About this project
---THE FOLLOWING IS HIGHLY CLASSIFIED---
$42,000 ACHIEVED-- We've hit our initial funding goal which means SPIES ARE FOREVER is happening! With this we'll have just enough to bring this story to life.
We've hit our initial goal which is amazing! And now we want to introduce some STRETCH GOALS!!! As we've stated before, $42K is the absolute bare bones budget for this production. By reaching these new targets, it allows us to enhance the production in countless ways, improve stipends for our actors and creative team, and include a lot more special surprises for YOU ALL along the way!
Here's what we're proposing for all backers whence we hit these new goals:
$48,000 ACHIEVED-- Every backer sends us a personal mugshot (a.k.a. selfie) and we will put each and every one of them IN the show!! So you'll be a part of Spies are Forever...FOREVER!
$52,000 ACHIEVED-- When production officially kicks of in January, we'll start releasing a podcast recounting our experiences producing Spies are Forever! We'll candidly discuss our stories and emotional states starting with the project's inception to its final performance!
$56,000 -- Including videos from rehearsals, writing sessions, and production meetings, we'll compile a Behind the Scenes video to showcase the best of times and the worst of times while working on Spies are Forever.
To help us reach our Stretch Goals, we're offering several "add-on" rewards that you can add to any existing reward tier!
$10 Add-On -- Spies are Forever Digital Evidence Package!!! This will include the mastered Spies are Forever Kickstarter song, the demo track, a custom Spies are Forever ringtone, as well as a collection of phone/computer/social media icons and wallpaper art!!
$25 Add-On -- The limited edition Spies are Forever Socks that are only available otherwise in the $100 tier! Because Socks...ARE FOREVER! (Plus $3 for International Shipping)
How to "Add-Ons"
- Go to Manage Your Pledge
- Increase your pledge in the Pledge Amount box by the total $ amount of your desired add-ons
- After the campaign ends, you'll get a backer survey to fill out
- In that survey you'll specify which add-ons you chose
REMINDER: If an add-on could bump your pledge into a higher reward tier, be sure not to change your reward selection to that tier or we'll send you everything in that higher reward tier instead of your add-ons!
Spies are Forever is a spy-themed, original comedy musical! This stage production pays homage to the classic espionage action, romance and mystery genres, while infusing them with our own signature absurdity and wit. In the show, Agent Curt Mega finds himself thrust into the shadows of Cold War politics as he works to foil a plot to rebuild the Nazi empire. Along the way, Agent Mega must tango with a Russian femme fatale, waltz around a black market arms dealer, and samba through a horde of outrageous characters. With a licence to kill and the voice of an angel, Mega must stay alive, complete the mission, and prove to his enemies that the deadliest weapon of all is a little song and dance.
From James Bond to Mission Impossible, we all grew up watching and loving spy movies. By bringing this genre to the stage, we're super excited to realize our childhood fantasies as part of our plan for world domination.
And as experienced theater geeks, we immediately knew that as a musical we could elevate and accentuate the emotion, action, and comedy of an espionage thriller. The best part: such a combo has yet to be fully realized on stage. Undoubtedly, we accepted the mission.
We, the Tin Can Brothers, will be writing the script for Spies are Forever. For those unfamiliar with our work, we are a Los Angeles-based online comedy group. We've known each other since 2007, but we founded this group in 2013 and have since written and produced over 80 original sketches and two live sketch shows, TCB: Alive! On Stage! and Seriously. Not a Joke, which we premiered at Chicago's Stage 773 and Los Angeles's ACME Comedy Theater, respectively. Individually we are Corey Lubowich (who will direct Spies are Forever), Brian Rosenthal (who will perform in the show), and Joey Richter (who will ALSO perform in the show).
After two years of generating sketch comedy, the desire to tackle long form storytelling has grown strong within us. With the two live shows we've written/produced as the Tin Can Brothers under our belts, we've felt what immense pleasure, gratification, and connection live theater brings to not only the creators and performers, but the audience as well.
COREY LUBOWICH will be Directing the Show!!
