TUESDAY // NOVEMBER 27, 2018
BEHIND THE SCENES CHARITY OFFERS FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR ENTERTAINMENT PROFESSIONALS
Dana Janssen // TourReady, Inc.
“Your medical condition is completely out of your control and it is all happening within days.”
After 30 years of mixing the sound for music in countless cities and countries, doctors informed Lee Popa of this devastating news threatening not only his career – but also his life.
An autoimmune disease caused Popa’s liver to fail at an extremely rapid pace. Poppa became very ill and overwhelmed with emotions of what was to come. With incessant thoughts of becoming homeless, feeling helpless, eventually losing hope and most devastating to Popa, leaving behind his crew who are family, he needed help from his community to survive.
A live donor came to Popa’s side to volunteer half of his liver where doctors and nurses of USCUH were able to save his life – and Behind the Scenes stepped in to ensure his family didn’t lose their home or have their utilities turned off while he was recovering.
“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,” Popa told BTS.
Countless behind-the-scene industry professionals have been dealt similar devastating health problems with seemingly no solution in sight. Several individuals, like Popa, spend their entire lives behind the scenes with a goal of making other people feel alive only to discover their own lives are the ones in utmost danger.
The Behind the Scenes charity recognizes the unfortunate reality that men and women in our industry do not reap the same health insurance and other financial benefits as other fields do. Without the ability to work, those entertainment professionals who do receive benefits lose them very quickly. The lack of benefits inevitably poses financial tragedy for ill or injured individuals and potentially for their entire family.
In response to this common issue among industry professionals, Behind the Scenes was launched to help prevent the financial tragedy that so often accompanies misfortune by providing temporary assistance during recovery or the transition to disability.
Watch the video & continue reading to learn who is eligible for a grant, what the grants can be used for, how the application process works, the new BTS Counseling Fund and how YOU can support Behind the Scenes today!
Who is eligible for a Behind the Scenes grant?
If you currently reside in the United States or Canada and have earned your living for at least five years in the entertainment technology industry, and are seriously ill or injured, you may apply for a grant. Immediate dependent family members including spouses, domestic partners and dependent children may also qualify for assistance if they are ill or injured.
If you work behind the scenes…
At any type of performance venue
Behind the camera
On the road
For a company that manufactures or supplies entertainment technology products or services
Behind the Scenes was created to help you and your colleagues during times of need. The charity assists industry professionals who are directly involved with the technical aspects of entertainment including lighting, rigging, scenic, audio, wardrobe, hair and makeup, camera, design, production management and technical direction.
What can you use grants for?
Individuals may use grants for living expenses such as rent or mortgage, utilities and transportation. In addition, individuals are able to utilize grants for medical care such as doctor or hospital bills, medications, physical therapy, wheelchairs and other aids, health insurance and home healthcare. Grants may also be used towards funeral expenses for industry professionals who have passed away.
Do you know an individual who:
Is having a hard time paying rent because he or she has been out of work due to an injury?
Is battling cancer, has met the cap on their health insurance and is struggling to purchase monthly medications?
Is a bereaved spouse or a dependent unable to provide for him or herself?
If the answer is yes to any of the above, you may be able to help someone who may immensely benefit from a Behind the Scenes grant!
How does the application process work?
You must complete the Application for Financial Assistance. This application requires:
A letter from your doctor or other documentation of your illness or injury
Proof of at least five years of work history
Detailed financial information
A current bank statement
Copies of your two most recent tax returns
Copies of the bills for which you are seeking assistance
First, a Review Committee made up of members from the Behind the Scenes Foundation Board of Directors looks over all submitted applications. The committee generally makes grant decisions within a few days of receiving a submission.
If a grant is awarded, you will be contacted immediately to coordinate delivery of the grant. Checks must be made payable directly to service providers and can be sent directly to the provider or to the grant recipient for distribution.
The Application for Assistance is available at www.btshelp.org/application.
The BTS Counseling Fund
This fund is designed to provide early access to mental health and addiction counseling by assisting with the associated financial burdens. For individuals seeking to initiate or support ongoing counseling, Behind the Scenes issues funds as a subsidy on a per visit basis giving you the flexibility to change providers if you find your initial choice isn’t working well, and more importantly, encourages a longer-term client/therapist relationship. Funds are also available to individuals entering an in-patient or intensive out-patient recovery program. A special application for assistance is available for a Counseling Fund grant.
How Can You Support Behind the Scenes?
There are two important ways you can support Behind the Scenes:
Spread the word to those in need that help is available.
The program is funded solely through contributions from industry members.
You can make a contribution online anytime, and many individuals and organizations have come up with creative ideas to support Behind the Scenes, such as workplace giving campaigns, charity motorcycle and bicycle rides, donating auction items, designating the proceeds from sales of a product or service, or dedicating a performance to Behind the Scenes.
For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit www.btshelp.org.