Tag Archive | Putting it Together

Putting it Together – Podcasting

Geeks Without God

Putting it Together is my Monday “artist talking about art stuff blog”.  The title comes from “Sunday in the Park with George,” the best (and possibly only) musical that is entirely dedicated to an artist talking about his art.  Is that pretentious enough?

Two years ago, I knew of Podcasting as a thing other people did.  I didn’t see the value.  Well, I’ve come a long way to understanding why it is a benefit to me as a performer and as a creator.

A global energy crisis of epic proportions notwithstanding, the internet is here to stay.  As a creator, I have to remember that when I produce a play, my audience may be local.  However, there are a great many other things I do that can have a global reach.  The Internet is the tool I use to reach those people.

Podcasting is a way to get yourself into other people’s lives in a way that no social media outlet can.  It reaches back to days when people spent hours of their lives listening to the radio.

Writing is great but you lose so much nuance when you write a blog post.  Sure, your grammar is (hopefully) better and there aren’t all sorts of awkward pauses while you figure out what to write next but you also lose inflection, tone, cadence, and so many other qualities that make speech a far more effective way to connect emotionally with an audience.

Podcasting allows you to talk to your audience.  It allows them to get to know you in a far more personal way than a bunch of 140 character tweets or thousand word blogs.

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Putting it Together – Five Fifths

Putting it Together is my Monday “artist talking about art stuff blog”.  The title comes from “Sunday in the Park with George,” the best (and possibly only) musical that is entirely dedicated to an artist talking about his art.  Is that pretentious enough?

Sometimes you get exactly what you want and then you realize all the reasons you may not have wanted it.

The Minnesota Fringe Festival does a big fundraiser every year wherein they invite five producers to write one fifth of a familiar pop culture property.  When it comes to writing comedy, pop culture parody is kind of my wheelhouse.  I have been super hopeful that someday I would be asked to write a fifth because that’s my thing!

So this year, I’ve been asked to write a fifth.  And when I got asked I was really excited and happy because, as I said, this is completely my thing!

The movie in question is The Shining and I love The Shining.  Not in a crazy Room 237 kind of way, you understand. It is a great film that offers so many exciting possibilities for satire.  Some of which haven’t even been featured on “The Simpsons!”

Many of which I can squeeze into the fifteen minutes that shall be mine to bend to my will!

So excited!

What happens after that initial excitement about what I get to do, however, is the realization that I just agreed to actually do it.  Then the doubt creeps in.

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Putting it Together – Big Fun Radio Funtime

On AirBig Fun Radio Funtime is just over a year old and just performed our sixth show.  I’m at a bit of a crossroads right now because I think that we are getting a lot better artistically, but I can’t figure out how to get people to come watch the show. While I know I want to keep it running through the end of the 2014, I’m not certain of our fate beyond that.

The major problem I face is the amount of work compared to the level of attention that work receives.  We are averaging 20- 30 audience members per performance. Can we get more?  I just don’t know.  So I’ve been doing a sort of cost/benefit analysis on the whole effort.

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Putting it Together – Social Media

Putting it Together is my Monday “artist talking about art stuff blog”.  The title comes from “Sunday in the Park with George,” the best (and possibly only) musical that is entirely dedicated to an artist talking about his art.  Is that pretentious enough?

I don’t want to pretend I know more about being a professional freelancer than anyone else.  I’m quite positive I don’t.

I think I’m starting to get this whole social media thing figured out a little bit, though.  The secret to freelancing and social media in this day and age is you must use it.  If you stand aloof from social media, you have sacrificed an essential connection to the people you want to reach.

It may be a source of pride that you aren’t on Twitter but is that a good enough reason?  Here’s a few things I think I’ve learned about use of social media.  I’ll note that a lot of this is comedy centric because that’s what I (want to) do.  A lot of it translates, though.

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Putting it Together – The Fringe Lottery

Putting it Together is my Monday “artist talking about art stuff blog”.  The title comes from “Sunday in the Park with George,” the best (and possibly only) musical that is entirely dedicated to an artist talking about his art.  Is that pretentious enough?

