About this project
WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE?
Since 2009, The New Movement has been hosting a variety of comedy projects in not only New Orleans and Austin, but around the country through all sorts of festivals and tours. We teach improv and sketch comedy writing classes. We host shows all over the city. We produce some of the most unique comedy festivals in the world.
In 2011, New Orleans natives Chris Trew and Tami Nelson moved back home from Austin with the intention of putting New Orleans on the comedy map. They opened a small comedy theater and training center in 2011, and they did big things in a short period of time. Here's a video about what TNM was like back then.
After 2 years in the small, musty space on Burgundy, The New Movement is proudly expanding our comedy-creating operations to a beautiful, spacious spot at 2706 St. Claude. This move not only allows us to teach more classes, it creates new show slots and seats a larger audience. Additionally, the TNM community will have access to a podcast recording booth, a video production studio complete with a green screen wall, green room with all the amenities for performers, and classrooms dedicated to both Improv and Sketch Writing.
This is a huge step up for our homegrown business and we’re fully committed to make this leap because we believe in our comedy and community. We are proud to be a part of New Orleans' art scene and we hope our presence on St. Claude Avenue will compliment the exciting growth the area is undergoing.
And to all TNMers reading this right now, this new space will be your home, your forge and platform.
We're so damn serious about this that if we reach our initial fundraising goal of $50,000 on this Kickstarter, TNM Founders Chris Trew and Tami Nelson will agree to perform their weekly 2-person improv show, Chris + Tami, for free in New Orleans for the rest of their lives. They are excited to contribute to the accessibility of comedy in New Orleans and are grateful for the continued support that Nola audiences have shown.
Whether you’re a TNM student or graduate (or a fancy-pants comedian passing through on tour), you know how we strive to promote your work via our websites, social media accounts and with local promoters. You also know about the constant guidance, support, and feedback we offer to our performers. If you've ever seen shows at our theaters, you know that we balance a high level of quality control while maintaining an experimental vibe so our students can find their voice through a variety of performance opportunities. We also consistently bring in some of the biggest names in the comedy business.
TNM does a lot of stuff. Since we started in 2009, our company has won numerous awards, garnered tons of critical praise and press, and has organized dozens of noteworthy festivals and special events. Currently, between Austin and New Orleans, we produce over 25 shows per week and have 20+ improv/sketch classes in session simultaneously. Our festivals attract top talent, eager students, and hungry audiences to both TNM cities, boosting the local economies & cultures. We run workshops, intensives, and improv summer camps for kids. Later this year we are releasing a feature-length documentary. We maintain a presence in the national comedy scene by sending our performers on tours & sponsoring trips to other comedy festivals.
And we're planning to blow everything up even more.
A Sneak Peek @ Our New Space
Things to note downstairs: the cool hangout spot in our lobby, the cute lil’ snack bar that feeds onto the back patio, the box office/merch booth in the middle, a comfy theater (with an actual stage wall!) to showcase TNM and out-of-town talent, multiple clean bathrooms, an electrified external TNM sign, and space space SPACE!
Things to note upstairs: multiple classrooms, rehearsal space, podcast recording booth, video production studio, a souped-up green room, a front balcony for parties, and a rear balcony for chilling above it all…it’s a fully-air-conditioned creative hive of activity, y’all.
ESTIMATED COST BREAKDOWN
- Construction - $25k - Building/painting walls, risers, wiring, doors, sound-proofing, 2 bathrooms, stage, back patio
- Equipment - $10k - Lights, sound, cameras, mics, box office stuff, projection, tech booth stuff
- Furnishings - $10k - Seats (65 w/expandable chairs), tables, bar stools, signage, couch, fridge, and various green room goodies
- Permits/Legal - $2500 - Duh.
