I answer readers' questions like, "Is my boyfriend gay? How do I stop harming myself? What do I do about my misogynist cousin?" and try to help those people find peace;
and articles all over the Internet about everything from labiaplasty to becoming sex positive after sexual assault to pooping after childbirth.

Full disclosure: I do get paid to do some of the things I just described. But none of it pays a living wage, even combined.

And I wanna do more! I wanna finish the musical I started writing, I wanna do another solo show, I wanna start a podcast, I wanna make ALL THE THINGS. I think it's important that artists make things.

For my whole adult human life, I have had a variety of day jobs, and it's been a fantastic learning experience. And one of the many things I've learned is that for me, day jobs are a really great way for me to spend most of my day doing things I'm not good at, and then having less time and energy away for the things that I AM good at, like making things. But for years, I took that as a given. I took it as a given that art doesn't come with a living wage.

But what if it could? What if the things we do for free because we love them, could become our livelihood?

What I want for EVERY ARTIST is for us to make a living wage for our art. Your participation in this community will ensure that I spend my time doing the things I'm good at, like making things. The work of connection and transcending isolation, the work I was put on this earth to do. My life's work.

In exchange, you'll get VIP access to my process. I'll send you every new article and advice column that I write, I'll send you excerpts of works-in-progress, I'll send you behind-the-scenes videos and photos. I'll also make sure to send you guys some pictures of my cat. Sophie. 'Cause she's the cutest.

And the more this community grows, the more it can become its own thing. Maybe we'll do a monthly webcast. Maybe we'll all get dinner together sometimes, or I'll send you creative prompts so you can go make your own things. The sky really is the limit. I'm going to be listening to you and what you're interested in seeing as a member of this new community.

Thank you so much for supporting artists. You're beautiful. Thank you.
Rewards
The Alanis Morissette
$1 or more per month 19 patrons
I'll send you special discount codes for my shows and products whenever available. You'll get exclusive access to my patron-only updates, with behind-the-scenes photos and videos of my rehearsals, travels, and process. I'll also send you every article and advice column that I write, including those that I don't share on social media, and pictures of my cat that no one else on the Internet will see.
The Ani DiFranco
$2 or more per month 30 patrons
You get excerpts of my works-in-progress and deleted material, especially from my plays and novels, anywhere between once a week and once a month. PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
The Bjork
$5 or more per month 25 patrons
I will send you a SELFIE POSTCARD IN THE ACTUAL MAIL, twice a year. That's right: a physical postcard, of my mug, in your mailbox. (Can be substituted for a picture of my cat if you prefer.) PLUS excerpts of my works-in-progress, PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
The Tori Amos
$10 or more per month 10 patrons
Karaoke request line! I will send you a video of me singing along to any song of your choice; I make no guarantees as to the quality of my performance, but I will do my very best. PLUS a biannual selfie or cat postcard, PLUS excerpts of my works-in-progress, PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
The Portishead
$25 or more per month 1 patron
I will name a character after you and incorporate up to three character details of your choosing. PLUS your own personal karaoke video, PLUS a biannual selfie or cat postcard, PLUS excerpts of my works-in-progress, PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
The Fiona Apple
$50 or more per month 0 patrons
Your very own PERSONAL Help Me Dylan advice column about any question you need advice about (to be either kept private or published, as you see fit). If you prefer, I can substitute this for a one-minute monologue or one-page short story on a topic of your choice. PLUS a character named after you, PLUS your own personal karaoke video, PLUS a biannual selfie or cat postcard, PLUS excerpts of my works-in-progress, PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
The Shirley Manson
$100 or more per month 0 patrons
I will send you a beautifully-bound, one-of-a-kind, signed Mariah MacCarthy script of your choosing, printed and bound using the finest materials at my disposal. We're talkin bout a super-fancy collector's item. PLUS your own personal advice column or monologue or short story, PLUS a character named after you, PLUS your own personal karaoke video, PLUS a biannual selfie or cat postcard, PLUS excerpts of my works-in-progress, PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
The Amanda Palmer
$250 or more per month 0 patrons
Commission! With this pledge level, you have commissioned me to write a customized story, play, or solo piece for you. Contact me and we'll talk specifics. PLUS a bound and signed Mariah MacCarthy script, PLUS a character named after you, PLUS your own personal karaoke video, PLUS a biannual selfie or cat postcard, PLUS excerpts of my works-in-progress, PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
Goals
$299 of $500 per month
This is approximately 20% of what I need to simply cover my monthly bills, not including fun or pleasure.
1 of 4
(Video shot by Kacey Anisa Stamats, edited by Mariah MacCarthy. Transcript at bottom of page.)

