On Saturday, July 13, from 10 am until 12 noon, Better Lemons and Theatre West will be hosting “Show Me the Money!” with some of LA’s premiere theatrical producers sharing their fundraising success stories and secrets.

This is a great opportunity for LA’s vast theatrical community to grapple with the full spectrum of strategies for funding a production, from sponsors, advertisers, and membership campaigns to grants, solicitations, and gala events.

“Whose job is it to raise the money?"

“What are some long-term strategies for establishing funding for an entire season?”

“Are there individuals or organizations that are motivated to support local theatre and how do we find them?”

“How do we get support from the local community, from the city, from the county, from the state?”

The “Show Me the Money!” workshop will be a panel discussion and a conversation with the audience to address specific situations and opportunities.

All of the panelists are producers with a diverse background of fundraising experience, from attracting wealthy benefactors to leveraging public funds.

Confirmed Producers on the Panel:

ANDREW CARLBERG - Named by Variety as one of “Hollywoodʼs New Leaders,” Carlberg is an Academy Award-winning film, television, new media, Broadway and Los Angeles stage producer. Andrew’s extensive credits include, but aren’t limited to, ABC’s Castle, DirecTV’s Full Circle, Broadway’s Romeo and Juliet and Side Show, the Neil LaBute penned feature films Some Girl(s) and Dirty Weekend, actress Jennifer Morrison’s feature directorial debut Sun Dogs (Netflix 2018), the 2018 Official Sundance Selection The Blazing World, Celebration Theatre’s Ovation Award-winning productions of The Color Purple: The MusicalThe Boy From Oz, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the cult hit improv-based show The Blind Date Project, and the critically-acclaimed and award-winning LA premiere of Rotterdam at the Skylight Theatre (which was subsequently remounted at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre).

This past fall Andrew completed production on the feature film The Pleasure of Your Presence (starring Alicia Silverstone, Mathilde Ollivier and Tom Everett Scott), and produced the Los Angeles return production of Tony winner Sarah Jones's smash hit Sell/Buy/Date (The Renberg Theatre at the LA LGBT Center).

Carlberg also produced Skin, which won the 2019 Academy Award for Live Action Short Film.

Andrew is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an alum of Film Independent’s Fast Track Producing Fellowship and New York’s Independent Filmmaker Project, and an event producer for the I Have a Dream Foundation - Los Angeles and the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

FRIER McCOLLISTER is an independent theatrical producer and general manager based in Los Angeles. Most recently, he served as producer on Sandra Tsing Loh’s holiday hit Sugar Plum Fairy at The Skylight Theatre in December. He will co-produce the show with East West Players in December of this year.

He served as Associate Producer for the South Coast Repertory production of the show in 2017 as well as for SCR’s production of Ms. Loh’s The Madwoman in the Volvo and its subsequent productions at Pasadena Playhouse and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

He has produced the west coast premieres of all Ms. Loh’s solo performance pieces beginning with Aliens in America and Bad Sex with Bud Kemp at the Tiffany Theatre and more recently The Bitch is Back (Broad Stage/ Eyde).

With Joel Viertel, he is the original producer of the hip hop dance hit GROOVALOO. He has served as general manager on a wide range of commercial productions in Los Angeles, notably The Vagina Monologues (Canon Theatre); Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (Ahmanson Theatre); Eric Idle’s Rutlemania! (Montalban; Blender NYC); and Pee Wee’s Playhouse (Club Nokia). As general manager, he operated the Coronet Theatre (now Largo at The Coronet) and The Falcon Theatre (now The Garry Marshall Theatre) and served as Managing Director of the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Prior to arriving in Los Angeles in 1994, he served as company manager on a variety of Broadway and off Broadway productions and toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

He is currently the Los Angeles steward for the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers (A.T.P.A.M.).

SPIKE DOLOMITE is the executive director of Theatre West. She has a 20 year background in arts nonprofit management. She started her own nonprofit, Arts in Education Aid Council, which got the arts back into San Fernando Valley public schools.

