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A musical Steampunk tale of mad science, glorious villainy, and goggles, told with wit, drama, satire and devilishly clever rock songs.
A musical Steampunk tale of mad science, glorious villainy, and goggles, told with wit, drama, satire and devilishly clever rock songs.
236 backers pledged $8,616 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$8,616

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It's the last 3 hours and we're $50 away from our next-to-last-stretch goal! The Absinthe Heroes charity Steampunk cover album is a GO, which leaves just two stretch goals left:

At $8250, I'm going to hire our artist/design Aristotle Pramagioulis to create a special Certificate of Unusual Merit - and that will be for EVERYONE who's contributed at least $7.  And that's WITH your titles!
And finally...if we break $8600 - I'm going to give back to the community. I'll pick one Steampunk Kickstarter per month, and use The Steampunk World's Fair's resources to give it some posts and tweets and a good mention in my monthly emails. I feel like that's fitting.

Here's the deal: 

We're putting on a showing of our Steampunk rock opera on Saturday, May 14th, at our event, The Steampunk World's Fair! We're making a live album AND a live video for people who can't attend the performance, and we've got tickets for those who can.  We hit our basic goal, and are now working on making the show bigger, better, splashier, and more fun to see and hear! 

 Contribute today to get fantastic rewards and help us have better sound, better costumes, better sets, and a better show!

Our video is courtesy of Eric Vitner, IdeaMachineFilms.com.
Hold onto your top hats! This is going to be quite a ride!
Hold onto your top hats! This is going to be quite a ride!

This is the story of 

  • a (very) Mad Scientist,
  • a heroic Airship Captain (who hates his job),
  • a respectable Mayor (who isn't secretly a Lovecraftian cultist or anything),
  • and an Evil Chocolatier.

They abide in peaceful Alternative Universe Victorian London, where everything is splendid and nothing could ever, ever possibly go dreadfully, horribly wrong.

Trust me.

Would an Lovecraftian and unreliable narrator lie to you?

 Absinthe Heroes is a propulsive, darkly humorous rock opera which both satirizes and celebrates the weird, wondrous world which is Steampunk.  It's got a gorgeous score by renowned Steampunk headliner Psyche Corporation, whose work has enthralled audiences all over the world.  Absinthe Heroes has been described as "a riotous blending of the ridiculous and the sublime"; "mad science in theatrical form", and "A Steampunk rollercoaster".  It's chock full of surprises, plot twists, Easter eggs, and, just as things are starting to get seriously silly, it arcs into exhilarating drama and storytelling.

My name is Jeff Mach.  I run the world's largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World's Fair, which has about 6,000 attendees annually.  Some half a decade ago, when SPWF was just a weird little labor of love struggling to be born, I was struck by how little theatre this fledgling culture had produced. We had authors, we had music, we had spectacular garb and gear...but almost no theatre.  What theatre there was tended to be mostly about costuming - like a Steampunk Hamlet, for example.  And that's grand, but pretty derivative. It doesn't do or say anything unique.

So I set out to create a work that would bring together all of those Steampunk arts - song, fashion, writing, gadgetry - and meld them together into one unique show.

 Now that The Steampunk World's Fair is internationally known, now that our show is a fixture in the Steampunk calendar and our stages feature stadium-quality sound and light, I'm bringing Absinthe Heroes back - and this time I want to share it with the world!   

Every Mad Scientist Needs A Secret Weapon

Actually, our secret weapon isn't secret at all - I can tell you exactly what it is.  It's that thing I mentioned above - namely, the world's largest Steampunk event.

Because SPWF isn't just the host of this show - it's a massive advantage for us, and for you!  Here's how it helps:

  • Most theatricals need a ton of budget for theatre space.  We don't!  We've got a brilliant stage ready and waiting for us!
  • Sound and light are difficult and expensive - especially for musical theatre!  But SPWF already has the services of Circuit 6, whose work has graced stages of all sizes throughout the nation.  They've designed for tiny theatres and massive venues.  Our sonic and illuminatory production values are going to be tremendous - at no cost to us!
  • And not to put too fine a point on it, it's hard for a good show to find a good producer.  But being a producer/promoter is my full-time job, and has been for a decade.  I don't just have the relevant skills and knowledge - I literally wake up every morning and go to work making things like this happen.

