This entry continues the exploration and self-reflection on the Why of Holodeck Follies. You can start from Part 1 or jump in from here.
This is the part of this mini-sharing essay that I least looked forward to doing. It is an all-about-me post and I have preferred to have the focus on the show/community/other performers. It will be a long read, so grab some tea (Earl Grey, Hott) and engage.
My Personal Whys For Holodeck Follies
So let’s get this truth out of the way. If Hollywood came knocking and said “Come with us, your limo awaits”, I don’t know that I would go for the ride. I used to want fame and fortune and everything that goes with it (and I’d thank you all), almost more than anything. And I thought I deserved that fate. These days however, while I want recognition for my accomplishments, I would rather be surrounded by those that loved and respected me, than those that fawned over me.
Regular Performances With Andie
The show started as a result of two concurrent events. We were performing with our friends, Fans of Randy, and doing okay in the local competition at the time but rehearsals and performing schedules were not aligned. We also became friends with Adam Ward who, along with his comedy partner Simon Pond, had reignited the duo performer improv troupe format with Pondward Bound. They hosted a few shows that were pro-duos and were very encouraging. We loved what they were doing and were better able to manage our schedules together than as a group of five, so we latched on.
The truth of the matter is, as much as I want to perform with old and new friends, I want to spend all of my silly time with Andie.
Geeking And Nerding Out
Andie has helped me to embrace my geeky and nerdy sides. While we may not share every addiction, we are a safe place for each other to geek out on topics. We’ve had countless conversations about gender, genre, general science… Even thinking about it makes me smile.
As a way to stay connected through the week, before we started Holodeck Follies, we had a date night where we would watch TNG and try to remember where we were when we first saw the episode. When we finished that franchise, we tried to watch both DS9 and Voyager. Between the shows and life, we found that we couldn’t watch both franchises at the same time so we’ve stuck with Voyager for now.
Being able to get (and make) references with both Trekkie audience members and those who came for the variety show, is very fulfilling. I get to geek out in public and potentially make new friends.
Broadening My Artistic Community
I don’t listen to the radio anymore… the inane commercials drove me away. I don’t get out to see shows or concerts anymore… other things took priority. As a result, I had lost a connection with the local scenes. I wanted a way to get back out and discover new performers, and, for the ones that we came to really like, have a place for them to play! We have come to get to know some great people, and that has made the night a success regardless of any other measure.
Mid-week Stress Release
I work hard but I have become less good about relaxing. Despite all of the producer woes, the requirement to have patience with the process and the people (oh lordy, some people), the adrenaline rush from a fun night of improv comedy and great acts takes the edge off the week.
As a result of producing this show, I’ve gained an increased sense of planning, producing, and promoting. I’ve considered putting out a shingle for event promotion services, though there are a lot of people doing it already. I’ve been praised for my organizational efforts and I have seen results, from our Movember shows down to getting special guest performers. In creating the platform, to use sketch comedy language, we are now free to tilt your expectations toward laughing long and prospering.
Okay, if I started with fame, I have to address the money portion. I am confident that our show has value and that the performers deserve their dues not only in recognition but so they can buy at least a drink at the bar.
Improv is an odd entertainment type — it doesn’t typically pay those who are not in the upper echelon or doing corporate events. We have been a successful show, in that we have almost always covered rent (one month we were five bucks short). And we aren’t looking for this show to be our salary. Because we don’t have money ourselves, we’ve been hustling on not only our behalf, but for every other performer that shares the space with us. I want to walk away from the night knowing everybody got something. If that’s the case, then we will be prosperous indeed.
Is there a need for a part four of this reflective piece? What would you like to know? Chat me up on Twitter with your thoughts.