Her producer credits include producing the Valley Wide Student Art Show and Family Arts Festival for 10 years in a row (the audience doubled every year until it hit 5,000), the Valley Artists Studio Tour, the Reseda Open Studio Tour, Reseda Rocks Again for the Reseda Neighborhood Council, and Ian Ruskin in To Begin the World Again – the Life of Thomas Paine, and From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks, at both Emerson UUC and Theatre West, The Vagina Monologues directed Emmalinda MacLean at Emerson UUC, Tom Dugan’s Wiesenthal at Theatre West, and coming up in July a reading of Twelve Angry July by twelve Los Angeles attorneys.

Spike has received personal recognition from the City of Los Angeles on several occasions for her advocacy in supporting the arts in the San Fernando Valley and was one of the very first Community Champions for the Annenberg Foundation’s Alchemy program, mentoring nonprofit leaders on how to build stronger boards.

Spike also has a long background in grassroots community organizing and is using those skills to bring people together in the LA theatre community to brainstorm, share best practices and pass on fundraising tips!

STEFANIE LAU is is an arts administrator specializing in marketing, fundraising, and audience development with almost 20 years of experience in Los Angeles theatre. She is a co-founder and Producing Artistic Leader of Artists at Play, a theatre company dedicated to telling the stories of underrepresented communities, with a focus on the Asian American experience. Her work with Artists at Play includes mainstage productions, new play development, fundraisers and other special events. Stefanie previously worked at Center Theatre Group, East West Players and the Ford Amphitheater, among others. She has been part of Cold Tofu Improv since 2003 in numerous capacities: student, producer, managing director, board member and current marketing manager. A graduate of UCLA, Stefanie sits on the national board of the Consortium of Asian American Theatres and Artists. Twitter @MsStefanieL

MONIKA RAMNATH is the Development Manager at Ford Theatres, formerly at East West Players.

Previous panels include Meet the Critics, Meet the Critics II, and Meet the Publicists. Listen to them at and

As for “Show Me the Money!” bring your questions and your coffee mug for some fresh brew from Theatre West!

Saturday, July 13th, 2019
10am – 12 noon

Theatre West
3333 Cahuenga Blvd West
Hollywood, CA 90068

Parking is in lot across the street for $5 cash.

RSVP to or via the form below:


Have you ever wished you could squeeze our brains so you could ask questions about how to make the most out of our website?
Here is a FREE workshop where you will be able to do just that!
Sat, May 19, 2018
10am - 12 noon
Theatre West
3333 Cahuenga Boulevard West
Los Angeles, CA 90068

  • Do you register your shows on Better Lemons?
  • Do you use the playbill insert to encourage audience reviews?
  • Do you use your sweet ratings to further promote your shows?
  • Do you review shows that you've seen on Better Lemons?
  • Do you use the resources page of the Better Lemons website?
  • Introduction to new website features
  • and more

Come to this free workshop to learn all there is to know about Better Lemons and bring your friends and family! Film, Theatre, and Event Producers, Publicists, Reviewers, Performers, and everyone else who goes to live theater, film festivals, art events, etc. will benefit from this workshop!
Join us! It's FREE!

Beware the Audition Gremlins!

Many an actor has been derailed from doing his or her best at an audition by what I call "audition gremlins."

These little monsters are treacherous, relentless, and merciless. Producers and casting directors are most keenly aware of the nasty habit that audition gremlins have of rearing their ugly heads on audition days. We see countless examples with every open call. Through audition calls for well more than 100 productions, representing more than 20,000 submissions, I have seen gremlins strike nearly 2,000 times over the years. In reflection, I should have maintained a file of the documentary evidence of these gremlin strikes – many of which I learned about through email communication.

Gremlins. They love to strike on audition days, and they come in a variety of forms. The most common gremlin is the wicked flat tire. Through each and every audition call, producers and casting directors can practically set their watches to the regularity of the flat tire gremlin. I cannot recall an audition process that did not see at least one strike from that little demon. Sometimes he brings down several actors in the same day!