Charity

 I feel pretty fortunate.  The Steampunk community has helped me make this wild, crazy world into my actual day job.  And how many playrights can say that they have the resources of a giant festival to put behind their show?

So we wanted to give a little bit back. 

  • We're going to auction off some of our props, sets, and memorabilia.  Proceeds go to (charity TBT).
  • We're reserving five front-row seats for the highest biddger.  100% of the proceeds go to (other charity TBT)
  • And we'll also be taking yarn donations for Warmer Winters, a nonprofit which knits clothing for people in need.

Our Gift To The Steampunk World

Not only will your contributions help make this show incredible, not only will you get fabulous rewards, not only will many get to you have great seats at the show...

...you'll also help bring this show to the whole Steampunk community, and, in fact, to the world!

One of the many benefits of doing this show at The Steampunk World's Fair lies in the sound design.  SPWF was the first - and still one of the only Steampunk shows  - to have major-venue sound; among other things, our event includes the world's largest festival of Steampunk music, so sound really matters.

What that ALSO means is that we've already got a top-notch sound mix coming through our system.  which means in turn that we're already fairly set for a phenomenal cast live album!

I mean, getting it to the quality we'd like is still going to take some work, and part of our fundraising will go into a bit of extra gear, postproduction, and mixing  But even at our baseline goal, we'll be releasing a half-dozen of the Absinthe Heroes' songs for free.  So anyone in the Steampunk community - actually, anyone in the world! - can access these tunes!  And for a modest contribution to the Kickstarter, you can get them all - that's nearly 20 songs!

So while we're using The Steampunk World's Fair as our engine, the show doesn't belong to SPWF. In true Steampunk spirit, we offer our humble show to all and sundry!  

And The Next Part Is Up To You!

 Now, Absinthe Heroes is not inherently a lavish show.  It can be done - and has been done - with production values as simple as a couple of goggles, a ray gun, and one Large And Mysterious Switch.

But...

Steampunk is capable of such glorious pomp and puffery, such dizzying heights of the divinely over-the-top pageantry!  And we know such amazing Steampunk artisans!  We'd love to give them a chance to really strut their stuff.  

In general, some of our budget will go towards compensating the directoral team.  Some will go towards getting the word out - we'd like to make sure, for example, that the artists and actors and musicians involved get recognized for their work!  Some will go to props, some to costuming, some to sets, some will go to musical accompaniment - in general, we're going to take the money we get and use it to maximize your enjoyment of the show!  

And if we do well, we'll go beyond our goal of a live album, into our stretch goal - to do a live video shoot, preferably at least a three-camera shoot.  That way, you can bring Absinthe Heroes right into your own screens!

Risks and challenges

Some of the primary challenges facing most theatrical productions are the cost and setup of a theatre itself. But The Steampunk World's Fair, being an international festival, has staging, light, and sound which rival any major theatre in the country.

Also, while we're putting together a great cast, Absinthe Heroes was originally designed as a one man show; if all of the members of our cast were kidnapped on the day of performance, I could still put on the show myself. However, I would probably leave the theatre soon after I finished, to track down and exact vengeance from said kidnappers. So I might not be able to stick around for questions if that happens.

In all seriousness - I'm not at all flippant about the risks. But the honest truth is that we already HAVE the majority of the resources we need to do this show. What we seek are the resources to do the show AMAZINGLY WELL, and then share it with you.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    The Absinthe Taster

    We will bestow upon you a Steampunk title, through the authority of the Mayer of Alternate Universe London himself! And it will be listed under "contributors" on our website! List of available titles goes up shortly; bear in mind that there's only ONE of each title permitted - so once a title's selected, it's gone!

    Please email jeff@jeffmachevents.com with "Steampunk Title Reward" in the subject line to reserve your title. It's first-come, first-served - so get yours now, before it's gone!

