In 2012, I was preparing to take my very first one-woman show to Melbourne Fringe Festival. When I looked at my bank balance and realised that a good chunk of money I'd been anticipating hadn't arrived, I nearly had a nervous breakdown. How the hell was I possibly going to be able to make this happen? I felt like I was failing at my career AND at supporting my family.
I wrote a post about my predicament on FB, honestly not looking for help, just sympathy and ideas on fundraise-quick schemes, when, completely out of the blue, a comedy mate and brilliant woman Jody Ekert messaged me and said "I'll lend you $1000. Send me your bank details."
I couldn't believe it. I cried. Lots. She put zero conditions on it, said to just pay it back when I could and it took the hugest weight off my shoulders. I could actually pay for my flights, child-minding and some promotion for my show that ended up winning the award for Excellence in Cabaret that year.
Last year a fellow mama comedian and friend of mine was having a similar breakdown and was faced with the real prospect of not being able to afford taking her wonderful show to Adelaide Fringe. She too, posted about her predicament on FB and I was moved to... da da da da... message her and say "I'll lend you $1000. Send me your bank details."
She couldn't believe it. She cried. Lots. Again, zero conditions on it, I said to just to pay it back when she could and explained it felt like the perfect thing to do given the kindness I'd been extended way-back-when!
Anyway, she paid it back this week and I want to keep this pay-it-forward scheme going! So, I'm so thrilled to launch the Funny Mummies Comedy Fund!
I'm taking this $1000 and splitting it in 2 lots of $500, in the hope that we can help more people and keep the momentum going. (UPDATE: Since posting this a kind fellow Funny Mummy donated an extra $100 to the fund, so we not have $550 each!)
So... are you a mother in comedy who is putting on a show soon? Would $500 help ease your stress? Would it be the difference between you being able to make something happen and it not happening? If so, you're eligible to ask for funds! There's no conditions, no acquittal report, no receipts, no invoices, no date by which you need to repay it. The way it works is that as soon as you do repay it, we can put the call out for the next round. If you want to add a "tip" to your repayment to add on to the next fund total you're welcome to, but there's absolutely no obligation to do so.
To apply, join the Funny Mummies group on FB (if you haven't already) and email contact (at) jennywynter.com with:
1) Your name and contact details
2) A link to you doing your stuff online (low quality footage is fine)
3) A brief description of what the funds will help you do (doesn't have to be more than a couple of sentences, just "I'm taking my show x to y Fringe Festival and this will help me cover z" is totally adequate)
How freaking exciting! Please do let any mama comedians know about it. I'm so excited to be supporting each other!