Who are you?
Hi! I'm Mariah. I write plays and other things. I'm also a producer, teacher, curator, storyteller, burlesque dabbler, rapper, birth mother, immersive-party-play-maker, and all-around creatrix. My plays contain tenderness and brutality in unequal measure. They tend to be sexy, women-driven, queer, and funny. They've been done everywhere from subway stations to Paris, and have won some awards.

Non-play things I write include Squad, my Young Adult novel about cheerleaders (recently picked up by FSG) and this advice column, as well as articles all over the Internet

I also run a theatre company called Caps Lock. We do funny, human, ugly plays. I curate and produce innovative and provocative festivals for Caps Lock and The Brick in Brooklyn. I'm trying to transcend isolation through performance, events, and the written word. And I'd like to make a living at it.

The world is burning, though.
You are correct. It is. That's why I'm doing this.

In the words of my colleague, shero, and friend, Monica Byrne: "I have work to do. I’ve always identified my art as a kind of protest, and now it will (and must) get only more explicitly so. I'm literally writing us a better future. I'm creating beauty to counter evil. Nothing I do, now, is not a political act."

After the election, every single artist I know (myself very much included) went through the same crisis of faith: Does our art matter in the face of this horror show? And then one of my mentors said: "Anyone who tells you history is written by the winners is full of shit. History is written by the writers. This isn't when you falter. This is when you rise."

So, I'm rising. Whether it's by making the love interest in my YA novel transgender, curating a monologues festival that celebrates women's voices and bodies, or writing an article about my own queer family, I am continuing the activism I've always done with my work but putting it on steroids. And you can be part of that by joining me here on Patreon!

Convinced? Cool! Click this button in the top-right-hand corner: 

Wait. What is Patreon?
Patreon is a way for artists to make a living from our work via direct monthly patronage. Over the past couple years, I've watched Patreon become an incredible community and support system for artists. I've been inspired by artists like Amanda PalmerMonica Byrne, the Sex For Smart People podcast, and Geeta Dayal - artists using this forum as a way to let their art survive and thrive.

We're all familiar with crowdfunding by this point, but Patreon takes that crowdfunding model and it makes it sustainable and steady. That way, artists don't have to keep mounting Kickstarter after Indiegogo after GoFundMe, you can just MAKE the art.

Tell me more about these rewards levels, though.
Each level is named after the leading ladies of rock that I was obsessed with in middle school through college, ranked roughly in the order of how much I listened to them. And the more you give, the more you get back. Want a postcard of my face or my cat? This can happen! Want me to name a character after you? Can do! Want your very own custom advice column, monologue, or short story? All these things are available to you at different rewards levels!

OK, let's do this thing.
Amazing! Thank you! Click this button in the top-right-hand corner:

Actually, I don't want to join Patreon, but can I give you money some other way?
Absolutely! You can do that on PayPalVenmo, or Square Cash. Thank you so much!

Video transcript:
ARTIST'S NOTE: I wrote and shot this video before the election. None of it has stopped being true. However...
Know that I plan to use my voice to oppose everything this administration stands for.
Know that I will use my words to worship the things this administration deems disposable, like consent and women's autonomy.
Hope and courage are necessary weapons now, and I will do everything I can to give them to you with my work.
I love you.

Hi. I'm Mariah MacCarthy. I'm a creatrix. That means I make things. I'm a performer, I'm a writer, I'm a producer, I'm a storyteller, I'm a burlesque dabbler, I'm a tap dancer, I'm a teacher, I'm an advice columnist, I'm a novelist, I'm a restless maker of STUFF, in many different genres and media.

My work is unabashedly feminist, with women's stories and queer stories always at the center, but above and beyond that, every single thing I create is about connection. I want you to know that you're not alone. I want you to know that you deserve love. I want you to come away from something I've created understanding a little better how your fellow human operates. I want you to know that you're not broken because everyone is broken, so if everyone is broken then no one is. You're fine.

Here's what I'm working on right now:

Two upcoming productions of my solo show, Baby Mama: One Woman's Quest to Give Her Child to Gay People, coming up in New York City and Cincinnati;
I am currently finishing my young adult novel, Squad, about toxic friendships between cheerleaders, which was just picked up by FSG;
I write a weekly advice column, "Help Me, Dylan," in which I answer readers' questions like, "Is my boyfriend gay? How do I stop harming myself? What do I do about my misogynist cousin?" and try to help those people find peace;
and articles all over the Internet about everything from labiaplasty to becoming sex positive after sexual assault to pooping after childbirth.

