The Golden Girls Live
Grant proposal for a
of the 1980's television series
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Goals, Objectives & Outcomes
Producing the Show
Future & Additional Funding
About Mess Enterprises
threat of Alzheimer’s disease looms over us all, and poses a significant threat
to the elderly. Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that affects the brain,
and robs its victims of their ability to reason. Those who suffer from
Alzheimer’s are frequently confused, and sometimes emotionally degraded by
their symptom’s effects, suffering until they either die from the disease, or
associated complications. As a result, it is imperative that we the American
public increase our efforts to fund further research, and discover the cure and
treatments needed for this deadly malady. Research requires money, which makes
fundraising a vital tool in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Mess
Enterprises intends to rise to this challenge by making substantial
contributions to Alzheimer’s research.
fundraising idea is to present live, theatrical productions of the television
program, The Golden Girls. Mess believes the lasting popularity of the Golden
Girls television show, coupled with a successful precedent of TV show stage
productions set by The Real
Live Brady Bunch
in 1992, will make The Golden Girls Live an unbridled fundraising
full copyright permission obtained from Buena Vista Incorporated, Mess plans to
produce these staged versions as accurately to the original show as possible. Our belief in the potential success of this idea comes from years
of extensive research conducted by Mess Enterprises. Through our online efforts
(www.mess.net/golden) Mess has conducted
comprehensive studies (primarily surveys, polls and general community
involvement) into the American public’s lingering affection for this television
show. With over 100,000 Web visitors a month, Mess has concluded that the
show’s popularity is more than enough to warrant this project and believes in
its ability to support funding for Alzheimer’s treatment and cure.
an initial gift of $25,000, Mess plans to establish a theatrical institution
within San Francisco, one devoted to entertaining the public with time-tested
content, employing stage professionals, and donating revenues to fund
Alzheimer’s research. The ultimate goal of The Golden Girls Live is to
generate $20,000 a month for Alzheimer’s research, while maintaining fiscal
independence after the first month of production. We intend to reach this goal
within the first year, and are working towards keeping this project going as
long as possible after that time. Every dollar that is raised for research puts
us that much closer to an eventual cure for this disease, making it in everyone’s
best interest to support this and other likeminded fundraising ventures.
Over the past 15 years,
American public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease has increased dramatically.
High profile cases such as Ronald Reagan and Charlton Heston have helped to
expose Alzheimer’s ravaging effects on the human brain. Even with this level of
exposure, most people are still unclear as to exactly how Alzheimer’s disease
is contracted and how it affects its victims.
the National Institutes of Health, Alzheimer’s disease is defined as a
progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, one of several disorders that
cause the gradual loss of brain cells. These degenerative disorders are often
grouped under the umbrella term dementia. Symptoms of dementia include gradual
loss of memory, problems that require reasoning or judgment, disorientation,
learning difficulty, loss of language skills, and a decline in the ability to
perform routine tasks. People with Alzheimer’s disease also experience changes
in their personality and behavioral problems, such as agitation, anxiety,
delusions, and hallucinations.
Above all else, Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease, and
currently, there is no medical treatment to cure or stop its progression.
Research into the causes of dementia date back more than twenty years and many
advances have been made over that time. Medications like Tacrine, and Donepezil
are now available, and help many with Alzheimer’s to adjust and adapt to the
effects of the disease. However, as James L. Olds, Ph.D. and researcher at
McGill University in Montreal reasserts, “Current drugs on the market cannot
cure Alzheimer’s disease. They may address some of the symptoms of the disease,
such as loss of memory function, but currently this disease has no cure.”
