How much does a Houseworld cost?
I just did the math of Houseworld.
The total price tag for 15 months of Houseworld was $87,172.94.
The revenue of Houseworld was $67,634.27.
We’ve been working on Houseworld for 15 months. We presented 38 intimate shows to New York City. With each audience numbering around 30, Houseworld has been performed for about 1100 people, so far.
From September 2014, through the free Flatbush performances, to the completion of the Kickstarter campaign in June 2015, Houseworld cost $9141.53. We received $1217 in donations during this time, usually from generous audience members after the performances. ($300 came from my aunt and grandma)
We raised $35,062 through Kickstarter, through you. This covered a huge chunk of the cost of Houseworld: 40% of it!
From the completion of the Kickstarter campaign to today, we spent $78,031.41 on Houseworld.
$27,991.53 went directly into the pockets of our cast and crew. I am proud of this. Everyone created the Flatbush performances and Kickstarter fundraiser performances for free. Most of the performers earned about $9 per hour to do the Williamsburg performances, and there were plenty of folks earning less or volunteering their time. Everyone deserved much more, but then again, it was nice to be getting paid to be doing something so expressive and weird and fun.
I’m walking away from these first 15 months of Houseworld with a $19,380.59 debt. I’m not a rich kid. In a year, I’ve never earned more than the high $30,000s. The Houseworld money I contributed came from teaching piano lessons and playing music at churches and squirreling away my savings. I am proud that I’ve put this much money into the arts, and proud that I provided what I hope was a moving experience to our audience and cast and crew.
The risks, demands, and stress of these big finances was not traumatic for me. I’m going to save back up and do it again as soon as I can. I hope I can snag some grants and attract more investors this time around.
Have a happy 2016, everyone. Peace and love to the strange intersection between art and money.
Photograph by Alexander Esin