Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"We Need Your Stories!" - Sex Workers' Opera International

Message from Sex Workers' Opera International:

Hello everyone!

Thank you for your support so far!
Thank you so much for all your warmth and support over the last two months. We have had been featured in blogs and articles, received many messages of international support, and even offers to take the finished production on tour to the US!

Without you the Crowdfunding initiative we have just launched today would never have been possible:
More info below.

We are so grateful for the voice you have given to the project so far, and thought we would update you on our progress and how you can still get involved, no matter where in the world you are!

1. The shape of the project (+workshop/performance details)
2. Spread news of the production (invite people you know in the UK to take part)
3. Including international voices (send us your anonymous stories)
4. Our Crowdfunding campaign (what it’s for and how you can help)

1. The project so far

Our achievements to date
We have already held 12 hours of workshops in which Sex Workers from London and further afield have come to train in singing and acting and work on their vision for the production. We have been publishing the results of the workshops on our website at: http://www.sexworkersopera.com/latest-news/

What’s the next stage?
On the Monday the 26th of May, Tuesday 27th May and Wednesday 28th May we will be gathering Sex Workers and Allies from London and beyond to meet for three consecutive days of intensive workshops to co-create - design, perform and produce - the Opera.

The Sex Worker’s Opera will have two public performances
On Wednesday 28th May & Thursday 29th May
At the Courtyard Theatre
40 Pitfield St, Hoxton N1 6EU
London, United Kingdom

2. Spread news of the production

International organisations can spread the news that there is still space to take part to their friends and networks in case anyone has friends in the UK, or is visiting the UK during that time.

If we reach our Crowdfunding goal of £3,000 we will have even some space for subsidising travel for friends from mainland Europe.

At the end of the email you’ll find a more detailed version of this call out you can forward to your UK friends.

3. Including your international stories

People of the world we want the final production to include your voice!
Whether you are a current Sex Worker, former Sex Worker, and whatever form of Sex Work you are/were involved in.

We would love you to write us something about your experience of Sex Work that you would like to be included in the show. It may be a positive experience, negative experience or a complex mix.
It could be an experience that you feel is necessary for the public to know about - to change their view on Sex Work.
It could be something poetic and whimsical.
It could be clinical and scientific.
Maybe it’s painful.
Maybe it’s funny.
Maybe it’s boring.
We don’t mind.

If you are happy for it to be used in the production and happy for it to be put up on our website then please send it to stories@sexworkersopera.com! All stories will be anonymised.

This is a vital part of the production and we want a huge range of diverse experiences so anything you can do to spread the word to Sex Workers who might like to provide a story would be wonderful.

We promise we will NOT edit, twist or re-word your story in ANY WAY. The stories will all be put up on our blog, and we will also show clearly how we have used them in the production.

If we reach one of our higher Crowfunding goals we are also committed to printing and distributing a free booklet including these stories to raise awareness about Sex Workers’ experiences.

4. Our Crowdfunding campaign

Our Crowdfunding Campaign is live! Follow this link! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1486844030/sex-workers-opera
We are all volunteers at the moment and the key facilitators - myself and Alex - have paid for all resources, workshop space and organisation out of our own pockets. This has been a pleasure, but to get to the next stage we need help from as many people as possible.

We have 28 days to raise at least £1,500 to put on the workshops and show, and between £3,000 and £6,000 will allow us to make a more prolific performance and even take it on tour.

There are all kinds of goodies you can get for helping out - a thank you card signed by the cast, original t-shirts, albums of songs from the show, copies of the film of the production and making-of, a skype session with the producers, all shipping internationally.

The base goal of £1,500 is to pay for:
·  A good venue and rehearsal space;
·  Promotion to try and reach as wide a cross section of the public as possible with our message;
·  Materials for the set design, costumes and lighting
·  Subsidising travel costs for our participants.

All profits from ticket sales to the performance will be shared fairly amongst everyone who participates.

If you can’t afford to fund us right now, you can still help by spreading the word.

Please take 15 minutes to think of friends or specific people who you think would be interested - Actors, Directors, Musicians, Activists, Feminists, Journalists, Critics - and send them a short personal email or give them a phone call about the project and your feelings about why it’s important.

We want to give our participants the respect, resources and recognition they deserve.

Thank you

For taking the time to read this message. We’re so excited about the production. We have made such wonderful connections within the Sex Workers’ Community, and the project is shaping up to be something really special, that we hope will be part of the growing voice of sex workers speaking out about our rights, stories and experiences.

Let's get this show on the road!

Siobhan Knox
Co-founder of XX
Director of Sex Workers' Opera

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