It was a cloudy March day. I had recently started a coffee-loving Instagram feed to help cultivate a little more joy in my life to get through the long winter. Kathleen and I sat at a tiny coffee shop on 23rd street, hatching ideas for future projects: a theatre piece, perhaps a web series - the sky's the limit during these dream-up sessions. Our plan included officially starting our production company, Good Pilgrim, and getting some of these projects up and running. I won't lie: I was unimpressed with the coffee at this particular spot, enough so that it didn't even warrant a shout-out on my Insta-feed, so we stepped outside into the brisk air to continue our creative session on foot. Immediately, Kathleen grabbed my arm. "Amie, take a pic!" She motioned toward a colorful van at the curb. A sign on the van read, "Tweet this van and a get a coffee kit." Heck yes, we would! Little did we know that our first interaction with the Joyride van would lead us to the land of free coffee, new friends and being part of Joyride's brand new sponsored artist program.
Joyride was true to their word and sent us a coffee kit: several bags of freshly roasted coffee from local companies like Toby's. In the coming months, Kathleen, an avid tweeter, continued to give shout outs to Joyride in 140 characters or less. Kathleen is a playwright and actress so she's full of brilliant ideas and a lot of boldness. One day she tweeted, "Hey, @joyridecoffee, you know how some athletes have corporate sponsors? How about sponsoring a writer?" This got their attention! In no time, Kathleen and I were pitching the folks at Joyride on supporting Good Pilgrim's upcoming show Pregnant Pause, a one-woman play that Kathleen wrote and I perform. We'd be producing the play at a socially conscious arts festival downtown called Planet Connections and a sponsorship would help us pay our collaborators and get the play produced for a 5-show run.
Synchronicity was at play. It turned out that Joyride had already been planting ideas to partner with artists in the city. We happened to meet at just the right time. Since then, Joyride has caffeinated us through our writing sessions, planning, rehearsals and tech day. Joyride friends even showed up to support us on opening night at the festival! As sponsored artists, we have the privilege of sharing about their great work with our social networks and artists friends. They've been our partners in the day-to-day practices of art making and coffee drinking, and we know they'll be our close companions as we continue joy seeking!
By Amie Cazel, Actress