Enlist in Budget Bootcamp (Or, Every Budget Tells A Story)

This discussion has been happening on Facebook (see below) and elsewhere, it is at the root of why we started The Brooklyn Commune Project and is at the very center of having a lifelong, sustainable career as an artist. Budgeting. It is so important I can’t say it enough, and I want to help you save time, money and heartache with this Budgeting Bootcamp.

Budgeting isn’t sexy and exciting, but it is the fundamental, number one tool you need. You must understand how much money you spend on your art/career and how much you make or lose to make informed choices about how to invest your money in building your work and career.

You cannot develop your work, much less tour, without learning about budgeting. The current system is lying to you. Don’t let yourself get screwed over and over again. Educate yourself.

Even if you don’t want to do budgets you have to at least understand how they work, so you don’t stay broke and frustrated year after year after year.

This is not just about spreadsheets & financial planning, It is about LIFE planning, it is about assessing and fortifying your own self worth & it is also about learning the realities as opposed to the myths of being an artist. I realize that four weeks is a big commitment, so how about four hours? In four short hours we can hit the essentials and establish a baseline of knowledge & skills to frame your creative process. More than just learning spreadsheets, it is about learning to think about your own value, the value of your labor and the value of what you create. It is about doing the groundwork to build your life & career over the long haul.

Budget Bootcamp is a four-hour project planning and budgeting intensive that will put you on the path to making better shows without losing your shirt.

The next Budget Bootcamp will be Sunday, December 1 from 1PM – 5PM. It costs $125. It will be the most useful $125 you’ve ever spent on learning how to be a working artist.

Trust me. I know my shit and I’ve dedicated my entire life to making, writing about and supporting the artists and the arts.

Sign up now:


In the last session of the creative producers workshop we had a really long discussion about budgets and I described it in a way I hadn’t before. I need some time to work it out further but basically – every budget tells a story. a budget is a narrative, a map, a guide. my favorite budgets (yes, I know I’m a nerd) are modular and iterative, segmenting a project into three or four phases and using parallel structure. each phase has a subtotal, there are separate columns for projected and actual expenses. people costs are separate from material costs are separate from expenses like rent, etc. global costs like project fees, marketing & PR, etc. are separate. maybe you even create separate budgets on different tabs with a global budget that uses formulas to pull in totals from the other tabs. THE POINT IS that negotiations in our business can be all about psychology and emotions, especially when we’re talking about a creative project that does not yet exist. A budget – more than a written project description – is the way to see the actual narrative vision for the project, it is the only neutral territory, the only shared object where our terms are unambiguous and where we can take psychology out of the picture. This is how much money we need, this is how much we have, this is how much we can find. And then we make choices. Do we pay some people more than others? Do we spend all our money on video but not costumes? That is why artists need to educate themselves and creative producers need to agree to best practices, transparency and accountability. I’ve seen “creative producers” completely betray an artist’s vision because they were dishonest about budgets, or at least disingenuous. If you want to retain creative control of your project, then you need to know how the money works. And budgets are not evil, they’re an art form, a narrative tool, a storytelling device for imagining the creative process unfolding over time as we move towards a meaningful artistic outcome. A budget helps you create the structure in which boundless imagination can exist. Every budget tells a story, just like a song or a script or a poem or a dance. It is another tool for creativity and making your vision manifest in the world.


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