Fuck You Pay Me is a brand new, award winning theatre show by Joana Nastari. It's a love letter to strippers, a no-holds-barred, surreal collision of comedy, poetry and storytelling, a storm of pink bank notes and Brazilian Favela-Funk, an bona-fide battle cry exploring the complexities and frivolities of life as a stripper in London.
Following an overwhelming response from critics, audiences, and the sex worker community at VAULT Festival earlier this year, we've been invited to play with the big boys at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018! And now we need a bit of help to get there!
"Before I had personal contact with sex work, sex workers and strip clubs, I had this inherited notion that it was an industry that was full of desperate, sad, depraved people. And when I arrived there I had my mind blown. I met goddesses, healers, divinity. I had a spiritual awakening I couldn’t not talk about it in a public forum." - Jo
Fuck You Pay Me follows phone-addict and secret stripper Bea, who's strict Catholic mum has just found out what she does for a living. She doesn't want to break her family's heart or give up her opportunity for financial freedom, but money is scarce, everyone has bills to pay, and getting on at work is harder than ever. As Bea navigates the politics of the stripclub, she explores stigma, shame and sisterhood...
Here's what people have to say about Fuck You Pay Me:
THAT LOOKS GREAT! HOW CAN I HELP?
We need £6,000 to take Fuck You Pay Me to the Edinburgh Fringe.
The money we raise from Kickstarter will go towards our overall budget of £13000. We’ve been hard at work raising the rest of the cash from parties, shows and special events.
Our rehearsal space has already been provided free of charge by the amazing Wiltons Music Hall. (Fuck You Pay Me won their Edinburgh Festival Award), and their space would usually cost upwards of £1500! Thank you Wiltons!
Our budget covers:
- Paying our cast and production team of 4 for 1 month of their time. We don’t agree with the idea of artists working for free, and always budget a minimum of union-set rates for the team.
- Travel and accommodation in Edinburgh
- Press & PR to spread the word about the show!
- Production costs (set, costume, props, lighting, insurance… theatre is - it turns out - expensive!)
Your donation could make a real difference:
- £1 pays for a special pink bank-note, an essential prop in the show.
- £5 pays for 10 printed programmes; which double as how-to-be-a-sex-work-ally guides! We're excited about these.
- £10 pays for the script to be printed, so the actors can learn their lines (always useful).
- £15 pays for some seriously scary, opal-drenched fake nails.
- £20 pays for some nipple tassels! What for? Come and see the show!
- £50 pays for all the LED lights in the world
- £100 pays for a killer pair of Pleasers.
- £250 pays for the rebuild of our set, essential for this new theatre space.
- £500 pays for all our stage lighting.
- £1000 pays for half the venue fee at Assembly
- £2000 pays for accommodation costs for the cast and crew, for the whole month!!
In return for your donation, we've designed some Kickstarter-exclusive rewards in collaboration with other Stripper community members. We take any support of Fuck You Pay Me seriously - if you've donated, you'll be hearing from us with updates and insider info all summer. Unless you don't want to, of course. Consent is key.
THEATRE, HUH? IS THAT IT?
Nope! As well as a show, Fuck You Pay Me is a piece of activism. Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts platform in the world and platforming this show there will give it unparalleled access to programmers from national and international venues. We want to use this opportunity to reach as many people as possible with the show but ALSO to raise some serious awareness about Sex Workers rights and build on the work that our incredible stripper and sex worker community is already doing.
In Edinburgh we will...
- Host community get togethers for sex workers.
- Collaborate with and platform other sex worker artists on our online platforms.
- Empower others to campaign for Sex Workers rights with a special “How-To” guide for every audience member.
As an extension of this, we also want to empower freelancer artists to take on the "Fuck You Pay Me" philosophy through meet ups, workshops and special content. Value yourselves, artists!
BUT WHY DO WE NEED SHOWS ABOUT STRIPPERS?
“Even within social groups, there is still no topic that divides people like sex work does. People either want to hear a scandalous tell-all about ‘happy hookers’ or a tragedy-porn sob story. I want my show to transcend these binary preconceptions about sex work and keep the audience on their toes.”- Jo
More often than not, strippers are portrayed in the media as voiceless bodies, statistics or through cheap stereotypes. There is a chronic lack of awareness of the working conditions of sex workers and prevailing social stigma that propagates a silence around the industry. This alongside the criminalisation of the sex industry makes sex workers unsafe and exposes them to violence.