Statistics gathered by the National Institutes of Health show
Alzheimer’s currently afflicts over four million Americans. As the populous
baby boomer generation ages, many expect this number to rise considerably. “The
U.S. health care system is about to implode, and Alzheimer's disease will be
the detonator,” said Sheldon Goldberg, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's
Association (the largest national health organization devoted to Alzheimer’s
research and education). Because ten percent of people over 65 suffer from the
disease, and 50% of people over the age of 85 also suffer, Alzheimer’s has
become one of the most major medical challenges we face today.
the federal government spent nearly 600 million dollars funding Alzheimer research,
and additional funds also came from many sources within the private sector.
Despite these efforts, more research is still desperately needed. It’s unknown
whether current research into nerve cell health and repair, or the preliminary
affects of estrogen treatments will provide the clues to the cure, since many
research projects co-sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association remain in
constant need of additional funding to continue their work.
of this grant is to raise money for Alzheimer’s related research. Mess
Enterprises believes that investing in the health and dignity of our elders
will have profound and lasting benefits for us all.
GOALS, OBJECTIVES & OUTCOMES
Enterprises is committed to funding research into the cure of Alzheimer’s
disease. To this end, we intend our fundraising project, The Golden Girls Live (a theatrical production of the television
show, The Golden Girls), to provide
selected Alzheimer’s research projects (to be chosen by the Mess board of
directors) with a steady and substantial revenue stream. Mess also plans to use
the promotional nature of this opportunity to increase public awareness of the
Alzheimer’s disease by offering every audience information provided by the
sustainable business model, where future funding is unnecessary after the
initial month of stage production.
profits. With three performances per week, three weeks a month, in a theater of
300 seats at $15 apiece, expected revenue generation is estimated at $20,000 a
month (excluding operational expenses). By keeping costs down, Mess hopes to
raise up to $60,000 in donation revenues per quarter directly for the
Alzheimer’s Association. If public demand warrants more performances, revenue totals
could reach $250,000 within one year.
awareness of Alzheimer’s disease by providing our audiences with medical
information from the Alzheimer’s Association. By making this effort to educate
the public, Mess hopes to generate a greater awareness for those who have
Alzheimer’s, and inspire the public to support research for a cure.
outcomes of our proposed goals are simple to understand. Often the success of a
research project depends on its access to funds, and by providing these funds,
Mess Enterprises hopes to play an active role in the fight against this
terrible disease. The ultimate outcome is the total eradication of Alzheimer’s,
which would improve lives for tens of millions of people worldwide.
PRODUCING THE SHOW
an effort to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research in a new and effective way,
Mess Enterprises aspires to present live, theatrical productions of actual
episodes from the 1980s television sitcom, The Golden Girls. Each
performance would consist of two complete episodes, using verbatim dialogue,
but with embellishments only the live stage can offer.
requirements for The Golden Girls Live will be comprised of
traditional stage production requirements. However, unique to this project is
securing the copyright permission for protected Buena Vista content (scripts,
characters, general likeness). Buena
Vista Incorporated, a subdivision of the Disney Corporation, are the copyright
holders of The Golden Girls television series. Funding for this project
will not be accepted until copyright permission has been legally secured. Proof
of Right to Use permission will be presented upon the Foundation’s request.
Right to Use permission in place, production for the show may begin. All
production decisions will be directed through the Mess Enterprises board of
directors. Production requires locating a suitable theater within San
Francisco. For this project, our theater criteria included a sizable stage,
professional sound and lighting, and a minimum 100 seat capacity venue.
Preliminary research has identified possible locations, including the Project
Artaud, which seat over 300 people. They have offered their facilities for rent
at $3,000 a month, as listed in the ‘Budget’ section.
theater location identified, the pre-production process can begin.
Pre-production includes auditions, and the construction of a mobile,
collapsible set. Auditions will be open to both amateur and professional union
actors. Each actor will be paid for their work as independent contractors.
