'Another Sign' The Musical, is a story of HOPE that shows how homelessness has several causes, not just alcohol and drug addictions.
The rationale and purpose for writing this musical started with my encounter with a homeless person that I had known in his previous life. I want to take the script and the songs that I have written and produce a musical that will raise money and awareness to help reduce homelessness.
When we pass the homeless on the street what happens? We rush on by because we have misconceptions about them. We say to ourselves, "Are they really homeless?" Will they just use the money I give them for alcohol or drugs?" We think that they could get a job if they really wanted to. Now think to yourself; Could I ever be homeless? As we continue to see the job market decline there are many on the streets just because of economic changes in monthly income. What happens when an earthquake strikes. 215,000 homeless, millions without water after Japan's massive quake. How about a bad storm? Over 10,000 people were made homeless after hurricane katrina and that is just in new orleans! The USA TODAY reports that 1 in 4 homeless people are VETS.
I plan on raising money to be able to finish funding this project. I need to hire a director, build a set, get the musical produced, locate the cast, and all of the other details that go along with producing a musical. I have been fortunate to have great support from friends, family and clients over the past few years. I believe that this musical will make a difference not only for Jacksonville, but also for homeless shelters and organizations all over the country. We plan on several performances in Jacksonville, then we plan on taking the show on the road to other cities.
On to the story on why I am doing this below.
Several years ago I had a client that was a chef at a local restaurant. He was making good money. He had a wife, kids, and a nice home. As the restaurant started to fail, he lost his job. I later heard that his wife had left him. About 6 months later I was walking in downtown Jacksonville, and I saw him. The clean shaven man I once knew was sitting on a bench, shaking, talking to himself. He now had a long beard, was wearing mismatched clothes, and his eyes and body looked drained.
This touched me personally. Growing up I always wrote poetry. It was something I acquired from my Grandfather. Every holiday he wrote my Grandma a poem on how much he loved her and appreciated her. I started writing a poem about my experience and feelings on homelessness. The poem turned into a song, which turned into multiple songs, which became a full script for a musical.
Being a part of Leadership Jacksonville class of 2011, We got to see more of the issues that surround not only our city, but cities all over the country. On any given night in Jacksonville, there are less than 900 shelter and transitional beds available for the nearly 4000 homeless men, women and children in Northeast Florida.
There are many great nonprofits in our communities that provide support, medicine, services and hope to the homeless. In Jacksonville we have The City Rescue Mission, Sulzbacher Center, The Salvation Army, Daniel Kids, The Clara White Mission, The Mission House, The Trinity Rescue Mission, and The Second Harvest Food Bank, just to name a few. Data from the Emergency Services Homeless Coalition in Jacksonville shows that there are over 4564 homeless people. 189 of them being children, 230 elderly, and VETS make up 14 percent of that number.
There is a large need for awareness of the issues so each of the homeless organizations in all of our communities can get the financial support they need to keep tackling this issue. Each year CRM serves nearly 300,000 warm meals and 90,000 nights of safe shelter for those in need. In addition there are 165 men and women enrolled in our LifeBuilders Recovery program that gives them the opportunity to change their life and build a future. The LifeBuilders program is a residential recovery program lasting 12-18 months. Students in this program also receive individual and group counseling, medical and dental care, life skills training, GED, vocational and college education.
The Sulzbacher center has a HOPE team among all of their other services they provide which is a homeless outreach program that increases access to health care and emergency shelter. This team builds relationships with the homeless to help restore them mentally, physically and socially to the community.
The Clara White Mission offers a training cafe featuring an upscale menu, which is an outgrowth of the culinary arts program. This program provides students with extensive hands-on training in production, presentation and front of the house restaurant service. This is another example of a great program that extends HOPE. It helps people to help themselves.
The Mission House is a day facility in the beaches community that helps the homeless survive and return to productive, independent lives.
In this economy nonprofits are losing contributions. Hopefully, with my support from the financial gains and the awareness 'Another Sign' will receive, it will let Jacksonville know about the plight of the homeless and how the economic situation here impacts people’s lives. This musical and how the community can get involved certainly will raise awareness of the issues while also providing a vehicle for helping. I am honored to be able to support nonprofit organizations that helps so many….
I want to use my talents and resources to make a difference in the lives of others. If you want to make a difference as well, PLEASE GIVE. This is my ask. whether $5 or $500 or more, your money will go to produce my musical which will in return raise even more money and awareness. You will personally see the difference you will make and as the musical comes to your city, you can say, "I HELPED MAKE THAT HAPPEN!"
Another Sign is a musical by Mike White. The music is being composed by musicians Dave Massey, Jay Collins, as well as several others through a musicians against homelessness competition. The central plot revolves around three main characters; Taylor, Anne, and George, and is a story of hope and homelessness and looking at people for who they are. The play takes place in an urban city. Taylor is a homeless boy that is 20 years old. He has been living on the streets since he was 14. He was shuffled from foster family to foster family. Anne, a 16 year old is filled with compassion and love and is eager to help others. George, Anne's Grandfather, is blinded by his prejudices towards homeless people. Like many, his assumptions are that all homeless people are that way because of drug and alcohol addictions. His belief is that they could escape homelessness if they wanted to.
About the Musical:
The story of Another Sign begins with George (Anne's Grandfather) and Anne walking through the city. Anne notices Taylor (A homeless boy) on her daily walks through the city with her grandfather, George. When Anne reaches out to help Taylor, George scorns Anne stating "That boy can get his own money from his own parents."
