Two years ago I hurried home from my meaningless day job, grabbed my son and daughter from school, squirted bubbles into the kids' baths, hi-fived my husband as he walked in from work, and rushed out the door to sit in traffic for one hour and fifty-two minutes. I had to make it to an open mic on the other side of the 405. After signing up, I was forced to wait two hours to see if my name is drawn so I can perform three minutes of new material in front of an audience of seven. The stand-up’s life. I started questioning if this was worth missing the bedtime stories, snuggles and precious time with my snot-nosed little ones. That night it was worth it.
As I’m waiting for the inevitable, “Sorry, not tonight,” Quincy Jones, a vibrant young man covered in tattoos with giant holes in his earlobes bounces onto the scene. He scans the comic’s cliques. He sees me. A new face. His smile is larger than life. He beelines over and plops down in the empty seat next to me. Two hours flies by. I wasn’t even upset my name wasn’t chosen. Quincy’s was, and he was hilarious. The effervescent and jubilant personality that won me over is turned to an eleven out of ten when Quincy’s on stage. He will be a friend for life. I can tell. He’s special.
Doing stand-up comedy means you get to work with people you never would have met before. When would I have ever crossed paths with Quincy? I wouldn’t have met him in the school carpool lane or at toddler ballet class. I’m lucky I get to step out of my minivan and onto the makeshift plywood stages at microbrews. Quincy and I develop a friendship over the next year as we work the same stages, share thoughts and, most importantly, laughs.
Then I hear the news: Quincy is dying of cancer. My stomach drops. I call him. We meet at a show. He’s in the middle of chemotherapy while still hitting stages and making crowds laugh. Stand-up is getting him through the sickness. He’s been given one year to live. His stage-four Mesothelioma cancer is incurable.
I want to ask Quincy the age old question, what’s the one thing you want to do before you die. Before I can even ask, he tells me his last dream is to film an hour-long stand-up special. I blurt, “I can do that for you. I will make that happen.” Quincy stares at me. “Consider it done,” I assure him. His giant, larger-than-life smile returns. He’s speechless. He squeaks out a soft, barely audible, “Thank you.”
I return home after a long night at a seedy bar show. My husband, Mickey, has finished putting the kids to bed and is doing the dishes. I help empty the dishwasher. While stuffing plastic sippy cups into the cabinet like Tetris blocks I break the news to him. “Today I hung out with Quincy. He told me his last dream is to make a stand-up special. I told him I’d… we’d make him one. So… you okay to direct and shoot and edit and volunteer at least 200 hours of your precious time for a man you’ve never met?” Mickey doesn’t break his pace with the dishes, “Of course." Mickey knows certain things are worth the time.
Quincy Jones is a Grammy winning American record producer, conductor, arranger, composer, musician, television producer, film producer, instrumentalist, magazine founder, entertainment company executive, and humanitarian. And he shares a name with this funny guy we know. Our Quincy Jones is a Los Angeles based comedian who can make any room fall in love with his craft, much like his namesake. Quincy moved to LA from Seattle to pursue a career in stand-up four years ago. Within his seven years of stand-up experience, Quincy has toured the country and played the best stages in LA, including shows with comedy legends like Bill Burr. In 2013 Quincy Jones was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame (while our Quincy was drinking a Chai with almond milk in a Korea Town coffee shop). On July 3, 2015 Quincy was diagnosed with stage-four Mesothelioma cancer. He was given one year to live. Quincy is currently not strong enough to work his regular barista day job; his energy can only last a few hours at a time. On nights that he is feeling well he makes sure to hit the stages around Los Angeles, spreading laughter, as he preps for this stand-up special film shoot. While on stage, Quincy is cancer free.
Mickey and Nicole Blaine have been a husband and wife producing team since their first show together while attending Loyola Marymount University in 1999. As Film, Television and Theater majors, the couple went on to produce, write and direct original theater, film, and television in Hollywood and New York. Pipe Dreams played to sold out audiences on tour in Los Angeles and at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2005. The Blaines returned 10 years later to FringeNYC with their long-running Los Angeles based stand-up show Virgin Sacrifice. The Blaines recently produced a television pilot based on Virgin Sacrifice, which is currently being shopped around town for distribution. They also produced two feature films, Commit (available on Amazon), and I’m Harry Clark. These films have won Best Film, Screenplay, Director, Actor and Audience Choice at over 50 film festivals worldwide. I’m Harry Clark was later adapted into a webseries and has won Best Comedy, Director, Writer, and Actor at some of the top web festivals across the country.