Contractors are not qualified for medical benefits; therefore their salaries
are the extent of their cost in the project. The same is true for the crew
employees. All crew employees, including the director, will come from the
recommendation of company officer, Jason Davis. However, all hiring decisions
must be unanimously agreed upon by the Mess Enterprises board of directors.
holding auditions, the crew set designer will construct the mobile stage set,
and produce painted scrims for scene
transitions. The theater stage set will be modeled on the television set, and
will collapse for easy assembly and storage. A collapsible set will be
instrumental in keeping theater rental costs down, while also allowing the set
to travel or relocate if production schedules change at the intended production
location. The set designer will also work with a prop master, to coordinate the
look of stage props and costume designs for the cast.
begin once casting for each role is complete. At this time, costumes are fitted
for actors and their understudies. To reduce costs, the bulk of rehearsals will
take place at private residences, saving valuable theater rental costs till
final blocking and technical run-throughs require the full stage environment.
control costs, marketing for the show will be limited to weekly newspaper ads,
neighborhood flyers, and local radio spots. Mess Enterprises officer Jason
Heffel will design the show’s print collateral for newspaper ads, flyers, radio
promotionals, as well as the show’s program handout. All materials will be
printed at Shultz Printing of San Francisco, where Mess Enterprises enjoys on
ongoing discount on products and services. Jason Heffel will also oversee ad
submission and flyer distribution. Radio promotion will be done live at the
radio station. Actors will volunteer their time to promote the show via radio.
and bookkeeping will be handled by Mess officer, Mary Burk. This includes
budgeting initial grant money, as well as accounting for revenue from ticket
sales. Once all show expenses have been reconciled, remaining profits will be
donated on a quarterly basis to Alzheimer’s Association supported research projects.
Enterprises believes that by following this outlined production strategy, we
can generate a substantial amount of consistent profit revenue for funding
Alzheimer’s research, while also providing employment and public entertainment.
Determining the fundraising
success of The Golden Girls Live will depend solely on ticket sale
revenue. Our initial goal is to achieve financial independence after one month
in production. Evaluating the success of this goal will be easy: if we generate
enough money to cover the next month’s expenses and keep the show going, then
we have accomplished our first step to sustained, charitable giving.
Our second and primary goal is to raise the most
money possible for Alzheimer’s research. Based on a 300 seat theater, Mess has
calculated our maximum profit potential to be approximately $20,000 a month
after operation expenses. We do not intend to begin with this level of success,
but will work towards this goal throughout the year. Evaluating our ability to
reach the $20,000 monthly donation goal will require monthly financial review
analysis by the Mess Enterprises board of directors. Revenue analysis will help
identify weaknesses in marketing efforts and the business model by revealing
overall earning trends, and allow the Mess board of directors to modify
business practices and improve ticket sales.
plans to keep revenue reports public so that the public at large can share
in our success, and see the benefit
their show attendance makes to the research projects we fund. Quarterly
progress reports are available and provided by the Alzheimer’s Association
which detail status and progress for each funded research project. Project
updates will be shared periodically with The Golden Girls Live audience,
as part of public awareness efforts to sustain continued giving for this
1) Rental $3,000
Theater Total $3,000
1) Lighting $1,000
2) Sound $1,000
3) Props $1,000
4) Costumes $1,000
5) Set designer $2,000
6) Director $3,000
7) Stage hands $1,000 (2)
Crew Total $10,000
1) Lead One $1,500
2) Lead Two $1,500
3) Lead Three $1,500
4) Lead Four $1,500
5) Supporting $0,500
6) Understudies $0,500 (2)
Actors Total $7,000
1) Print ads $1,000
2) Flyers $0,500
3) Radio Spots $0,500
Promotions Total $2,000
1) Props & Costumes $0,500
2) Set materials $2,000
3) Printing $0,250
4) Miscellaneous $0,250
Materials Total $1,000
GRAND TOTAL $25,000
FUTURE & ADDITIONAL FUNDING
requirements for The Golden Girls Live is limited to marketing
promotionals, and first month production costs. Money secured for this staged
production will be used to also cover one-time setup costs for stage and
costume design. Mess Enterprises estimates this setup cost to be $25,000, and
we will be pursuing a single donor for this contribution.