    You can find the list of currently-offered titles at http://2016.steampunkworldsfair.com/about/about-jeff-mach/steampunk-titles-available/.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    The Absinthe Tweeter

    Not only will we will bestow upon you a Steampunk title, through the authority of the Mayer of Alternate Universe London himself - we'll also tweet it to the 8,000 people of our Twitter account! Most tweets will happen much sooner than May - but they'll all happen BY May.

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    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    The Very Limited Edition Absinthe Sip

    The title!
    The tweet!
    AND!

    We'll mail you your very own Absinthe Heroes postcard, which you can then stamp and mail to the lucky Steampunk of your choice!

    You can pick this up at-event or have it mailed to you.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $11 or more About $11

    The Absinthe Listener - The grand title, the tweet, AND a digital copy of the Absinthe Heroes live album! The album will contain all the songs from the show, and will have a snippet or two of dialogue.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: This album IS included in all other rewards, BUT - it will be delivered separately and later. Because we'll definitely need time to mix it.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    The Absinthe Connoisseur

    Not only will we will bestow upon you a Steampunk title AND tweet it - we'll also send the message out to the 87,000 people of our Facebook page! Excellent advertising for Steampunk businesses and artisans and events!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $23 or more About $23

    The Absinthe Gourmet

    It's finally here! WE'LL BE VIDEORECORDING THE SHOW! It's going to be filmed and edited by Eric Vitner of
    http://www.ideamachinefilms.com/. This purchase will get you a digital copy of the show (if you need us to ship you a DVD, please message me). Like the live album, it will need a bit of time for post-show editing. AND this reward comes with:

    The grand title, the tweet, AND a digital copy of the Absinthe Heroes live album!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $33 or more About $33

    Show ticket - Guest Level

    (Please note that Absinthe Heroes tickets are ONLY good for the rock opera itself. To attend any other parts of the event, you'd want to buy an event ticket over on the SPWF website.

    This comes with the title, the tweet, the album, AND a ticket to the show! (It does not include the Facebook post.)

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    Limited 23 backers
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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Show ticket - Steam Dignitary

    This comes with everything above *including* the Facebook post, PLUS...your name and title in the show playbill as "Jr Producer". You get a lovely piece of gourmet, individually-made artisinal chocolate by LeBeau Chocolates. It will also include a packet of special Absinthe Heroes tea, made by a Steampunk World's Fair teamaker.

    (Please note that Absinthe Heroes tickets are ONLY good for the rock opera itself. To attend any other parts of the event, you'd want to buy an event ticket over on the SPWF website.)

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    Pledge $66 or more About $66

    TWO Show tickets - Guest Level

    **This is exactly like the $33 reward, only it's a pair of them, so you get two of everything from that level. If you want to buy two tickets, this makes it easier. This is two guest-level tickets.**

    (Please note that Absinthe Heroes tickets are ONLY good for the rock opera itself. To attend any other parts of the event, you'd want to buy an event ticket over on the SPWF website.

    This comes with the title, the tweet, the album, AND a ticket to the show! (It does not include the Facebook post.)

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    Pledge $88 or more About $88

    Show ticket - Lord High Muckety-Muck

    This comes with everything above *including* the Facebook post, including the chocolate and tea, plus credit as a Producer, AND...

    A private reception with lovely fancy cheese and snacks, with members of the cast and crew. A Steampunk World's Fair t-shirt autographed by both Jeff Mach and Psyche Corporation. And reserved seating in the second row.

    (Please note that Absinthe Heroes tickets are ONLY good for the rock opera itself. To attend any other parts of the event, you'd want to buy an event ticket over on the SPWF website.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Ultra-VIP Show ticket - Grand Potentate

    This comes with everything above AND... front-row center seating, a certificate of title, credit on our website as Show Benefactor, a shout-out from the stage, and dinner with members of the cast and crew - on us!

    (Please note that Absinthe Heroes tickets are ONLY good for the rock opera itself. To attend any other parts of the event, you'd want to buy an event ticket over on the SPWF website.

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    Limited 8 backers
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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    The Birthday Person!

    ALL of the above VIP perks, plus I will personally plan your Steampunk birthday party!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    I will PERSONALLY come to a location within 500 miles of New York City and perform the one-person version of the musical for you and 20 friends!

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Funding period

- (29 days)