Cover Photo by Matt Misisco.
Quincy lives alone in Los Angeles. He fights cancer alone. Quincy's goal has always been to reach people he doesn't know through laughter. Hundreds of comics make up his Los Angeles family, sharing the microphone with him each night he's on stage. It's time to give to the comic. Let's not let Quincy stand up alone. Your continued support will change his world and leave a legacy of laughter.
What We Need
Mickey and I can’t produce this special by ourselves, which is scheduled to shoot on April 3, 2016 in Santa Monica, CA. We are humbled by the incredible crew members that have volunteered their time, or offered to work at extremely discounted rates! But we still need to raise money for the people who aren’t free and the equipment we don’t have or can’t borrow. The following budget is only possible because of volunteers, extremely reduced rates and donated equipment.
Production Fees and Rentals
Camera, Lighting, Sound: $2,250
Facility/Location Charge: $135
Food for the crew: $200
Post Production: $1,500
Kickstarter %, Rewards + Shipping: $500
Misc (issues always arise on productions): $400
There is no way we could produce this special without the volunteered hours of our amazingly talented and generous crew members. Our incredible cinematographer, Terrance Stewart, whom we have worked with multiple times, will bring a three person camera crew and rent additional equipment. We have recruited two professional sound technicians to insure the sound is recorded and mixed properly. This breakdown of costs is our bare minimum to make the special happen. Any money raised beyond our goal will first and foremost go into enhancing the production and post production of the special to ensure the highest quality and quickest turnaround (It’s important that Quincy gets to see the final product). After all of the production and postproduction has been paid for, any additional money raised will go to reimburse the creative people involved who were volunteering their time, including Quincy himself.
Rewards and Thank You's
Every dollar helps make Quincy's last dream of shooting a stand-up special a reality. Thank you is an understatement. We feel incredibly moved by your generosity.
If you contribute $25 or more you will be provided a digital download of the comedy special once clearance has been granted by potential distribution deals!
If you contribute $50 or more you will receive 5 bracelets hand designed by Quincy himself! Quincy and the incredible company Bead Relief, have teamed up to thank you, our fellow supporters! Wear the bracelets to STAND-UP together for Quincy's last dream.
Both Mickey and Nicole Blaine are honored and excited to work with the talented Quincy Jones and fulfill his lifelong dream of shooting a stand-up special on April 3, 2016. Quincy has been doing stand-up for seven years. Lucky comics often get their “big break” in comedy after the ten year benchmark. Quincy doesn’t have the time to wait. The Blaines are determined to make him an incredible special that will live on past the time he was given. The hour-long special will be a gift to his devoted mother, family, friends, comics that know and love him, fellow cancer fighters and their loved ones. Once complete, the Blaines will use the connections that have secured them distribution deals, and meetings with top companies, to guarantee that Quincy’s special can reach a larger audience.
Please donate now.
Please SHARE this project with your community.
With your help, we can make Quincy Jones’s last dream a reality.
Please help spread the laughter.
Risks and challenges
Of course, the biggest risk we face is Quincy's health. There is a chance that he may be too sick to shoot the special on our April 3rd shoot date. If that happens, our crew, volunteers, and the theater space in which we're shooting the special are all aware of the stakes, and are willing to postpone the shoot until Quincy is healthy enough to perform. We have timed the shoot according to Quincy's prognosis, and with his chemotherapy schedule in mind.
If, God forbid, Quincy is unable to shoot the special, we will use the money raised to shoot a comedy special in honor of Quincy Jones, and use the proceeds of that special to fund cancer research organizations and charities that deal directly with people suffering from cancer.
The only other risk is that we don't raise enough funds to guarantee that the product is finished, and available to the public, in time for Quincy to see it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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