With the FOSTA and SESTA bills in the US making a damaging impact worldwide, we have to explore and discuss sex work more transparently. It’s vital that we start to change the narrative. Fuck You Pay Me tells a story often left out of public conversations surrounding sex work. We’re platforming the real-life stories of strippers to transcend reductive narratives and dismantles shitty preconceptions.
Societal stigma hurts, isolates, silences strippers and sexworkers. As a result of stigma, their needs are not listened to, they are excluded from society, and they are not consulted on policy that affects them. Stigma permits people to treat sex workers and strippers with disrespect and sometimes violence.
We want to break that stigma.
CREDENTIALS! Some more info about the show and the FYPM team:
Fuck You Pay Me is the debut play by performance artist Joana Nastari. It was developed with support of Soho Theatre Young Company, Lyric Hammersmith, Rich Mix and a creative development residency with arts festival, Brainchild (AIM Award; Best Independent Festival 2015 & 2016). The show had it's premiere at Brainchild 2017, then a sold out run at Vault Festival 2018, where it won a People’s Choice Award. Now we’ve been invited by Assembly to take it to the Edinburgh Festival for a month’s run, where we’ll be looking to book a 2019 UK tour!
Writer and Performer Joana Nastari is an award winning Brazilian British actress, playwright and theatremaker, recently nominated for a Broadway World award for Best Actress for The Awakening, Brockley Jack (2016). Joana is a founding member of feminist arts collective ‘Sexy Lamp Society’ and hosts sex worker community events at local strip joints including ‘Sleazy Virtue’, encouraging women to share experiences, skills and secrets.
Director Bethany Pitts is an award winning director specialising in new writing. She has developed and directed work including Brutal Cessation by Milly Thomas (Theatre 503/Assembly Edinburgh) Tether by Isley Lynn (Underbelly Edinburgh) Spine by Clara Brennan (Soho Theatre / Fringe First Winner). She is Associate Director of Poleroid Theatre for whom she directed Free Fall by Vinay Patel (3 Off West End Nominations) and was previously Assistant Director for Theatre Royal Plymouth and Theatre Uncut.
Producer Ellen Spence is has produced work at venues including Soho Theatre (Off-West End award nominated, The 80s Show) The Yard Theatre & Camden People’s Theatre & is a director of critically acclaimed cabaret troupe Pecs Drag Kings. She is Assistant Producer at CanadaHub (2017 productions won two Fringe First Awards, Herald Angel Award and a Stage award at 2017 Edinburgh Fringe) and is also fundraising and development manager for Brainchild Festival (Aim Award; Best Independent Festival 2015, 2016).
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
Do you know other people and communities who might spend a dime on us? Share this page with them and get them to contribute. Cash money is the priority. But further down the line if you want to see the show or do some retweets or something, follow us on Twitter for more of that: @FYPMshow @JoanaNastari #FYPMshow
Risks and challenges
Because there is still so much stigma around stripping and sex work, securing funding from traditional avenues is a real struggle. Even advertising our events is a challenge, as Facebook and Instagram's algorithms block anything Sex-Work related from doing paid advertising.
We are committed to taking 'Fuck You Pay Me' as far as possible, to keep amplify Strippers' and Sex Workers’ stories & voices on our own terms and challenge the damaging, lazy, stigma reinforcing narratives that dominate the media.The more we can raise from our community, the more autonomy we can have over our projects, the more performance & other opportunities we can offer to Sex Workers and the less we have to rely on inaccessible funding pots to make the show happen!
Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a dynamic and challenging place, with loads of companies seeking to attract audiences and sell tickets. So taking a show is not without risks. However three of the team behind the show have had previous successes at the festival.
EVERY performance of Fuck You Pay Me so far has been a sell-out; not only is it a great story with a big audience, we’re great at selling it too!
Not only has the show gained significant momentum from its VAULT premiere, this momentum will be given another boost shortly before Edinburgh through our London previews on 27th and 28th of July.
F**k You Pay Me is running for 4 weeks at the Assembly Rooms from 2nd - 26th August at 3:25pm. For more information see the link above or email us at email@example.comLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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