Annual Spring Fundraiser, or, I Got Your Number Baby

04/29/2010 at 11:59 pm | Posted in 49>50, How to this-or-that, News & Explanations | 2 Comments

Let’s talk, darling.  As in — let me call you up and leave you a custom voicemail, including any snippet of any song I’ve ever released, on your phone.  If I catch you in person, let’s chat for a couple minutes!  A singing telegram from Alaska.  This is my idea of a client meeting.  I’ll sing for you over the phone.

Announcing the Marian Call 3rd Annual Tour Fundraiser Extravaganza Bash Thing!

(This is how I do accounting and pay the bills, with a little whimsy.  You see, in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.  You find the fun, and — SNAP!  The job’s a game!  If you’re wondering why I need to raise a little more cash at the beginning of the 49>50 Tour, see below.)

Nearly everything I’m offering this year was requested by fans.  You guys.  So please, have a look, snag something sweet, bid in the auction (4/30-5/7), download an album, or spread the word!  It’s time.  If you don’t want any fanstuff, but you’ve enjoyed either my music or my tweets or my friendship — please help me come down and see thousands of people all over the U.S. by dropping $5 in my online tip jar.  You can do that.  Like NPR or your favorite local bar, good music only exists if you support it now and again. Here are some of the items up for grabs this week at http://mariancall.com/fundraiser.php:

  • Personalized Voicemail from Marian — get a singing telegram of any song snippet you like! Only $25 (no shipping of course).
  • T-shirts (for the first time ever!!!) — sweatshop-free garments, organic options, choose any color or cut for any design!
  • Photo Prints by Brian Adams, valued at $125 each, now only $55 + S&H.
  • New Tour Posters! Autographed with any show date or inscription you like. Only 30 are available. They ship rolled domestically, folded internationally. $16.99.
  • Auction: Original Marian Call Lyrics. First scrawlings of the songs “Dear Mister Darcy,” “Good Morning Moon,” “Perilous Road,” and “Temoporal Dominoes” (commissioned inadvertently on Twitter by Phil Plait).  Straight from my journal! With doodles.
  • Auction: Autographed Limited Edition Serenity Blueprints by Quantum Mechanix, Inc. Signed by Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk.
  • Auction: Handwritten Framed Lyrics to “I’m Yours” or “In the Black.”
  • Auction: Custom Typewriter Necklace, one of only two — Marian owns the other! — by Take to the Sky Jewelry (featured recently in the celebrity gift suites at the Oscars and American Music Awards. Not too shabby! Image avail. soon.)
  • Auction: the last 3 existing copies of the First Run Limited Edition of Vanilla, with a bonus track and hand-assembly and home printing, made in 2007 for Marian’s earliest fans.

Any questions, just ask me at mariancall*at*mac.com.  Again, all these items are linked from http://mariancall.com/fundraiser.php.

I received this question on http://formspring.me/mariancall the other day, anonymously, and it’s one of the best I’ve ever received:

I am not familiar with how the art world of independent musical artist works. I take it that you are not making enough money selling your music and merchandise and you are also asking for donations to go on tour. Is this correct? Can you elaborate?

My answer: This is SUCH a good question. Allow me to explain why I am having my 3rd annual fundraiser.

1) I love Alaska and I love living here. But getting outside of Alaska, with touring gear, is a proposition of at least a grand or two. The Al-Can is one of the more expensive road trips you’ll ever take — food and gas in the Yukon are pricey. And I can’t earn quite enough just gigging here in-state to kickstart me. So that’s the first reason I do a Fundraiser just as I begin my annual touring season.

2) I’ve been working on an album this year. So nearly half of my income over the last 9 months (what I’ve earned AND what I’ve raised so far) has been spent on the musicians, recording studios, artwork, plane tickets, and now the mix and master for the new album.  (Thanks to my incredible Donors’ Circle, by the way, for helping me to raise the money!)

3) I’m quite new at this. I’ve only been a full-time musician for two and a half years. I’m proud to proclaim that I believe my business model is a sound one, because for the first 9 months or so I operated in the red (like most small businesses), by 18 months I was barely in the black but not enough to make a living, and now, if I weren’t making a very expensive double album, I WOULD have a full-time living. And I’m one of very, very few Alaskan musicians for whom that’s true. So I believe the business is worth investing in, and hope to not have to solicit donations or have fundraisers when I have a couple more years or many more fans under my belt.

4) Unexpected divorce, breast lump, and a year without a home describes my 2009. I was left homeless, carless, and deeply in debt in the middle of last year’s tour. Currently making good progress on the debt, relieved not to have borrowed from friends or family, investing in my own business, and totally solvent (aside from album project).  And proud of making it through to this point. ‘Nuff said.

5) My fans often ask for special weird stuff, since they’re special weird awesome fans. I can’t offer said stuff all year, but I can once a year. So I do! I love giving fans things they value. And I hope to keep coming up with creative merchandise even after I don’t “need” the extra income.

Thank you all for being awesome.  My Donors’ Circle most of all.  I will see you as soon as I possibly can!  And I mean that.  If it’s too hard or too far off for you to wait — tip me and I’ll call you, and sing right in your ear.

Marian

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  1. Marian, you totally deserve to be making at least a decent living out of this. I wish I could be there at your fundraisers and stuff in person. But this stupid planet is too big so I can only support you via this wonderful (and sometimes not-so-wonderful) Internet.

  2. […] means it’s time for the final push of fundraising to release the album.  Why fundraise? Read the highlighted bits of this blog from last year (scroll down) to answer that very good question.  What production expenses remain? Only a few, but […]


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