Full disclosure: I do get paid to do some of the things I just described. But none of it pays a living wage, even combined.

And I wanna do more! I wanna finish the musical I started writing, I wanna do another solo show, I wanna start a podcast, I wanna make ALL THE THINGS. I think it's important that artists make things.

For my whole adult human life, I have had a variety of day jobs, and it's been a fantastic learning experience. And one of the many things I've learned is that for me, day jobs are a really great way for me to spend most of my day doing things I'm not good at, and then having less time and energy away for the things that I AM good at, like making things. But for years, I took that as a given. I took it as a given that art doesn't come with a living wage.

But what if it could? What if the things we do for free because we love them, could become our livelihood?

What I want for EVERY ARTIST is for us to make a living wage for our art. Your participation in this community will ensure that I spend my time doing the things I'm good at, like making things. The work of connection and transcending isolation, the work I was put on this earth to do. My life's work.

In exchange, you'll get VIP access to my process. I'll send you every new article and advice column that I write, I'll send you excerpts of works-in-progress, I'll send you behind-the-scenes videos and photos. I'll also make sure to send you guys some pictures of my cat. Sophie. 'Cause she's the cutest.

And the more this community grows, the more it can become its own thing. Maybe we'll do a monthly webcast. Maybe we'll all get dinner together sometimes, or I'll send you creative prompts so you can go make your own things. The sky really is the limit. I'm going to be listening to you and what you're interested in seeing as a member of this new community.

Thank you so much for supporting artists. You're beautiful. Thank you.

Recent posts by Mariah

Rewards
The Alanis Morissette
$1 or more per month 19 patrons
I'll send you special discount codes for my shows and products whenever available. You'll get exclusive access to my patron-only updates, with behind-the-scenes photos and videos of my rehearsals, travels, and process. I'll also send you every article and advice column that I write, including those that I don't share on social media, and pictures of my cat that no one else on the Internet will see.
The Ani DiFranco
$2 or more per month 30 patrons
You get excerpts of my works-in-progress and deleted material, especially from my plays and novels, anywhere between once a week and once a month. PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
The Bjork
$5 or more per month 25 patrons
I will send you a SELFIE POSTCARD IN THE ACTUAL MAIL, twice a year. That's right: a physical postcard, of my mug, in your mailbox. (Can be substituted for a picture of my cat if you prefer.) PLUS excerpts of my works-in-progress, PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
The Tori Amos
$10 or more per month 10 patrons
Karaoke request line! I will send you a video of me singing along to any song of your choice; I make no guarantees as to the quality of my performance, but I will do my very best. PLUS a biannual selfie or cat postcard, PLUS excerpts of my works-in-progress, PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
The Portishead
$25 or more per month 1 patron
I will name a character after you and incorporate up to three character details of your choosing. PLUS your own personal karaoke video, PLUS a biannual selfie or cat postcard, PLUS excerpts of my works-in-progress, PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
The Fiona Apple
$50 or more per month 0 patrons
Your very own PERSONAL Help Me Dylan advice column about any question you need advice about (to be either kept private or published, as you see fit). If you prefer, I can substitute this for a one-minute monologue or one-page short story on a topic of your choice. PLUS a character named after you, PLUS your own personal karaoke video, PLUS a biannual selfie or cat postcard, PLUS excerpts of my works-in-progress, PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
The Shirley Manson
$100 or more per month 0 patrons
I will send you a beautifully-bound, one-of-a-kind, signed Mariah MacCarthy script of your choosing, printed and bound using the finest materials at my disposal. We're talkin bout a super-fancy collector's item. PLUS your own personal advice column or monologue or short story, PLUS a character named after you, PLUS your own personal karaoke video, PLUS a biannual selfie or cat postcard, PLUS excerpts of my works-in-progress, PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.
The Amanda Palmer
$250 or more per month 0 patrons
Commission! With this pledge level, you have commissioned me to write a customized story, play, or solo piece for you. Contact me and we'll talk specifics. PLUS a bound and signed Mariah MacCarthy script, PLUS a character named after you, PLUS your own personal karaoke video, PLUS a biannual selfie or cat postcard, PLUS excerpts of my works-in-progress, PLUS special discount codes when available, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every article and advice column that I write, PLUS pictures of my cat.