The Power Of Why – Pt. 2

This entry continues the exploration and self-reflection on the Why of Holodeck Follies. You can read Part 1 or jump in from here.

Our first Holodeck Follies was in celebration of our first anniversary as The Dandies. We were running bi-weekly narrative and musical improv jams for our first year but I wanted something more premise-based than just showing up. I also wanted to focus my producing efforts (booking people and promotions) for once a month rather than every two weeks.

Why Produce An Improvised Star Trek Show?

1. Promoting Nerd/Geek Interests As Being Equally Entertaining

One of my improv instructors remarked one day that, while there was a place for geek humour, most people coming to a comedy show did not want to see it. I understood where they were coming from — you do need to read your audience and bring them along for the ride, and sometimes that means adjusting your material. Yet I was offended.

Andie and I often have conversations about representing marginalized groups, in terms of mainstream entertainment, and how we find most of it problematic for representation and progressiveness. The improv community shows the same skew, holding onto the old stereotypes as fun and funny to embrace. We are nerds/geeks; our friends are nerds/geeks. Why would we produce something that alienates ourselves or our friends?

As quickly as I came up with Holodeck Follies, I found immediate support from the nerd community via G33kpron and Nerd Mafia. Nerds may be the underdog in some communities, but not ours.

2. Promoting Fun Fundraisers To Give Back To My Community

Perhaps because of my karmic debt, perhaps because I can’t afford it myself, I look for ways to raise funds for good causes. So, once a year, we throw a Movember party. This year, we are starting up our first summer fundraiser to help kids get to camp. Does the show need to be Star Trek to accomplish this? One could argue against it but here is my rationale:
a) Since any format would help achieve the goal of entertaining and raising funds, and this is our wheelhouse, it is valid.
b) People who might not normally come to a Star Trek show open their minds for the sake of a good cause. Star Trek had the philosophy of expanding minds so again, valid.

Our show is built specifically for Trekkies and non-Trekkies, so any imagined complaint is really about that person holding on to old biases; it is likely they are not people we want in our lives.

In the next part of this meta essay, I will share some of the personal Whys for the show.