If you’ve never heard of The Cabin Sisters, you’re not alone. The newborn band is comprised of actress Zosia Mamet, who stars as ditzy darling Shoshanna on HBO’s glamour-less NYC dramedy “Girls,” and her sister Clara. They’re also the daughters of lauded playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and film director David Mamet (“Glengarry Glen Ross”). And for the low, low price of thirty-two thousand dollars, you too can help these youths have a slim chance at success by helping them to a create a groundbreaking music video.
On their Kickstarter page the sisters insist that they usually “keep [their] music to [themselves],” but would now like to connect with you (fans/potential donors) to share a “different side.” “Visually,” the description explains, “the video will bounce from opulence to sparseness, French Baroque to a simple, timeless and heartbroken. We are hoping to capture something everyone has felt at some point in their lives.”
Twenty-five bucks for a digital download is a steal at the lowest tier on their donation scale. But a a signed banjo or 45-minute Skype session over tea and singing have a $2,500 price tag. For five-thousand bucks Zosia takes you on a dream date to a chi-chi Cinema Society Event. But for seven (thousand) a donor gets a walk-on role in The Cabin Sisters’ vid, and eight (grand) puts a lucky music lover in the lap of luxury with Zosia’s signed director’s chair from the show “Girls.”
With three days remaining, as of composition of this post, the ladies are still about thirty-thousand dollars short of their gall– I mean, goal.
Of course, no one is forced to indulge when someone of status takes to a crowd-funding site to sire their personal passion project. And, in fact, many folks do support their favorite stars and want to be a part of their world (to paraphrase a wise young mermaid). Beloved author Neil Gaiman’s wife Amanda Palmer was public enemy number one on the interwebs thanks to her whopping $1.2 million Kickstarter success that seemed shoddily accounted for and less than well-distributed, however her goal was only to raise $100,000 and it was fans that generously fattened her piggy bank to make the record-breaking total.
The achievements of recent crowd favorite film feats like Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here”, with almost fifty-thousand backers and unprecedented success, or the viral “Veronica Mars” film campaign boosted by its own devoted cult following, seem to support the notion that fans find investing in indie projects invigorating and fulfilling. But does starpower overshadow the everyday unknown user’s creative potential? We applaud celebrities who kick nepotism and branch out without their famous families’ backing. Why, then, does it seem unfair to put a bootstrap start-up against a known name and their potential connections? Discuss your feelings about celebrities using crowd-sourcing in the comments, below. — Casandra Armour