Corey's previous work includes directing Airport for Birds (and Other Great Ideas) at Chicago’s Second City, a national concert tour with Glee’s Darren Criss, designs for seven shows with StarKid Productions (including A Very Potter Sequel and Holy Musical, B@man!), and producing acclaimed productions of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Reefer Madness, and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Corey also co-created the musical webseries World’s Worst Musical. @coreylubo
BRIAN ROSENTHAL as Dr. Baron Von Nazi!!
Brian has appeared regionally with the Peterborough Players and Michigan Shakespeare Festival, nationally in commercials, and internationally in (the background of) feature films. He co-produced and performed in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at Chicago’s Stage 773 in 2013. Brian also works often with StarKid Productions (the Very Potter Musical Trilogy, Apocalyptour). He has a BFA in Acting from the University of Michigan and loves talking about himself in the third-person. @brian_rosenthal
JOEY RICHTER as Arms Dealer, Sergio Santos!!
Joey is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan BFA Acting program where he also Minored in Global Media Studies. Film/TV credits include: Nickelodeon’s Genie in a Bikini, Disney Channel’s Jessie as Officer Petey, several seconds of Fox’s Glee as Apple #8, The Legend of Korra, Mad, Monsters vs. Aliens, Manly, as well as Triggerfish’s film Khumba. Online credits include: School of Thrones, Muzzled, and New Form Digital’s Incubator Series short, I Ship It. Theatrically, Joey has worked closely with StarKid Productions for the past 6 years since their creation in Ann Arbor, MI. His credits with StarKid include the Very Potter Musical Trilogy, the S.P.A.C.E and Apocalyptour national concert tours, Starship, and most recently The Trail to Oregon! which ran Off-Broadway in New York this spring. Additionally, he co-produced/performed in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at Chicago’s Stage 773. @joeyrichter
Music and Lyrics will be written by the band TalkFine (@talkfine), which is composed of Brooklyn-based musicians Clark Baxtresser (@claark) and Pierce Siebers. Baxstresser graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor of musical arts and Siebers received his degree in composition and theory at the Blair School of Vanderbilt University. Soon after moving to New York, the duo formed TalkFine. Following the release of their EP Lesser Known Hits, TalkFine was named 1 of 9 Brooklyn bands to watch by Harper’s BAZAAR magazine and premiered their new hip-hop-inflected track and music video, “Dance Like This,” on Out magazine’s website in Spring 2014. Most recently, TalkFine collaborated with the theater group-turned-YouTube sensation, Team StarKid, to write the music and lyrics for the original production of “Ani: A Parody” and provide music direction for “The Trail to Oregon” in Chicago during Summer 2014 and again in the Spring of 2015 at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City.
Our cast, in addition to Brian and Joey, is going to be small but POWERFUL. We've already locked in some immensely talented people to play with us and can't wait to get this group together.
CURT MEGA as Agent Curt Mega!!
Curt is a Los Angeles based actor, writer, improviser, host, and singer from Dallas, Texas, best known for his four season recurring role as Nick the Warbler on Fox’s hit show Glee. He led the Warblers in Billy Joel’s "Uptown Girl" and toured with the Glee cast for the 2011 Glee Live International Tour. Additional credits include Switched at Birth on ABC Family opposite R.J. Mitte, the recent comedy feature film Spare Change from the producers of Orange is the New Black, his own original digital comedy series Buffering, and the upcoming workplace comedy series Brian Remus, Science Genius from Relativity Media. Theatre credits include the 2014 Ovation Award nominated Lés Miserables at Cathy Rigby’s La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, Damn Yankees with Richard Kind at Casa Mañana Theatre, and the regional debut of The Light in the Piazza at Theatre Three in Dallas, Texas. He toured the country in the original sketch comedy show The JoMoShow, was company member of Second City’s TMI The Show, and can be seen in various comedy shorts on the inter-webs! Curt is a writer and producer, and also teaches comedy and improv for Gray Studios nationwide. @curtmega
MARY KATE WILES as the Femme Fatale!!
