Project: Extra Show for the Lion King
Actual Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Every once in a while, the Universe helps me multitask accidentally.
For example, last week I found myself simultaneously working and volunteering, courtesy of our Actors Fund performance.
Once a year, almost every show on Broadway donates the proceeds of one show to the Actors Fund. For the longest time, I wasn’t sure what the heck the Actors Fund was- it seemed like such a vague name that could cover so many bases. Is it a fund for teaching? Is it a fund for new shows? Is it a fund to teach kids to not go into the rigorous, cut-throat, give-it-all-you-got-all-the-time biz? Who knew.
So annually, I would lace up my lioness costume and do the extra show without really knowing what it was for, knowing that my joints would groan with exhaustion at the end of the week from doing nine shows in seven days. But I figured that it was raising funds for a charity that did something for us thespian–types, and that was good enough for me. This year, however, thanks to this self-imposed volunteering thing I’m doing, I was determined to figure out what the heck we were dancing our butts off for every year once and for all.
Not just for Thespians!
Turns out, The Actors Fund is a non-profit organization that serves as an umbrella for a series of incredible programs designed to assist everyone who works in entertainment (not just Actors, as the name implies!) who are in need.
From social work, to mental health services, to two nursing homes specifically for elderly entertainers and the like, The Actors Fund has us covered in every way possible.
I can only imagine those senior center skit nights.
One of the most inspiring aspects of The Actors Fund is the work with the HIV/AIDS community. The Fund has numerous programs that are specifically for people living with HIV and AIDS, as well as “The Aurora,” which is a supportive housing initiative that helps not only HIV/AIDS patients, but seniors and low-income individuals in our theatrical community as well.
Look at all this good that they do!!!
You name the need, and The Actors Fund probably has that covered. Reading the list of all of their services made my mind reel, and made me so thankful that we are a part of the program that gives this special place funds.
So you can go ahead and sign me up next year and every year after that for an extra show for the good of The Fund. Because I already love dancing in this show anyway, but if I know the profits are going to go to such a good cause, it will make all the exhaustion at the end of the nine-show-week so much sweeter.