by Stuart Gunter | Illustrated by Parker Benbow
You may know comedian and author Sara Benincasa from her stand-up tour, “Agorafabulous,” or her hilarious, honest memoir of the same name. She’s interviewed Donald Glover and Margaret Cho in a bathtub, written countless humor articles and advice columns, and runs Happy Nice Time People, a website devoted to humor, pop culture and current events. This spring, she published Great, a modern-day, Hamptons-set, gender-bending retelling of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic The Great Gatsby. She is an advocate for mental health wellness and the LGBTQ community. She also came out to her dad on Father’s Day (she forgot it was Father’s Day). Right now, Sara needs your help. She’s SO CLOSE to meeting her Kickstarter goal for “This Tour is So Gay,” a comedy-storytelling-service tour dedicated to reaching LGBTQ youth. She only has five days left. Read more about the tour in Sara’s own words, check out her Kickstarter, and donate anything you can.
Sara Benincasa: I’m so excited about the Kickstarter. It’s called “This Tour is So Gay,” and the idea is that I would go on a comedy, book and service tour. So, in each city I visit, I’ll tell funny stories, I’ll sign some books, and I’ll do some community service for a local group that helps LGBTQ kids—hence, this tour is so gay. It’s just a fun way for me to travel around the US and Canada and tell stories and also do some good. I won’t make a profit off it—it’s 15 cities, 15 grand.
When you factor in the fact that Kickstarter gets a percentage, Amazon gets a percentage, and you have to fulfill the rewards, which cost money, too, it’s not actually as crazy high an amount as I felt when I first set that goal.
The Annual: Can you think of specific instances when you were growing up when something like this would’ve been important or would’ve helped you in some way—some sort of storytelling slash advocacy group?
SB: Oh, yeah. When I was in high school, I used to gravitate towards the adults who just seemed cool and open. I’d like to be one of those adults for a young person today, for lots of young people. I get lots of letters and emails about things to do with mental health and LGBTQ issues. Some of the stuff that kids tell you is just heartbreaking, and I thought it would be pretty cool to try and help in some fashion—and combine it with being on stage.
TA: Do you have specific stories in mind that you’re ready to tell or are you going to come up with those on the road? Or is that something you’re not even thinking about [yet]?
SB: I have so many stories that I could tell—I’ve been practicing storytelling for a while now at different shows around L.A. and before that, in New York to an extent—so I think what I’m going to do is I’m going to feel it out in each city. We call it taking the temperature of the room. So I’ll take the temperature of the room and look around and see, “Does this seem like an audience that’s really engaged and wants a longer story? Does this seem like an audience in which a very sexual story would go over well, or would that be inappropriate with this audience?” I’ll figure it out as I go along.
TA: Is there a city that you’re super stoked about visiting? I know you have to love all the children equally, but secretly is there one?
SB: I have to love all of my babies equally! I’m really excited about Toronto because I have family in Toronto and I haven’t been there in a while. I’m really excited about Vancouver because I’ve never been to Vancouver. I’m stoked to see my friends in Denver; I’ve never been to Denver. There are cities on the tour that I’ve been to before—Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, D.C., et cetera—but I’m excited about the ones I’ve never been to, like Seattle. I’m doing Bumbershoot—I’m doing a show called “Literary Death Match” at Bumbershoot where authors compete for prizes. So I’m trying to set up a “This Tour is So Gay” date at a bookshop or a little theater while I’m there. I’m psyched for that. I’m really excited for that.
Be sure to check out our full interview with Sara Benincasa in the next issue of The Annual, where she talks about her tips for creative success, her upcoming pilot for USA, her crazy schedule and Sitting Atop A Pile Of Your Money (unrelated to her current Kickstarter, we promise). And take a look at This Tour is So Gay, because it’s perfect.
– Emily Perper, Editor-at-Large
Crowdfunded Comedy is a new feature that aims to highlight humor based projects on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The Annual would not exist if it weren’t for strangers on the internet who believed in us enough to make a pledge, now we’re sharing the comedic projects that we believe in.