It’s time for immersive fans to give back.
Immersive theater lays bare our need and longing for authentic human connection. NYC’s eclectic galaxy of immersive theater productions has entertained and moved millions of audience members. From intimate experiences built for one person to six-story buildings built for 400 guests, in candle-lit closets, reimagined historic buildings, and surreal fantasy landscapes sealed into old warehouses, immersive shows help us connect to our deeper truths. Today, however, the people who lovingly made these experiences a reality for us are struggling.
When NYC's theaters shut down in March due to a worldwide pandemic, all of the performers, creatives, and support staff from the shows and companies we love were suddenly out of work. The Arts were one of the first sectors of the economy to shut down and will probably be one of the last to return to work.
We urge you to give to this campaign in any amount you are able. 100% of your gift will be given directly to immersive artists and workers who request support. Any amount is fantastic, but if you have the means to do so, we challenge you to donate the amount that you would have spent on immersive theater during the pandemic. Every single dollar is an investment in another person's survival and a meaningful thank you for the ways immersive experiences have challenged us, affirmed us, and brought us joy and healing.
We can’t attend live immersive events right now, but we can support the cast, crew, and staff of immersive shows who are unsure when their next payday is coming, who are no longer receiving unemployment stimulus help, and who have no idea when NYC theaters will open their doors to flesh-and-bone audiences again.
PLEASE MAKE A GIFT TO IMMERSIVE ARTISTS AND WORKERS TODAY.**
This fundraiser is associated with the Lost Halloween, a showcase of immersive performers that will be live-streamed on Zoom on October 30, 2020, at 9pm ET, organized by a small group of friends who met through attending NYC-based immersive theatre. We are planning and paying for this virtual event out of our own pockets and the event itself will be free to all. We hope it will give immersive workers and immersive fans a place to reconnect during this global pandemic that has shut down the spaces and shows we love. Make your gift today and save the date for the Lost Halloween! (IG: @losthalloween )
FAQ's ABOUT THE LOST HALLOWEEN EVENT AND GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN
Who is behind this fundraiser?
We’re a small group of friends who have seen dozens of immersive shows around the world, who are based all around the U.S. and who met and became friends through attending NYC-based immersive theater. We come from a variety of backgrounds, including professional theater, fundraising, event management, arts administration, journalism and writing arts, the tech industry, education, and the visual arts. Specifically, we are Dee Anne, Desiree, Frost, Natalie, KaeLyn, Lauren, Lisa, Mike, Morgan, Philippe, Richard, and Waffle. You may know us from around the Sleep No More tumblr world or from Eschaton’s fan community. We are excited to give back to the community that has changed our lives.
Why are you doing this at Halloween?
In better times, we’d gather together for a large immersive Halloween-themed party event in NYC at the end of October. Obviously, no such annual party is happening this year. Traditionally we’d be spending our hard-earned cash traveling to NYC and buying tickets for shows and parties. Instead, we’re spending that money directly on moving funds to the individuals who would have been working those events, and are now unemployed and/or underemployed due to the pandemic.
Is this event Sleep No More related or affiliated?
No. The event idea is inspired by the infamous McKittrick Hotel where Sleep No More ran for nine years before COVID paused the show. That said, this event is not affiliated with, produced by, funded by, in collaboration with, or related to any Sleep No More, Punchdrunk, or Emursive venture. We’re a group of immersive fans creating their own alternative event that’s both a celebration of NYC immersive and an opportunity to give back to the people who worked in this particular niche of the mostly off-off-Broadway theater industry.
How do I apply for funds?
If you are a NYC-based immersive artist or worker, no matter whether you were working the door, the bar, the sound board, or in the show, you can apply for funds through this simple, brief form.
How will you raise funds?
- This GoFundMe to raise funds for the immersive community (one of our team, KaeLyn Rich, will hold the funds raised and pass 100% of your gift directly to immersive staff and workers)
- An art auction running before and during the October 30th event--follow our Instagram @losthalloween for more info on the auction items
- A free, virtual event on Friday, October 30, at 9pm ET to bring attention to the immersive theatre community and encourage folks to give.
How will the pandemic funds be dispersed?
We’re committed to equity and fairness in how the immersive pandemic funds are dispersed. We will request all people with an interest in receiving funds raised through this event fill out a very short, very simple request form. We will not require anyone to prove need. If you need it, we believe you. Our goal is to raise enough money to give everyone a substantial gift of at least $250 based on our fundraising goals. If we are unable to do that, we will give preference to those experiencing housing and/or food instability, medical need, or BIPOC. If we make more than we anticipate, we will divide the amount equally between all who have requested funds. We hope to raise enough to support everyone who expresses need.
When will the showcase event be announced and/or tickets made available?
We are working to put together final details of the event. Free tickets will be available as soon as possible and by October 1st at the latest. You must RSVP via free ticket in order to receive the secure Zoom information to join the party.
How else can I help?
- Save the date and spread the word!
- Follow us on Instagram @losthalloween to get updates on all that we’re up to.
- Tell us about what immersive theatre means to you at Lost Halloween .
- Participate in the art auction--follow us on Instragram @losthalloween for updates.
- Reserve your free ticket when they’re available and help us celebrate the immersive community!
- Help us connect with other fans and immersive audience members around the world.
- Help us connect with immersive creators, crew, performers, and staff who may want to apply to the fund.
**Contact us through our website if you have any questions. Your gift is NOT tax-deductible. You are making a personal gift to the person organizing this campaign, who will then disperse your gift to immersive artists and workers. The Lost Halloween is not part of, organized by, or sponsored by a nonprofit or charitable organization. We are just a group of people raising funds for individuals who need it. You will receive a record of your donation from GoFundMe and it is NOT for tax purposes. Thank you!
- Jody & Al Morhammer
- Kate Shamon
- Robin Kingsbury
- Kirstie M. Hayes