Week 48: Signing for a cure

Project: Broadway Cares Poster Signing 

Actual Time Taken: 1 hour

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Twice a year, Equity theater casts around the country band together to collect money for an awesome cause, Broadway Cares: Actors Equity Fights Aids.

Since 1988, this amazing charity has raised over $250 million for not only AIDS research and charities, but for women’s health, dancers charities, HIV/AIDS education, and so many more. My cast helps out the cause by going out in to the audience after shows with buckets to collect money, as well as a few items for sale, such as beaded animals from South Africa, swatches of costume fabric, and autographed show posters.

But to get these posters to the public to raise money, they first have to be signed…. by everyone.

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A typical poster signing party between shows. 

And there’s TONS of them. We usually sign over 1,000 per season. Talk about hand cramps!

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Posters a go-go!

So this week, I plopped myself down with a sharpie and a stack of blank posters to sign and sign and sign for charity. Granted, we get slightly compensated in that the charity buys us lunch so we don’t have to go out between shows to eat (PF Changs, yum!) but I also make sure to go out and collect, smile, and try to get as many pennies, dollars, and checks for the cause as I can.

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Kendra (Left) and I in our Lioness costumes (My favorite)

I love going out to collect after shows. We usually don’t have much contact with the audience unless they are waiting for us outside the stage door, so when we have a chance to get out there after a show (and in costume no less) it’s always a treat. They are always so nice, telling me how much they enjoyed the show, or how pretty my costume is, or how great it is that we are collecting- all things we don’t get to hear when we are shlepping home after a show out of the back alley stage door.

We are about half way through our Broadway Cares ‘season,’ so I’ll be putting in a few more (undocumented, here) hours for the cause… but I’m trying not to repeat too many charities for my One Hour a Week goal… so silently I will sign (and collect) on for the next few weeks!

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Week Two: Goodwill Drive for another place of good-will!

Project: Donating Clothes

Actual Time Taken: 30 Minutes

Well three weeks into the new year and I’ve already missed a blog post.

Selena of 2013 is so disappointed in herself.

Selena of 2014 is understanding that she just moved from LA to Hawaii in the last two weeks, so anyone would be a bit behind.

But fear not. For at least my committment of volunteering was accomplished. (Just not the full hour. Sigh.)

This week was our last week in LA before our tour moves to Hawaii. At the end of every city we go through the ritual of packing up our stuff and realizing that we accumulated more junk than we meant to during the course of the city. This ritual is almost always accompanied with mild surprise and consternation at having to downsize quickly before leaving town.

Enter the Lion King’s “Goodwill Bin.” At the end of a city, we sometimes try to accumulate all of our gently used, unwanted goods to donate to the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or in LA’s case, the local “Out of the Closet.

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This non-profit chain (who even has locations as far away as Florida and Amsterdam!) uses the revenues from donated items to provide free HIV/AIDS and STD testing. Some locations even provide counseling. educational resources, and medical services for HIV/AIDS positive patients.

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I got the word out at the theater on Friday and collected five completely full garbage and paper shopping bags by Sunday.

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It’s not pretty, but it’s good.

I dropped them off at the Sunset Blvd location of Out of the Closet before packing up the rest of my life in my Prius and watching my boyfriend drive it away.

So the irony in this week was I had more than enough time to give my bit of volunteering, but the project didn’t take the full hour, and I couldn’t find the to write this quick little blog. The learning curve continues…