Have you always wanted to apply for or audition for a reality show that will showcase your talent? Do you want to be on American Idol, America’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, or one of the other talent shows but can’t afford a way to travel to the audition? Then you should organize a party/show/fund raiser for yourself or your group. Not only can you quite possibly raise the money you need to follow your dreams but you can also get much needed local support.
So calculate how much it will cost to go and start gathering volunteers to help you plan!
Before you begin, however, make sure you have video links online to you or your group performing. Even locals are going to be leery giving someone money for an audition trip when they don’t know how good they are. We’ve all seen the bad auditions on these shows so it’s understandable that people are cautious. Also make sure there is a place online for people to read about your background. People will naturally be curious and want to know more about you.
Start by picking a date and finding a location. Ask around to family and friends to see if they have a suitable place or have knowledge of a suitable place for you to put on a show featuring your talent. Once you’ve secured the location and set the date, it’s time to plan the rest of the party.
What kind of food and decor will you have? It goes without saying that if you’re having a fund raiser, you don’t have much money to work with in this regard.
One recommendation is that you can go for the cheap standard of grilling hot dogs and serving chips, dips, and veggie trays. You can ask your friends and family to help split the responsibility by assigning each person something to bring. This way, the expense will be spread out as to not financially burden any one person.
Another idea is to strike up a deal with a local food vendor or two to come sell food and drinks at your fundraiser. He/she makes money and you wouldn’t have to worry about extra cost. Manage it so that a percentage of what the vendor sells goes toward your fund raising goals.
Decor is simple. There are a ton of ideas for inexpensive decor like clear Christmas lights, streamers, banners, homemade crafts and more. Going with a theme that compliments your talent and/or which show you want to audition for is ideal.
Music. No party is complete without the proper music to mingle by. After all, you aren’t going to be performing the entire time. The cheapest way would be to compile music, burn a few CD’s and take a boombox to play at the event. Or at the very least bring along a speaker dock for your iPod or MP3 player and let the music roll! Plan the music equipment around how many guests you’re expecting.
Now that the basics are planned, start networking.
Print up fliers and invites with the party information including *admission costs, time, and date. If they need to bring their own lawn chairs (for an outdoor event), include that information, too.
Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites are ideal for promoting your fundraiser. Ask everyone on your friend lists to share the information. Don’t forget to include a picture file of your flier for your friends to pass around online and for them to print out if they want.
Contact local newspapers and radio stations and let them know what you are planning and what your goals are. Media attention can help you immensely. Let the members of the media know that if they want to come, they can get in for free if they contact you.
*Make sure the admission cost is really low: $2 to $5 at the most depending on the expected turnout. You don’t want to let people in for free but you also don’t want to charge so much that it would deter people from coming.
What will I do at the fund raiser besides perform?
You network. The people that have come out to support you want to meet you and talk to you. In addition, this would be a prime time to talk with members of the media.
Bring a stack of professional headshots (or as close to professional as you can get) for an autograph signing. You may not be a big name yet but in holding the fund raising and announcing to everyone that you are heading out to audition for that big name show, you are telling people that you are determined to get your name out there and that the autograph you’re giving them could very well be worth something in the future.
Prepare a speech
You should have a speech prepared for your supporters. Give that speech right before you perform. You can say whatever you wish in this speech but make sure you include a promise that even though you might not get accepted, that you will be at the top of your game and make it the best performance of your life. Sincerely thank them for all of their support and for helping you follow your dream.
Make sure your performance is the last part of the fund raiser. It should last around 45 minutes to an hour. While you are performing, have volunteers collect donations from those in attendance. Doing this while you are performing increases the chances of getting a larger donation.
Something to keep in mind
It’s difficult to put yourself out there in this manner but if you don’t do it, the goal you see for yourself will never come true. Take criticism as a way to improve and don’t let it deter you from going after your dreams. Don’t let fear stop you.
Good luck in your path to success!
Source: Personal experience as a publicist and event planner.