Support Spur-of-the-Moment Shakespeare!

You’ll remember that I blogged enthusiastically about Spur-of-the-Moment Shakespeare, the collective that staged brief scenes from Shakespeare in the Toronto subway. Victoria Urquhart of SMS (I like that as an acronym better than the official “SOTMSC”) now reports that the group is vying for a grant of $10,000 in a competition sponsored by Pepsi. Details of their proposal and how the competition works here; briefly, SMS wants to bring Shakespeare to hospital patients and seniors, people who can’t get to the theatre, while offering a professional work atmosphere to young performers.

If you register to vote for competitors, you get ten votes per day; I don’t see how you can vote early and often for a single project, so vote for SMS first and find some other worthy projects for the rest of your votes. Just so you know, there are no other worthy projects in the $10,000 category.

Note that registering involves turning over contact information to Pepsi. If you don’t like doing this, do what I forgot to do; set up an e-mail address on, say, Hotmail for this purpose. You can abandon it once the competition ends on 28 February, or keep it for spam-magnet registrations.

I don’t do endorsements, mainly because nobody asks me, but I’m more than happy to urge you to support SMS (who, just to be clear, didn’t ask me either). It’s all too easy, especially if you read as many Brooklyn-centric blogs as I do (hey, I lived in Park Slope for fifteen years, way, way before The Onion and Hodgman moved in), to think of young people as hipster doofuses (I know that’s redundant, but it’s a Seinfeld allusion). SMS reminds us that most young people are less obsessed with the latest coffee-making technology than with the professional effort needed to do serious work—to become artists in an era when art is scorned and illusion glorified. I hate the corporate world more than you do (for one thing, I live in it for more than half my waking hours, and for another thing, I’m a communist), but when a corporate entity like Pepsi offers the chance of even a few crumbs of support to people who are serious about being artists, isn’t it a no-brainer to support them?

Help bring Shakespeare to the shut in and support the next generation of Canadian actors. Vote for SMS and get them into that winner’s circle of the top three $10,000 projects.

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