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59 Days in New York is a musical about tight budgets and big dreams.
59 Days in New York is a musical about tight budgets and big dreams.
71 backers pledged $13,045 to help bring this project to life.
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59 Days in New York - A Musical Comedy for Online Audiences

$13,045

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- A MATCHING OFFER FOR THE FINAL PUSH - 

Big news in the last hours of the campaign: 

Thanks to an extremely generous backer, every donation made past the $10,000 mark will be matched dollar for dollar (up to $1500). The matching offers means we will be able to meet both our stretch goals with just $1500 more!

Since each dollar counts twice as much now, every pledge makes a big difference in pushing us to the finish line! Thank you!

- STRETCH GOAL #1: REAL MUSICIANS! - 
By George, we did it! We made our Kickstarter goal! And by George, we're gonna keep on going.

If we can reach our stretch goal of $12,200, the last five episodes of 59 Days will feature professionally recorded songs with the instrumental parts performed by REAL MUSICIANS!

Since we've been limited to using computer generated backing tracks for the first four episodes, recording music with real instrumentalists will enormously improve the overall quality of the songs. Keep supporting to help make the rest of this musical truly sing! 

The 59 Days in New York Elevator Pitch 

59 Days in New York is a new musical comedy written specifically for online audiences. Through nine episodes, it follows aspiring singer-songwriter, Amy, as she strives to make it in NYC with only 59 budgeted days before running out of money. Armed with song and her cockeyed optimism, Amy vlogs about leaving home, finding work, and pursuing her dreams in spite of all odds.

An Extended Elevator Ride

So there you have the basic plot premise in under 17 seconds (yes, I've timed it). But if you'll stick with me longer, let me share with you the three most exciting aspects of this new musical theatre project:

1. 59 Days in New York is not just an idea - it's living, breathing work in progress. To date, we've produced four episodes and two experimental shorts, which you can and should watch right now on YouTube.  

2. You can be a crucial part of the 59 Days in New York development process by helping contribute to the project  - both financially and with your feedback. Now how many times have you had an opportunity to shape a new musical theatre work? That's right. This is a golden opportunity!

3. Together, we can take one step towards breaking musical theatre into a new medium!

So what's this new medium business all about? I'm happy you asked:

Elevator Broke Down...So About the Future of Musical Theatre 

When I first moved to New York, just a few months after graduating from Wellesley College, I was excited about writing musical theatre that could exist beyond the stage. As part of my senior thesis, I explored writing musical theatre for different mediums, including scored silent film and song cycle. With that experience in my back pocket and strapped for cash in a new city, I was curious about creating musical theatre for the most affordable and accessible new storytelling platform - namely YouTube. 

In 2013, I started developing 59 Days, and I'm convinced that the YouTube webseries form provides an exciting new future for musical theatre. 

First and foremost, the medium allows young, poor artists to get their work produced (and potentially seen by large audiences) without spending an arm and a leg. That's an exciting prospect in an industry that's afraid to invest in new talent because it is prohibitively expensive to produce musical theatre. 

The audience enjoys benefits too. You can watch the show any time, any place, and in your pajamas, if you so desire. Plus, you can get involved in the creative process like never before, directly making an impact on a new work by what you choose to fund (better music, for instance) and the comments you share. 

For musical theatre lovers, it's a win-win arrangement. And in order to welcome a complete, new web musical to the world, all we need is a little help to finish five more episodes.

Broadway: So close, and yet so far away for young musical theatre writers.
Broadway: So close, and yet so far away for young musical theatre writers.

Money Makes the World Go Around

Looking at the big picture, producing 59 Days in New York is significantly more affordable than mounting a stage production. Producing musical theatre is famously expensive, with putting on a show at a small community theatre costing between $25,000 and $75,000.* Trying to launch something equivalent at a professional non-equity theatre would be even more outrageous. And let's not even talk about Broadway…


While Youtube provides poor writers with an affordable platform to produce good content, it still costs money. Here is a breakdown of what we need in order to finish 59 Days

Pay Our Crew! 
Because they believe in the project, many people involved with 59 Days have generously worked for free. But people need to eat and pay rent. If we could provide decent wages, our cast, crew, and musicians wouldn’t have to reschedule shoots in order to take paying gigs. In other words, we would be able to get episodes out to you sooner.