I sometimes wonder if I got into this game too late.  Most of my friends who are successful are in their early to mid 30’s.  I spent those years putting together a science fiction convention, which is doing OK.

I graduated from college with a theatre degree, but left theatre behind me to do things like work a regular job, have a couple of kids, start a convention…you know, the normal stuff.  I still loved theatre but I guess part of my problem was that I never knew what I wanted to do in theatre.

One thing did happen, though.  I started writing sketches for CONvergence and I was pretty good.  It is possible that writing parodies of popular culture presents very little challenge.  I think it is more likely that I found something that finally re-ignited my interest in the stage.

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Putting it Together – Writing All The Time

Putting it Together is my Monday “artist talking about art stuff blog”.  The title comes from “Sunday in the Park with George,” the best (and possibly only) musical that is entirely dedicated to an artist talking about his art.  Is that pretentious enough?

The secret to becoming better at anything, they tell you, is practice.  I don’t know who “they” are but “they” have a point.

If you want to be a better writer, you need to write every day.  It feels a little bit like the theory of  a million monkeys at a million typewriters except you are one monkey (more like an ape) with one typewriter (laptop computer) and if you type enough, brilliance will accidentally spill all over the page.

Hopefully it won’t be Shakespeare, though.  That’s just plagiarism.

One of the things I do every morning is try to write a joke on Twitter.  I’m not concerned about favorites or retweets, although they are nice, I’m more concerned about exercising the joke writing muscle every morning.  I want to stretch it out and make sure it still works.  Some days that joke muscle is nice and loose.  Other days it is tight and stubborn.

The trick to writing all the time is to not care if anybody is actually reading what you are writing.  Because most people aren’t.  Checking the number of hits on your web page or likes on Facebook won’t tell you if you wrote something worth reading.  It only tells you if you wrote something people noticed or cared about.

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Putting it Together – Collaboration

Putting it Together is my Monday “artist talking about art stuff blog”.  The title comes from “Sunday in the Park with George,” the best (and possibly only) musical that is entirely dedicated to an artist talking about his art.  Is that pretentious enough?

Collaboration is one of those words that theatre people throw around in the same way corporate America throws around the word “Paradigm.”  We make it sound really important.  Can you actually produce theatre without collaborating?

Can you produce business without a paradigm?

While I’m certain that you can do business without paradigms (or synergy), it’s pretty hard to produce theatre without collaboration.   Even if you are writing a one person show and the person in question is you, you probably aren’t going to be running your own lights.  You might want someone else to direct your show.

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Putting it Together – Doubt

Putting it Together is my Monday “artist talking about art stuff blog”.  The title comes from “Sunday in the Park with George,” the best (and possibly only) musical that is entirely dedicated to an artist talking about his art.  Is that pretentious enough?

As I try to make sense of how to be a creator whose job is creation, I have a lot of doubts and fears.  Am I good enough?  Why didn’t I start doing this ten years ago?  Can I even do this?  What do I do first?

The voice inside my head isn’t a pessimistic one.  I prefer to think that it is a realist.  The questions aren’t the problem.  As long as I have some good answers.

Doubt is part of any creative process.  At least I hope I’m not the only person who goes through it.  I assume that most people who produce something that exists primarily to entertain other people spend at least some small amount of time wondering if what they made was good enough.

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Putting it Together – The Tedious Art of Self Promotion

Putting it Together is my Monday “artist talking about art stuff blog”.  The title comes from “Sunday in the Park with George,” the best (and possibly only) musical that is entirely dedicated to an artist talking about his art.  Is that pretentious enough?

As an independent producer, I understand that I’m not going to succeed unless I convince other people what I’m doing has some merit.  This means I have to engage in the process of self promotion.

Watch my stuff!

Read my stuff!

Listen to my stuff!

STUFF STUFF STUFF STUFF!!!!

I’m not very good at self promotion.

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