A campaign, run by Red Redmond of Dead Cat Comedy has caught our attention recently. We caught up with Red to ask about it.
Hi there, you’ve recently been running a campaign to provide equipment to performers. What are the aims of this?
The aim of The Real Northern Powerhouse is to keep comedians creating content during lockdown. Making the jump to online comedy can be expensive. We provide high-quality streaming equipment to less fortunate comedians at no charge.
We have already distributed over £400 of equipment, which includes: mics, video lights, webcams and green screens.
How do people make a donation?
To donate simply visit our GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-real-northern-powerhouse
Which performers are you most trying to support and how might they get in touch to ask for your assistance?
Our fund has been setup to help those most in need. This fund was originally made available to all working class comedians who live or work in The North of England.
However, due to phenomenal support from our donors we have recently been able to open up to comedians in The Midlands as well.
To apply simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org – including a comedy CV, what equipment you require and what you would use it for.
We are happy to advise on what equipment would best suit you.
What do you think is the importance of continuing to produce content when the arts is under lockdown?
Entertainment is important to our daily lives in lockdown. From an audience perspective there’s certainly a big appetite for online content.
Meanwhile, we have hundreds of furloughed artists, desperate to create and share content. I think the healthiest thing an artist can do during lockdown is continue to create art.
Your focus is on working class performers. How can supporting their input benefit the arts as a whole?
Working class voices represent a huge portion of our society. Especially in The North and Midlands where the comedy circuit remains a largely working class pursuit.
Simply put, without the working class there wouldn’t be a comedy circuit outside of London. A lot of our industry relies on working class talent, performing in working class venues to working class audiences.
Despite all this, working class performers are still heavily underrepresented in TV comedy and online streaming. It is essential that we give working class performers the same privileges as performers from wealthier backgrounds. Otherwise our entire culture runs the risk of alienating the very public it serves to entertain.
What sort of content do you expect people to produce with your support?
Our applicants are coming to us with all sorts of exciting ideas. We are looking to encourage anything from livestreaming to sketch comedy and podcasting. We also offer advice and consulting to make sure acts get the best out of their new equipment.
You clearly have an idea of a basic home set-up that people ought to have access to. For you, what are the basics and why are they worth investing in?
A mic, webcam and a videolight is a good start. A cheap USB mic and mixer is sometimes more effective and affordable than a super expensive microphone on its own.
For webcams you’ll want something HD with 1080p capability. Lighting is also incredibly important.
There’s plenty of online tutorials to help you find out what setup would work best for you.
Is there anything final advice you have to performers out there?
Share each others’ material! I try to share at least one item of content from a fellow creator every day.
If we all did this our content would be more visible. If you see something you know your friends would like: share it.
How can our readers play their part in supporting your aims?
All donations to The Real Northern Powerhouse are greatly appreciated. So far we have raised £1,920, of which only £400 has been spent. If you do one thing as a result of reading this article I would ask that you tell a working class artist about this service and encourage them to apply.
We have raised enough money to make a serious difference. We’re ready to help artists who are hungry to create content and take all this high-quality and completely free equipment off our hands.