Food and Props
When you are shooting for 10 hours a day, food is important. And surprise, surprise, feeding eight people pizza for lunch or dinner gets pricey. The same thing goes for props. A hat easily costs $15, while that Dolly poster was around $55. And it all adds up! We’re not planning to get extravagant. After all, this is a story about a girl who thinks buying new socks is expensive…

Extra Equipment and Locations 
So far, we've been able to get away with using the camera and lighting equipment that our fabulous crew owns. However, bulbs blow out, and sometimes, we need extra supplies, like stands or a screen. Same goes for locations. We’ve kept costs down by shooting primarily in my room and apartment and outdoors. But if we had money for locations, Amy could explore new parts of New York, go to her internship and maybe even eat at a cafe.

A visual breakdown of what we need to finish 59 Days.
A visual breakdown of what we need to finish 59 Days.

Let's Not Forget About the Stretch Goals

The above breakdown outlines the bare minimum video production costs necessary to complete the project and meet our Kickstarter goal - which we have now accomplished. However, we also have our eyes set on reaching two key stretch goals that would dramatically improve the quality of the series:

Stretch Goal #1: Music Production
This is a musical, and as such, I want to provide you with great music. But in order to do that, we need to be able to afford good recordings and real musicians, rather than use Sibelius accompaniment. The music is at the heart and soul of the series! You only need to compare the music of the Kickstarter video with that of episodes 1 - 4 to hear how much musicians and a recording studio improves the quality of the series. With only $3500 more, we would be able to afford a small music ensemble to play for the remaining five episodes. And that would make the rest of 59 Days in New York truly sing!

Stretch Goal #2: A Video Editor 
While I have been doing all the video editing to date, it gets to be a lot for one person to write music, lyrics, script, produce, promote, cook for cast and crew, and edit. In order to allow for more creative time spent refining music and lyrics and organizing our shoots, it would be helpful to relinquish the editing work to a video editor. For just $600 more, we could hire a video editor to work on the remaining five episodes.

* Statistics provided by Make Musicals, a blog about the art and business of new musicals. http://makemusicals.com/2011/03/what-it-costs-to-make-a-musical-a-reality-check/

Risks and challenges

With four episodes completed, I and the rest of the 59 Days in New York team have had plenty of opportunities to problem solve our way through tight deadlines, small spaces, and next-to-no equipment.

With that experience behind me, I'm aware that scheduling will likely be the biggest foreseeable challenge as we move forward with episodes 5-9. While most episodes take only two to three days to shoot, the filming timeline gets complicated when cast and crew schedules don’t line up. Our goal is to release one episode every two months, but it may change. Donors will receive regular newsletter updates on the filming and recording process, helping keep everyone in the loop as the show develops.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Amy <3s you! Be recognized on Facebook and Twitter as a sponsor and receive updates from the Kickstarter campaign.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Your name will be listed as a sponsor in the credits of every forthcoming 59 Days in New York episode. You will also receive a 59 Days in New York postcard with a handwritten thank you note from the creator (just think, you can sell her signature on ebay for big bucks in a few years). Plus, the reward from the lower pledge tier.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Enjoy a DVD copy of all the 59 Days in New York episodes! Plus, get the rewards from the lower pledge tiers.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You’re invited to an online hangout Q & A session with the creator and your favorite cast/crew member (subject to availability). Plus, you get all the rewards from the lower pledge tiers.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You're invited to mingle with cast and crew at a screening event of the complete 59 Days in New York series. In addition, you’ll receive a signed copy of the sheet music of your favorite 59 Days in New York song. And, of course, the rewards from the lower pledge tiers.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Receive a personal video message thank you from the creator, as well as the sheet music for all the 59 Days in New York songs. Plus, the rewards from the lower pledge tiers.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You’re invited to participate as an extra in a 59 Days in New York episode. While the reward does not cover travel costs to New York and is subject to your availability at the time of filming, we promise you a great time when you’re here. In addition, you will be listed as a 59 Days in New York producer and actor (if you appear as an extra) in the credits, and you'll receive all the rewards from the lower pledge tiers.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    If you have a business or want a special gift for a loved one, this is the pledge for you. Receive an original 2 - 4 minute song, written on the subject of your choosing (family friendly topics only, please). This includes complete orchestration and a demo recording of the song. Plus, all the rewards listed in the lower pledge tiers.

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Funding period

- (30 days)