- Miscellaneous - $2500
- March 2014 - Sign lease, hire architects to draw up plans, and start demoing
- April 2014 - Submit plans to city for approval
- May 2014 - Paint and move in upstairs, teach classes upstairs, begin downstairs construction after approval
- June 2014 - Construction/move out of old space
- July 2014 - Open theater, TNM Nola lives here forever and continues evolving
- $50k (LOCKED) - Yes! This thing is happening. Chris + Tami will never charge admission for their show ever again. Like, never ever.
- $60k (LOCKED) - We can install a live video stream so people in the back room/outside can watch the show that’s happening onstage.
- $75k (LOCKED) - We begin renovations and expanding our Austin location (616 Lavaca Street in downtown Austin).
To your right, you'll find a wealth of rewards that we thoughtfully chose to appeal to TNMers, local businesses, and improvisers, sketch comedians, stand-ups, audience members, festival-goers, art lovers, comedy fans, and good-karma-wanting-people all over the world.
If you like this project, feel free to donate, and tell your friends, family, and any comedians you know about it. The support from our lovely improv community has been wonderful thus far, and to everyone who has already pledged, you're amazing and thank you all so much.
For more information about TNM, go to www.TNMComedy.com.
Risks and challenges
We’ve got lots of increased day-to-day costs like utilities, insurance, etc. The upstairs area is mostly built out, so we can start teaching classes, producing content, and having fun up there, which is HUGE. We’re currently waiting for one final permit to get approved and then we jump on this thing full force.
Of course, all of the demo-ing and construction and legal paperwork could wind up costing us more than the $50k we're estimating right now, so we've got Stretch Goals, and if we raise much more than the goal of this campaign, you can be guaranteed that every bit of that money will go right into creating the most special home for comedy that ever existed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Holy crap! Are Chris & Tami really going to perform the Chris & Tami show for free forever and ever if this damn thing happens?
Yes. A million times yes. You’re providing us some serious funds at a time when we need it most and we hope to offer the city/world something that we’ve been crafting for almost a decade - our show, for free, every week, until we die. Because everyone deserves to see good, smart comedy all the time.
And yes, we did the math. If 65 people come see our show every week @ $10 each for the next 50 years, we will have performed $1,690,000 worth of comedy for them. Instead, they get all of that comedy for free.
We know, it’s crazy.
The New Movement started in Austin, TX in 2009, solidifying central Texas as a breeding ground for comedic talent. Since then, TNM has maintained a presence around the country by producing comedy tours (Hashtag Comedy Tour; Nola Comedy Hour; ATX Comedy Hour; Air Sex World Championships), festivals (Megaphone Marathons, Hell Yes Fest, Improv Wins Conference) and TV/film/web projects (Comedy Central's "The House That Drips Blood on Alex,” Machinima’s “The Tommy Wi-Show,” & the upcoming Air Sex: The Movie).
In 2011, TNM expanded to New Orleans, LA (hometown of founders Chris Trew and Tami Nelson) with the goal of putting New Orleans on the comedy map. And we think that’s happened now.
Chris Trew - For nearly 10 years, Chris Trew has devoted his life to building a comedy scene. He's started multiple comedy festivals (Hell Yes Fest, Dallas Comedy Fest, Megaphone Marathons), serves as producer on many large-scale events (FunFunFun Fest, Moontower), and founded the first ever improv comedy conference (Improv Wins). He toured the country as a student for many years and has toured many more as an instructor, consultant, author and performer. He is the proud co-founder of The New Movement.
Tami Nelson - Tami Nelson has been teaching Level 1 improv classes since 2006. During that time she has introduced well over 1,000 performers to the art of improv. Her first book, Improv Wins, was released in 2013, the same year she was named one of Gambit's 40 under 40, (along with Chris Trew) a prestigious award given to notable New Orleanians. She is a comedy festival veteran and the proud co-founder of The New Movement.
Brock LaBorde - A former resident of New Orleans, Brock has been writing and producing comedy projects of all shapes and sizes, across every possible medium, since 2001. Although he currently lives in Los Angeles, Brock continues to become more immersed in TNM beyond his role as business manager, and he hopes to bring his writing and production expertise to TNM in a major way very soon.
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