Though not as frequently seen, the car-broke-down gremlin is a close cousin to the flat-tire gremlin, and far more crafty in his mischief; as he almost always strikes right at audition appointment times. A merciless gremlin for sure, but not as treacherous as the sudden illness gremlin who never sneaks up on his victims throughout the day before, but rather strikes with full shock-and-awe symptoms only on the morning of auditions.

Other gremlins we see strike at a common rate are the family-emergency gremlin, sudden-work-obligation gremlin, and the particularly relentless gremlins of the unforeseen-circumstances variety. They can be the worst of them all.

Producers and casting directors occasionally come across extremely rare gremlins, but we have been dealing with gremlins for so long, that there is rarely a gremlin we haven't seen before. Trust me, you'd be surprised. When one of us does come across a new and unique gremlin, we can sometimes be found enjoying the opportunity to share the tale with our colleagues over a cocktail or two.

The worst thing about gremlins is their apparent ability to strike actors with such ferociousness that nearly nine out of ten times it renders the actor so shaken and stunned they can't even imagine the thought of asking to reschedule their audition. Perhaps the gremlins' most vile trait is their ability to neutralize actors so efficiently, the actors cannot even offer to send a video submission in lieu of attending the audition. Vile beasts.

There is one very common gremlin that we all know exists, but attacks by these gremlins are rarely reported: the unprepared-actor gremlin. Some analysts believe that the unprepared-actor gremlin is actually the most common gremlin, but that his strikes are regularly blamed on other gremlins. He is definitely the gremlin that producers and casting directors actually witness striking in the audition room, where encounters with it can be absolutely brutal.

We all understand that some gremlins just cannot be avoided no matter how prepared an actor may be for an audition. However when a gremlin actually does strike, an actor can avoid looking insincere about it by including with their explanation a request to reschedule or an offer to submit video. There is no other viable reason to send a description of your gremlin attack to a producer or casting director. Certainly if you submitted for the call, received an audition invitation, confirmed the appointment, prepared for the audition, and then were suddenly derailed by a vicious gremlin, you would want nothing more than to avenge yourself by actually fulfilling the audition.

Some actors have actually shown superhero powers in overcoming the attack of gremlins by changing a tire, calling an Uber, jumping on the Metro, or even riding a bus to make it to their audition. Most of them have been pleased to find themselves greeted with pardons upon their explanation of a sent email, or earlier phone call to alert of their tardy arrival ahead of time. On occasion an actor has been met with a greater level of interest through their demonstrating an ability to overcome gremlins by making it in. Some producers and casting directors think that such ability can translate into a hire who will demonstrate the same perseverance when it comes to making it to rehearsals, shoot dates, performances, etc.

The best way to prevent gremlins from derailing your audition appearances is to pay attention to details and properly prepare. First you should fully read casting notices before submitting. That includes rehearsal dates, shoot dates, performance dates, details about the production, etc. Don't shotgun-submit to everything. That's a terrible idea. If you are shotgun-submitting, you place yourself in the position of having to be the person who later withdraws their submission or fails to respond. Enough of those and you get that reputation.

Reread the audition posting before accepting the invitation or confirming the audition appointment. Make sure there isn't anything you failed to overlook, especially scheduling. Do your research on the project – the company, the director, the script, the characters – before you commit to attending. Then truly assess whether or not you are going to be able to spend the necessary time to be fully prepared for the audition. Don't do that to yourself. If you can't learn the monologue in time, if you can't memorize the song, if you can't spend time with the sides – don't confirm the appointment. Gremlins will strike.

Be honest with yourself first. If you're not willing to do the work to prepare for the audition, then you probably aren't capable of doing the work required by the project. Don't be the person sending descriptions of gremlin attacks.

The truth is that once producers and casting directors are in the audition room, they are not paying attention to their emails. They aren't even going to see your account of your victimization-by-gremlin until the auditions are over. If your email doesn't include a request to reschedule, or an offer to submit video, then it only serves as a connection of your name to gremlins.

Here's a secret: if the auditions went well, and you didn't show up – you weren't missed, you're most likely forgotten, and if you submit again in the future, your absence probably won't be remembered. If you sent an email describing a gremlin attack, and then submit again later, you just might be remembered as the actor who is easily derailed by gremlins.