You’ve heard of Kickstarter being used to help raise money for startups, businesses and even art projects. Four comedians, all of whom have ties to New York City, have teamed up with the site to use it in a new way — as a tour-launching platform for independent artists.
Carrie Gravenson, Abbi Crutchfield, Kaytlin Bailey and Erin Judge -- the ladies behind CAKE Comedy -- are hoping to kick off their dream tour by selling stand-in tickets for one event at a time on the fundraising platform. They're currently selling tickets for a potential Philadelphia show.
From there, they’ll aim to keep the ball rolling and head out across the country, eventually leading up to a big stop in NYC.
If it all goes south, they'll never charge anyone for the $25 tickets and will "all walk away like none of this ever happened,” their Kickstarter page explains. But with stints on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” “Broad City” and “Last Comic Standing,” and a previously successful tour, the CAKE tour sounds like one you wouldn’t want to miss.
Below, Kaytlin Bailey, a regular performer at Long Island City’s The Creek and the Cave comedy club, and Erin Judge, who previously appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” give amNY.com the slice on the CAKE tour and talk how they tie the city into their comedy sets.
So, explain how this whole Kickstarter tour idea works.
Kaytlin Bailey: We’re pre-selling tickets through Kickstarter. If we sell enough, we put on a show! And if we don’t, we don’t even get out of bed. So, if you want to see the CAKE Comedy tour in your town, get tickets early and tell your friends. We just want to feel wanted and appreciated before we show up -- we’re super needy like that. Plus we can’t afford to pay our rent performing for five folks in a VFW who didn’t know we were coming.
What inspired you to go about a comedy tour in this way, instead of taking a more traditional route?
Erin Judge: We've toured for four years as the Pink Collar Comedy tour using the traditional model. Most nights we had huge shows with great audiences, but a few shows were ... less exciting. With this new model, we reach out to fans in the city we're visiting ahead of time. Plus, Kickstarter has built such a great platform that builds enthusiasm for the arts and fosters community. It makes everyone, including us, feel so invested in and excited about the show!
Do you ladies hope to bring the CAKE Comedy Tour to NYC?
Bailey: Yes! If we can pull this off, we’ll be throwing a victory party for all our supporters here in the city. Of course, we want to put on a show here, we just don’t know where, or when, or what we’ll be wearing yet. A lot depends on how well this goes. I vote for ball gowns at the MET, but that'd be “unreasonable” or “silly” or “not on brand.”
What’s your dream New York venue?
Judge: I grew up seeing shows at the Aquarium in Coney Island, so that's always been my goal — or the Hayden Planetarium. That's when we'll REALLY know we're stars. Carrie really wants to perform at Radio City Music Hall, like an awkward Rockette with jokes. Abbi’s dream is to perform at Carnegie Hall since it is right down the block from the [now-shuttered] Carnegie Deli, and she always wants a sandwich. Kaytlin just wants to perform at the Comedy Cellar across the street from her apartment.
Where are you all based in the city?
Bailey and Judge: When we started the tour in 2012 we all lived in NYC. Carrie is a Queen’s girl, born and raised. Abbi lives in Brooklyn but is currently in L.A. filming the second season of "You Can Do Better" on TruTV. When we started the tour Kaytlin was couch surfing all over Manhattan because she had just moved here, she’s since settled in the West Village because she’s the luckiest girl in the world. Erin is from Brooklyn, originally, but moved to L.A. because she writes novels and Brooklyn hit its maximum novelist quota in 1997.
You probably sneak your own city experiences into stand-up, right?
Bailey: We’re all ambassadors of New York, for better or worse. When we first started performing together, Carrie wasn't sure North Carolinians would know what an "apartment" was. It’s impossible to live here and not talk about it. NYC is such a weird, funny, incredible place. Plus, people in Indiana watch movies based in NYC, so they basically get it. They might not get the nuances of the weekend 7 trains, but they get what a subway is.
Best/funniest/strangest NYC experience? Go:
Judge: My biggest surprise happened when I was hosting a show at BAM when Tig Notaro dropped in and did a really amazing set. Everyone was so excited. It's the kind of magic that can only happen in New York.
Kaytlin grossed out a homeless man when she stepped on a rat in front of him. Carrie doesn’t have air conditioning, so she basically lives in her local RiteAid in the summer. She should reflect on her life choices. Abbi makes friends with all bodega cats no matter how leaky their eyes are.