Yeesh! It got to be July already and I still haven’t made much of a dent in my spring cleaning. But I found a piece of paper that I’m going to copy here before throwing away, and it may be the most valuable thing I’ve ever shared on this blog. It’s an itemized list of expenses for a NYMF show from 2006, The Tragic Horrible Life of the Singing Nun.
As you read these numbers, keep in mind that six years have passed, and certain costs have skyrocketed. Other costs are surprisingly low, and this has to do with the pooled resource concept behind NYMF. The show shared The Theatre at St. Clements with several other festival entries. Certain fixtures were shared, meaning that The Singing Nun paid substantially less for some things. Plus, being part of a festival meant that the Festival would carry some of the burden of publicizing all its offerings. I’ve a handwritten note on the sheet saying that the show also paid $2,500 for a press agent, about 12% of the total budget. Also, those working on NYMF shows agreed to a Favored Nations clause, which meant that nobody was supposed to earn more than the actors, who each were paid a whopping $200. You read that right: Everybody agreed to accept $200 for their work.
CATEGORY AMOUNT % of Total Advertising $1,539.90 7.6% (full page in NYMF program) Sets $2,563.59 12.7% (simple) Insurance $ 450.00 2.2% (NYMF) Programs $ 357.64 1.8% Crew $ 575.00 2.9% Supplies $ 104.71 0.5% Postage $ 22.22 0.1% Music $2,182.66 10.8% Application Fees $1,795.00 8.9% Logo $ 275.95 1.4% Auditions $ 400.50 2.0% Props $ 119.44 0.6% Rehearsal $1,724.58 8.6% (Space) Load In/Out $1,571.33 7.8% Designers $ 200.00 1.0% Actors $1,600.00 7.9% Makeup $ 95.29 0.5% Sound $ 400.00 2.0% Costumes & Wardrobe Related $2,168.18 10.8% Director $ 200.00 1.0% Stage Manager $ 200.00 1.0% Batteries & Condoms (Mics) $ 142.73 0.7% Printing & Copying $ 175.04 0.9% Projector $1,284.90 6.5% $20,148.66 100.0%
Don’t ask me how they managed to spend what they spent. I know less about budgeting than a novice in a nunnery. But when you get to the point where you’re drawing up a budget for your show, these figures, actually spent by a very funny musical comedy, comprise a better template than you’re likely to find anywhere.
And, whatever you do, do make sure you’re spending at least $142.73 on condoms.