Mary Kate is best known for her work as Lydia Bennet in the Emmy-award winning webseries The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, as well as her work in other popular webseries Squaresville (Zelda), School of Thrones (Sansa), and Kissing in the Rain (Lily). She was last seen on stage as Anne Shirley in Jessica Kubzansky's Anne of Green Gables. Other theatre credits include: Hello Again (The Nurse, USC), The Pajama Game (Poopsie, USC), Brigadoon (Jean, USC), The Winter's Tale (Perdita, Ojai Shakespeare Festival), Bat Boy: The Musical (Shelley Parker, Hudson Theatre). She can also be seen in the short film I Ship It (featured at Sundance Film Festival 2015), and feature films Dreamworld, and the upcoming Murder in the Dark, Hello My Name is Frank, and The Sound and the Shadow. She loves Lord of the Rings more than pretty much anything and is a bona fide cat lady. @mkwiles
AL FALLICK as The Informant!!!!
Al Fallick is currently studying at the Groundlings as he finishes up work on his first short film, We're Working On It (which co-stars Joey and includes cameos from Corey & Brian!). Some of his recent work can be seen at DIY.org, if you happen to be a child who's into theatre (he's an online theatre camp counselor). He is thrilled and excited to announce that he is not a virgin!! @alfal99
LAUREN LOPEZ as The Agency Boss!!!
Lauren is an actor, singer, dancer, and writer who was born and raised in the suburbs of Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she studied acting in the Department of Theatre and Drama. Over the past five years, Lauren has worked with StarKid Productions on numerous projects, including the Very Potter Musical trilogy as Draco Malfoy, two sold-out national tours, and partnerships with The Second City. In addition to her work with StarKid, Lauren has also had a solid career in the commercial circuit, working in both regional and national commercials and ad campaigns. Her most recent projects include the webseries Muzzled the Musical! and the stage show The Power of Prom. Lauren is also a lover of prancing and all things unicorn-related. @laurenlopez1
We're thrilled to add TESSA NETTING to The Cast!!!
Tessa is an actress, singer, YouTuber, host, and all around geek. She began her professional career onstage in the Original Broadway Cast of Billy Elliot the Musical as 'spastic starfish' Susan Parks where she performed in over 1,000 shows. Since moving to Los Angeles her Film/TV credits include: Disney Channel’s BUNK’D as Hazel, Nickelodeon’s Fred: The Show as Eloise, a dance number on Fox’s Glee as Apple #9, plus various national commercials. Her Online credits include: Skybound’s Nerd Court, Inappropriate Parents from The Fine Brothers, plus numerous video appearances and hosting for Awesomness TV, DreamWorks TV, and Eli Roth’s Crypt TV. She also toured the country performing sketch comedy with Joe Moses and Curt Mega in The JoMoShow. In addition to her acting credits, Tessa’s geeky inspired YouTube channel has over 8 million views. She has been featured in Forbes, New York Magazine, Huffington Post, CBS, NBC, Playbill, and Billboard. Her favorite thing in the entire world is Harry Potter. #lumos @tessanetting
And we're adding JOSEPH WALKER to The Cast!!!
Joseph Walker is thrilled to be a company member of Spies Are Forever, as this will be his first performance upon returning to Los Angeles. He has spent the previous five years in Chicago as a writer, producer, and company member of Starkid Productions. Joseph can be seen as Voldemort in Starkid’s most well known show, A Very Potter Musical, but most recently played Moff Tarkin in Starkid’s ‘Star Wars’ parody, Ani! A Musical! Joseph recently completed a run of a show at Chicago’s Improv Olympic Theater with Starkid, entitled Yes, I Am Afraid of the Dark. Joseph can also be seen on episodes of MTV’s Underemployed, and NBC’s Chicago Fire.
If funded, Spies Are Forever will be performed live in Los Angeles, CA at the NoHo Arts Center from March 11–April 3, 2016
September/October- Kickstarter Campaign!
November- Work on refining the show with TalkFine
December- Workshop/reading of the show
Late January- Rehearsals Begin
Mid-February- Technical Rehearsals, move into the theatre
February-March- Running the show!
March-April- Backer rewards begin to be sent out
We're super excited and passionate about this project, but lack the funds on our own to make SPIES ARE FOREVER a reality on our own. So we're turning to you to join our team!
With Kickstarter, the funding is all or nothing. If we make our goal, at the end of the campaign, everyone's credit cards are charged and the project happens! If we do not make the goal, no one gets charged, SPIES ARE FOREVER does not happen and the evidence is destroyed.
Even though it seems like a huge sum of money, it's not a lot to mount a full length musical. But we're creative and scrappy, so we'll make it work!
