My journey from awkward notoriety as black guy at that party last night, to that black guy at the party who won’t shut up about his benefit show, started as you’d expect: deep in the throes of an existential crisis. Until now my birthday was an excuse to get debutant-shwasted but lately my self-validation has come from giving, not getting.
I considered birthday charity drives in lieu of gifts but the grimy hipsters and starving artists that make up my social sphere need the cloak of a straight-up banger—a party to end all parties—to justify spending dough.
Since you’re here seeking info on “how to throw a benefit bash” I take it that you, too, want to help others and party Andrew W.K.-style. OK, now it’s grind time. So,
1. Find your passion
Fun fact: I’m African-American and well-versed in the gnawing frustration of police brutality. It’s happening here in Albuquerque, it’s happening in Ferguson, it’s happening everywhere. The convergence of something that impassions me and the place I now call home was too serendipitous to ignore, so Baxter Bash is donating half of its proceeds to a legal defense fund for protesters in Ferguson, and the rest to health services for refugees in Albuquerque.
Still not sure what your cause is? Let your inner child thrash about till the injustice that moves you most foams to the top. Now it’s time to shout it to the world but,
2. Admit it, you know nothing
You’re an idiot, I’m an imbecile and together we’re one quarter a moron. Your friends and relations, combined, have more experience, connections, and motivation than you alone. When I needed a venue, a food truck, and a flyer, my good friends Tiffany Brazil, James Smiley and Irene Entila were able to do in hours what I couldn’t manage in weeks.
While I’m at it shout out to Greg Ziomek, Candace Lopez, Nikki Maphis, Sarah Mowrey and Lindy Vision for the planning support.
Which reminds me, pander and pander hard. It’s your party; invite 15 noise bands if you want to; just get ready for an attendance of 15 + 1. Your friends as a group know what people want to see, where people are willing to go and what people are willing to buy. Listen to them well young padawan.
3. Now get ready to fail, then don’t
Let the “you” from today set yourself up to almost fail. Need to write a “countdown” Facebook post every day till your show? Write five in one sitting so in the future you can come down with a case of the I-don’t-give-a-fucks and still come out on top.
That old Toyota starting to crap out? Plan major errands with a friend so when your Prelude turns into lawn furniture minutes before the copy shop closes, you’ve still got a ride.
Baxter Bash might fold like a contortionist but I’m optimistic and so is Peri, who really wanted me to write this article and wants you to come to my party. So take her advice and come to Baxter Bash on September 20 at 8pm at Low Spirits for great music, comedy, art and raffles—and to support two very important causes. See you at the Bash.
I’m turning 27! To celebrate I’m putting on a benefit show supporting a couple causes. 100% of proceeds go to Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) and their legal defense fund for protesters arrested in Ferguson Missouri AND to health services for refugees in Albuquerque. $5 suggested donation for a million bands, performers, raffles and more. Details here.
Check out the MORE website and remember you don’t have to wait till Baxter Bash! to make a contribution =)
Photos courtesy of Andrew Baxter.