Once funding is secured, Mess Enterprises has no intention of
seeking any additional or future funding for this project. After its first month
of operation, The Golden Girls Live stage production plans to be
completely self-sustaining, earning enough residual income to make substantial
and consistent contributions to fund Alzheimer’s research. If The Golden
Girls Live is not able to generate enough money to sustain itself within
its first month, the project will be terminated, with a donation of tangible
stage assets going to the San Francisco Waldorf School theater department.
Medical research will always need funding from the private
sector, and it is our responsibility as a concerned public to ensure these
necessary resources. Mess Enterprises believes that the threat posed by
Alzheimer’s disease warrants are attention on so many levels. It is a disease
that affects our entire population either directly or indirectly, and we cannot
stop supporting research until there is a cure.
contributions to support medical research are always helpful. In addition, Mess
believes that with a one-time gift of $25,000, and the cooperation of a
dedicated production team, we can establish an entertaining and sustainable
stage show that is dedicated to generating monies to support Alzheimer’s
research over a long period of time. With the help of a donating foundation,
and the Alzheimer’s Association, Mess Enterprises believes The Golden Girls
Live stage show will help to make our collective lives healthier and
ABOUT MESS ENTERPRISES
Enterprises was founded in 1996 by Jason Heffel and Mary Burk, as an Internet
professional services company. For the last seven years, Mess has provided
creative, technical, and managerial support to some of the industry’s leading
corporations, including Sybase, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.
In addition to our professional work, Mess
has always placed a high importance on producing its
own creative endeavors. Our first effort was to develop two separate Web
projects; the definitive personal cat site (www.rufo.org)
and a leading online Golden Girls tribute (www.mess.net/golden).
Both Web sites have proven very successful online attractions, and are now
amongst the most popular in their genre. More recently, Mess has also
cultivated a substantial base of talented contractors. Our talent base includes animators, writers,
and actors. These important collaborations have allowed Mess Enterprises to
explore new realms of producing and showcasing creative content.
Currently, we are in production for an original cartoon series, set for release
in 2004, and we are also involved with several small, ongoing theater
productions in the Bay Area.
Mess Enterprises believes that
creative efforts serves a dual purpose. In addition to the satisfying rewards
of self-expression, cartoon and stage performances focus on serving the
public’s interest, while also acting as a vehicle to raise funds, and raise
public awareness. It has always been our policy at Mess to place art above
profit, and we intend to continue this mission though charitable efforts like The
Golden Girls Live.
Enterprises is supported by a diverse group of constituents that cuts across a
variety of demographic regions. From youthful Rufo admirers to elderly fans of The
Golden Girls, Mess operates several fan clubs and combined, their number
now exceeds over 100,000 registered members. This fan base continues to
increase, despite our refusal to support advertisements or commercial
promotion. More importantly, our audience is very vocal, and sends us hundreds
of constructive emails a month. One of our most prolific Golden Girls tribute
fans, fifty-seven year old Rueben Manschewitz from Boca Raton Florida, recently
emailed to say, “The Golden Girls Album is the best new record I have listened
to for a long time. Man, those girls
sure do know how to swing!” From this praise, and many other similar
sentiments, Mess Enterprises is confident that future, creative projects
centering on the Golden Girls will be met with equal exuberance.
Enterprises consists of volunteers from the technology, education, and
entertainment industries. Our board of directors include Jason Heffel, Mary
Burk and Jason Davis. The founder of Mess Enterprises, Jason Heffel, is a
freelance writer and music composer, with a keen interest in developing new,
and repackaging old, media content. Our chief administrative advisor, Mary
Burk, is the CEO of Mess Enterprises and a seasoned project manager. Public
relations manager, Jason Davis, is a current member of the San Francisco
American Conservatory Theater, and also teaches drama and English at the San
Francisco Waldorf high school.