It is now 4 years later and Anne and George are walking down the street. Anne still notices Taylor who is a street musician. George is still weary of homeless people and always tries to hurry on by. On a walk one afternoon Anne tells George that she is going to go to the library while secretively she is staying out to meet with Taylor. Taylor takes Anne on a Pathway to homelessness and introduces her to people who are homeless for several reasons. After George realizes the Anne was becoming infatuated with Taylor he forbids her to see him. Anne, who becomes very angry at her grandfather's close-mindedness decides to runaway to show her grandfather a thing or two.
Several months go by and Anne has reconnected with Taylor on the streets and gets to know and live his life. George is devastated and is constantly searching for Anne realizing how much he misses her. He searches the streets and begins to realize to look at each person for whom they are and not just the condition they are in. In the end, George realizes the good the Anne has done as well as reaches out to help others who are in of need.
The musician is Jay Collins. I met Jay when I launched a Musicians Against Homelessness Competition (http://www.musiciansagainsthomelessness.com) Jay reached out telling me how he is excited to participate in this project because of his own experiences with being homeless.
I have been fortunate to have so many people I don't even know asking how they can give. Outside of the donations, I need people to spread the word. Send a link to this website or the Musical Website, http://www.itsanothersign.com .
We are looking at mid January to February to have all of the pieces in place to set the dates for the show.
We are in discussions with multiple theaters in Jacksonville. We have had 3 of them reach out all wanting to have the opening show performed there. Most likely we will choose 2-4 different locations around Jacksonville to perform at.
My long term goal is to take the show on a national tour into other communities that are facing the same issues that our city is. If I am fortunate enough for New York to be one of those cities, I think that the awareness that it will bring will provide such support to all of the organizations that are providing services to the homeless.
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A personalized email will be sent to you thanking you for your support. Attached will be one of the songs from the musical, "I'll Be Camping", which was sung by Jeff Congo.Estimated delivery:
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PERSONALIZED POSTCARD (plus above reward) -- A personalized postcard will be mailed out to you thanking you for your support. The postcard will be one of the prints from an artist that will depict a story of a homeless person.Estimated delivery:
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ANOTHER SIGN POSTCARD SET (plus above reward) -- a set of 5 postcards with original artwork that depicts the stories of homelessness.Estimated delivery:
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ANOTHER SIGN AUTOGRAPHED POSTER(plus above reward) --The official 'ANOTHER SIGN' poster will be sent to you with a personalized message thanking you for your support. Poster size is 11x17Estimated delivery:
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9 backers Limited (91 left of 100)
'ANOTHER SIGN' POSTER SET (plus above reward)-- Enjoy 5 prints of the original artwork from 'ANOTHER SIGN' . You will receive five 11x17 prints for you to display in your home or office.Estimated delivery:
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'ANOTHER SIGN' CD (plus above reward) --You will receive a copy of the official CD with songs from the musicalEstimated delivery:
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TWO TICKETS TO THE SHOW AND REWARDS PACKAGE-- When 'ANOTHER SIGN' plays at Theaters in Jacksonville Florida, you'll receive two tickets to whichever performance of the show you choose. The rewards package includes the 'ANOTHER SIGN' poster set and postcard set.Estimated delivery:
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FOUR TICKETS TO THE SHOW AND REWARDS PACKAGE -- When 'ANOTHER SIGN' plays at Theaters in Jacksonville Florida, you'll receive four tickets to whichever performance of the show you choose. The rewards package includes the 'ANOTHER SIGN' poster set and postcard set.Estimated delivery:
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Win a "DATE" to opening night with Tracy "Dot Com" Collins (www.tracydotcom.com) from Action News. You will receive 4 tickets to the show and seats in the first 2 rows.Estimated delivery:
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EIGHT TICKETS TO THE SHOW AND REWARDS PACKAGE -- When 'ANOTHER SIGN' plays at Theaters in Jacksonville Florida, you'll receive eight tickets to whichever performance of the show you choose. The rewards package includes the 'ANOTHER SIGN' poster set and postcard set.Estimated delivery:
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COMPANY OUTING AT THE THEATER -- You will receive 20 tickets to one of the performances, a 1/2 page ad in the playbill, signage at the venue, and stage mention thanking your group for their support.Estimated delivery:
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PARTY WITH THE CAST AND FRIENDS ON OPENING NIGHT PLUS EIGHT TICKETS TO THE SHOW AND REWARDS PACKAGE -- When 'ANOTHER SIGN' plays at Theaters in Jacksonville Florida, you'll receive four tickets to the opening night of the show. You will be invited to the after party which is open to cast's friends and family only. The rewards package includes the 'ANOTHER SIGN' poster set and postcard set.Estimated delivery:
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PROGRAM SPONSOR AND TICKET PACKAGE --You will receive a FULL page ad in the playbill recognizing you or your business as a supporter as well as 24 tickets to be used at any Jacksonville's performances -- The rewards package includes the 'ANOTHER SIGN' poster set and postcard set.Estimated delivery:
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BUSINESS PARTNER OF THE SHOW - We will recognize you or your business as the business partner of any night. You will receive 24 tickets to the performance, gift bags for all of your guests, a private cocktail hour one hour before doors open, a full page ad in the playbill, an autographed copy of the musical, photo with the cast, invitation to come up on stage and welcome everyone out and signage at the venueEstimated delivery:
- (60 days)