Mindy Raf did it last year to record her CD. This summer, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting and The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict did it to fund their trips to the Edinburgh Fringe. The Monsters of Comedy did it to film a documentary of their West Coast tour this fall. And in the past few weeks, FUCT, Mel and El and Chris Gethard all successfully have done it to raise money for their expeditions and projects for 2011.
Now comes Kevin Avery to the Kickstarter site, looking to raise $10,000 to turn part of his stand-up comedy routine into a short film called Thugs, The Musical. Avery is more than 80% of the way there with 10 days remaining in his fund-raising window. With Kickstarter, if you don't reach your goal, it doesn't happen. At least not with Kickstarter! Avery recently chatted with me about his project. But first, here's his pitch video. Roll it.
How long has "Thugs" been a part of your stand-up?
"Probably like a couple of years," Avery said. "It was one of those things, one of those bits I thought up and almost threw it out. This is ridiculous. Then one day I tried it. I remember walking to the Punchline and thinking up a couple of songs and that was that."
You've got quite a few high-profile people lined up to participate in the film: David Alan Grier, Margaret Cho, Rachel True, Baron Vaughn, W. Kamau Bell. So why go to Kickstarter? Couldn't Grier or Cho just cough up the $10,000 like that?
"I think some people think, they'll take care of it. They'll foot the bill. But this isn't their project. David brought it up to me when I first started doing it. He said, 'You should write this.' I thought, mabe this could be something for (his show) Chocolate News, but it didn't fit the format of what they were thinking. And Margaret just liked the script."
"This is the first time I took on something like this. I thought about it, and thought I wasn't really sure where to go. And Kickstarter was the first place I thought of."
Since Avery and I spoke, he has come up with a couple of other promotional ideas to help persuade you to get involved.
FREE SONG: Kevin is working with composer Alexander Burke to create some fine tunes for ‚ÄúThugs, The Musical.‚Äù If you‚Äôre on Twitter, you can get an instant FREE song, ‚ÄúWho‚Äôs That Keepin‚Äô It Real?‚Äù from Kevin and Alex, thanks to CASH Music.
FUN SHOW: For people in and around Los Anegles, they are throwing a special fundraiser show on Jan. 4 at the Hollywood Improv. ‚ÄúThugs, The Musical: The Fundraiser Show‚Äù will feature performances by Kevin Avery, Baron Vaughn, Moshe Kasher, Margaret Cho, and more special guests. Get tickets via Laugh Stub.