First, some cool news: Synesthesia Theatre was selected as a finalist in the Best New Podcasting Team category for the 2017 Parsec Awards. The Parsecs are juried awards that celebrate speculative fiction in podcasting — everything from fan shows to full-cast audio drama. We are quite honored to be among many other great podcasts in the finals, and hope this will help new fans to find us.
Next, the other news…
You may have noticed that we’ve been pretty quiet for the past several months. This is because we are undergoing a personal financial crisis, and are currently at risk of becoming homeless.
Back in April, Kat lost her last remaining freelance client, which was her only source of income. Prior to that, both of us were laid off from our day jobs and have been freelancing and under-employed for about a decade. We turned to freelancing both as an immediate solution to the problem of trying to make ends meet during the depths of the Great Recession, and to allow us the flexibility to create our art — no reason to put the art on hold while waiting for the job market to turn around. But for us, the economy never really “recovered,” and we were among the many who no one talks about that fell out of the middle class and were left behind. We’ve had work contracts cut short, and job offers rescinded. We scraped by on a combined income of less than $30,000 per year… then less than $25,000… and now in the last two years, temp work has suddenly dried up, and we’ve been solidly below the poverty line. In the meantime, expenses keep rising: our rent is now more than half our income, food prices keep rising while our SNAP benefits get cut, health issues develop and grow due to poor Medicaid coverage and sheer unrelenting stress. Kat managed to stretch $8000 of savings for nearly 10 years; but that’s coming to an end.
When we started Burning Brigid Media, we had hoped that it would grow faster than it has in the last three years. We had hoped that a combination of fan support of our art and freelancing would be enough to both cover the expenses involved in making our art, and allow us to survive, so we’d have time for both. As it is, it costs more than $600 a year just to keep the legal corporation open and compliant with the law, not counting production expenses. It will cost that much to dissolve the corporation, too. We would need, at a bare minimum, $3000 per month to cover both living expenses and self-employment income taxes. We’ve come to a point where we won’t survive without at least one full-time, corporate job — so that job search, along with poor health, is what’s been occupying us since April.
At this moment, we can’t tell you what this will mean for Synesthesia Theatre. We have a month’s worth of money left so all of our energy has been focused on that. If we survive the immediate crisis, we will have substantially less time to devote to the production of new seasons. We will do whatever we can to keep going. We hope you will continue to have faith in us. If you have enjoyed listening to Synesthesia Theatre, please consider supporting us on Patreon. We’re going to try to be back as soon as we can.
If you happen to hear of any job leads — downtown Chicago or remote, digital design/email marketing for Kat, or writing/copywriting/story consulting for Michael — we’d appreciate that kind of support too. Just shoot us an email.
Thank you for your support,
Kat & Michael