Have you ever wished that your living space could be re-imagined by a set designer? Or that you could gift a personalized greeting or concert by a favorite performer? Or that a theatre artist could help out your landscaping with a new rock garden design? Or maybe you’d like to cheer up a friend or neighbor with a singing telegram performed live outside their house.
Artists are creating unique ways to share their talents while earning revenue. That cheer up a friend service is Send a Little Love Singing Telegram, a company created by American University student Lily Burka, that is proving to be a good summer job for Lily and Ben Clark. They charge $40 for a 3 song a capella performance, and will travel as far as 1 hour from Bethesda. View their repertoire on their Facebook page. They were busy, Lily told us, on Father’s day. Their telegrams are also popular gifts for birthdays and 2020 grads. For a 5th grade graduate, they customized their sing with Disney songs. And they do driveway performances for people who are sick. Most requested song? “That’s What Friends Are For”. To order, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a Message through their Facebook page.
Theatre companies are joining in as well. IN Series has created OPERAgram, where for a $100 donation, you can choose any of nine IN Series performers along with their song or aria, and add a dedication. The video OPERAgram will be created and emailed to your recipient. To date, the project has raised over $3,000 to support the artists.
Arena Stage has opened Artists Marketplace where you can commission or purchase a performance or work of art. The rock garden designer mentioned above (David S. Leong) is in the Marketplace, as are performers such as Nicholas Rodriguez, Kate Baldwin, Kirsten Wyatt, Lise Bruneau and Dawn Ursula. Available lessons include one-on-one stage combat coaching by Jenny Male. Set designer Paige Hathaway is showing mountable art – a scale model wall piece, with more choices on her website. And for that very special gift, puppeteer Jeannette Oi-Suk Yew will create a This Is Your life! puppet film. Sales support the artists, with a small portion going to support Arena Stage.
That first idea – your room re-imagined by a set designer – isn’t available yet. But Arena Stage is looking into it.
If you are an artist with a service to offer, let us know in the comments below.