East Shore Live, East Shore and YOU!

The new East Shore Live season starts with a pre-season kick-off event: a Halloween show on October 26th called Music, Magic and Mayhem. This concert is a fast-paced, entertaining, family-friendly variety-style show featuring some East Shore favorites (the East Shore Mighty Choir, Cascade Jazz, Princess Guy) plus several newcomers (professional magician Dom Lucero and a ‘soul sister trio’ who will be singing ‘I’m In Love with a Monster.’) There will also be a costume contest, a mummy-wrapping contest and a scary sound effect-making contest. The concert begins at 7:30, but guests are invited to arrive as early as 6:30 to take advantage of the Taco Truck that will be parked right outside the sanctuary. After comparing several bids, we decided to invite Tacos El Guëro to share their wares with the East Shore Live audience. (here is the menu in case you want to make your choices before you arrive: http://www.kirklandtacos.com/) Feel free to take your taco/quesadilla/burrito/sopes into the North Room if you arrive before the show, or bring them into the sanctuary where your cabaret table will be waiting. Beer, wine and bottled water will be on sale inside the sanctuary just as before. Each show in the new East Shore Live season will feature a different food truck: we will let everyone know which truck will be part of which show and post available menus.

The new season for East Shore Live is shaping up to be a truly exciting one. The guest performers represent a wide variety of musical and presentational styles, with a strong focus on engaging and entertaining presentations. As soon as contracts have been signed the East Shore Live team will announce who we will have the pleasure of presenting.

Since taking over the artistic directorship of East Shore Live, I’ve seen tremendous value in what we present, and see an opportunity for the program to grow in outreach, quality and financial sustainability. Here are just some of the benefits of having a performance series attached to the church:

1) Strengthening community: gathering with fellow members to enjoy a live performance is a truly bonding experience. In an age when we are invited constant to be distracted by our individual screens (computer, television and smart phones) it is refreshingly healing and enjoyable to join together in real time to experience heartfelt artistic and musical expressions. There is a reason why live theater continues to be a powerful social force among human communities: as we connect with onstage performers and one another we create an impromptu social force that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

2) Outreach (and inreach): hosting interesting and inviting musical and theatrical presentations is an excellent way to make East Shore better known to the greater community. Many who enter the sanctuary for the first time are struck by the quiet grandeur of the building; several find themselves curious about what sorts of programs and services go on during the rest of the week and on Sundays. On the other side of the coin, having an event to invite fellow members to participate in is a wonderful way to create new friendships and see one another in a new light. Are there members you’ve seen but haven’t had much of a chance to get to know? “Why don’t we get a group together to see the performance here next Saturday night?” might just be the ticket. (Note: in order for this particular invitation to work it would be best to make sure which Saturday nights will feature performances! The next one is Saturday October 26!)

3) Bringing funds into the church operating costs. As much as we would like to believe that a church runs solely on good will and love, the hard fact is that our church – just like any non-profit organization that offers a valuable service to its members and community – needs funds to operate. East Shore Live has been able to operate on a modest profit, which is always good news for our financial stewards. Last year, the East Shore Live season brought in a total of $3,711.35 after all expenses were paid.

4) Having a place where performers can perform: as rents have skyrocketed in the Seattle and Bellevue areas, viable performance spaces have been shutting doors left and right. It has become difficult for a performer or a group to find a venue that doesn’t charge an exorbitant rental fee for that privilege. East Shore Live offers its performers not only a friendly and pleasant performing environment, but also an ability to actually take home a little bit of money. With the pay structure we have for acts with East Shore Live, the performances can be a win/win – the more tickets sold the more the performer makes, and the more goes back into East Shore’s operating fund.

If you’ve not been to an East Shore Live performance in the past, please consider doing so in this upcoming season. We think you will be not only pleasantly surprised, but downright entertained, and well-fed (with all the food trucks we have lined up) Watch this space for the season announcement, which will take place near the end of October.

On a different but related note, the East Shore Mighty Choir has resumed rehearsal on Thursday nights in the sanctuary, starting at 7:30 pm. Ask any choir member: this is a very fun choir to be part of! Reading music is not required (always welcome, of course, but not required) If you have a desire to sing, please contact music director Eric Lane Barnes at music@esuc.org. Or, simply show up any Thursday evening for choir rehearsal! We’ll be delighted to see you. (Note: there is no choir rehearsal on Thursday November 14 – this would not be a good night to show up for a first rehearsal : )