Photo courtesy of Alex Rosenfeld
CAKE Comedy, the touring collective of Carrie Gravenson, Abbi Crutchfield, Kaytlin Bailey and Erin Judge (it's based off their names), are taking a unique approach to booking their 2017 tour. Instead of using Kickstarter
to mitigate tour costs, they're essentially using it as a box office. If they sell over $1,000 in tickets for a given city, they'll play the gig. If they don't, they won't, and nobody gets charged.
It's possible you haven't heard of CAKE, but it's a safe bet you've seen each of them somewhere. Back in 2012, they performed as the Pink Collar Comedy Tour and have stayed active performing and writing in the time since. Pittsburgh City Paper
spoke with Kaytlin Bailey (the CAKE's "K") via email to discuss their strategy.
CAKE’s Kickstarter approach to booking this tour is a cool way to reduce financial risk and open a direct line to your fans. I like it. I’m curious, have you ever regretted giving to a Kickstarter? What was it and why?
I've given to a lot of Kickstarters, I love being a part of cool ideas! I've never regretted giving to a Kickstarter project but I wish I didn't have to use my crowdfunding budget to help with so many of my friends medical & personal emergencies! I blame the system, it's terrible that people have to solicit donations for chemo. Maybe Kickstarter could replace the NEA but it shouldn't replace healthcare!
Can you explain how this idea came together (to book the tour this way)?
I got drunk at a party hosted by Kickstarter & whined about how frustrating it is to put a tour together that is mostly AWESOME, but a few cities just don't work out. So we're running around barely breaking even because it costs money to produce these shows! I wanted a way to guarantee that every city hit a minimum break even amount, which for the 4 of us is $1,000. And Taylor Moore from Kickstarter said, "I think we can do that!" So we're giving it a shot.
How did you choose which cities you would (potentially) perform in?
We looked at a map. We knew we wanted to go through places we loved, like DC, Asheville & Raleigh, but we wanted to hit new cities too like Pittsburgh & Indianapolis!
If you were to add a new member, which first name initial do you think would work best? Would you want it to be CAKED? CAKER? CAKES? CAAKE? CAKEY? Or like a whole new word altogether?
I don't think we can afford a new member! Besides, where would be put them? Carrie & I use the middle seat to thumb wrestle.
What’s the right amount to drink before going on stage? Stone sober? A little tipsy? No limit?
All the CAKE girls are different but I like about one and a half drinks. I like to bring half a whisky on stage.
How do the four of you like to spend your off time on tour? I’m sorry this is a boring question.
We're all comics with a lot going on. Abbi is shooting the second season of Tru TV's You Can Do Bette
r. Erin & I are both writers. Carrie headlines all over...so we're pretty busy. For fun Abbi does nail art, Carrie has a book club she's obsessed with, Erin does yoga & I rope strangers into awkward conversations at bars.
Anything you’d like to add that I didn’t ask about?
Come to the show! We're a delight & so funny!