--Director of Photography:
Benji Dell (http://www.benjamindell.com/)
--Gaffer: Justin Ivan
--Sound Operator: Al Fallick (http://twitter.com/alfal99)
--Associate Producer: Amy Plouff (http://www.amyplouff.com/)
Risks and challenges
The potential risks of mounting this musical include, but are not limited to:
-Our actors booking better paying work which requires them to leave the project
-Mismanagement in one or more parts of the budget
-Not selling enough tickets because our marketing strategy has completely broken down
-And most heartbreaking: the risk that we don't make you laugh and you fail to have a lovely night at the theater.
All those things aside, the largest challenge we have is the fact that we have given ourselves little to no overhead. Producing a musical is extremely expensive, but we believe, using our creativity and experience, that we can stretch our budget to make the show a kick-ass musical event.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The actors named above! On stage! Live! No lip syncing here!
No. HOWEVER, the $25 reward tier entitles you to a digital ticket to SPIES ARE FOREVER. We'll be recording a performance that we will send to you through a secure portal for your viewing pleasure within the first 2 weeks of the run. You'll have 72 hours from when you start SPIES ARE FOREVER to finish before it self-destructs.
No, not if it doesn't get funded. If we don't reach our Kickstarter goal, the production gets NOTHING and SPIES ARE FOREVER doesn't happen. And if the show doesn't happen, it can't get posted to YouTube.
If we reach the goal and SPIES ARE FOREVER gets produced, we're planning on a 2017 YouTube premiere.
Surely you guys are rolling in that sweet, sweet, YouTube money and can bridge the gap if you don't make your goal.
Firstly, that's not a question. Secondly, we unfortunately don't have the funds to support a production of this scale. Most of our videos are done on a shoestring budget. We are not rolling in YouTube money (though we'd like to be). We've in fact made less than $700 on YouTube in a year and a half!
But your Kickstarter video looked so good! Can't you use your thrifty powers to produce SPIES ARE FOREVER on a low budget as well?
I know right?! It did look great!! But we actually spent over a $1,000 on that video. And now it put us one thousand more dollars in debt! The budget we've created for SPIES ARE FOREVER is quite literally the minimum we need to produce the show.
Our three biggest expenses are renting a theater/rehearsal spaces, fulfilling Kickstarter rewards, and paying the credit card processing fees. Combined, these amount to over HALF of the budget we've outlined for SPIES ARE FOREVER. And after you break down the remaining budget into scenery, props, costumes, sound, music, lighting, projections, marketing, recording the show, stipends, and insurance/miscellaneous, each department is left with only a sliver of the pie.
When the project ends and if the goal has been reached, your credit card will be charged and Kickstarter should automatically convert to your local currency (but check with your bank/credit card issuer for any fees). We will then deliver your backer rewards to any country on earth (again, sorry to any extraterrestrials).
I just noticed you added the "Private Video Correspondence" tier for $175, but I already backed a higher tier! Will I receive a private video conference in addition to all the other cool stuff?
Yes, valued backer, you will receive all rewards offered below your pledge tier INCLUDING those added later. Phew, I thought that wasn't going to be a question.
Of course! Single tickets to SPIES ARE FOREVER will be available for purchase in the new year (provided we meet our funding goal here on Kickstarter and the show happens at all).
What kind of missions will we get in the "License to Spy" reward tier? I've never killed a man before...
And you won't have to! Most of these will be simple, fun, challenges you can do in your city (e.g. take a surreptitious photo of your father where your pet is photobombing, walk through an entire mall while wearing a fake mustache, find the highest point within a one mile radius and reveal your true identity). When you complete your assigned mission, you'll earn a personalize spy ID card.
Why would I want a tuxedo shirt in the "Black Tie Preferred" tier? I don't have the rest of the tuxedo to go along with it!
What we meant was tuxedo T-SHIRT, which is an incredibly versatile addition to your wardrobe that is appropriate for any occasion (black goes with everything).
Thank you! We're glad you share our enthusiasm.
But here's a friendly reminder that if we don't make 100% of our goal, no backers get charged, we don't get any funding, SPIES ARE FOREVER won't be produced, and you'll never find out what Mary Kate Wiles was doing in the video.
P.S. That wasn't a question, either.
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