Entertainment industry charity Behind the Scenes reached a milestone last week as it crossed the half million dollar mark in funds awarded since it began issuing grants to entertainment technology professionals in need due to serious illness or injury. Grants are tailored to each individual but can include basic living costs, medical related expenses, transportation, retraining and funeral expenses.
Recipients have included individuals working in every type of job in the industry, including stagehands, electricians, riggers, audio, scenic artists, costumers, makeup and hair stylists, grips, gaffers, camera operators, DPs, designers, stage managers and technical directors.
Behind the Scenes has been assisting industry members in North America since 2006. The charity is launching in the U.K. in 2014 and will begin granting as soon as sufficient funds have been raised.
“I am the sound man – that guy whose name you may not remember,” said one grant recipient. “I couldn’t believe that when I needed help Behind the Scenes was there and didn’t turn their back on me. I am the crew guy, not the superstar. Without Behind the Scenes I would not have made it – that’s a fact. I can never thank them enough for their help, and I can never thank them enough for the compassion they showed me in my true time of need. What an honor it is to be part of this community. It is a feeling that I can’t describe. For everybody who contributes to Behind the Scenes, thank you. You helped save my life.”
“This is a significant achievement for our entire industry as every dollar granted has come directly from you,” said Rick Rudolph, chair of the Behind the Scenes committee. “The industry has taken Behind the Scenes to its heart and made sure we can help our colleagues in need. Unfortunately, that need only continues to grow so I urge you to strengthen your support so we don’t have to leave any of our colleagues without help and hope.”
For more information about Behind the Scenes, visit behindthescenescharity.org.