Thursday, January 21, 2010

Second Part Of My Thrilling Adventure! Self Producing

So, as I have noticed, my friend, co-hort and member in the key of Nosedive, Lil Jimmy Comtois, has been barrelling through his blogs on self-producing. And, they are really awesome. Take a gander:

But, he also has a lot more time than I do. I have a boss that sneaks up behind me at work. He does not.

Back to the journey.

I got accepted into Fight Fest and told I will perform during one of the Cabaret nights. So, not only am I in, I only have one chance to make it work. Seriously, no pressure.

I then begin to fret about finances. I will be fitting the bill all on my own. But, I realize that if I can save $100 or so a month, I may be able to pull it off like I envisioned. However, I start crunching numbers and the costumes alone could eat up more than 1/2 my budget. Then, there is rehearsal space, building the zombie rigs - and all of this for a 10 minute piece. I began to think that maybe I should pull out. Besides all the money I am going to be dumping into it, I have pretty much guaranteed myself that I would not have a break until after the December holidays. This is a long time for me seeing that I hadn't really had a break since February at this point and summer was here.

Of course I decide to do it. Being honest here - I went in kicking and screaming the whole time. It was so overwhelming. I try to pride myself on my amazing organizational skills and being able to take a project and break it down. I was letting the big picture overwhelm me and finding the one piece that wouldn't work and trying to quit.

As I write all of this, I realize that a lot of my frustrations and fear was not alien to me. This is all stuff I had gone through with other theatre companies, producing with Nosedive, etc. Just this time I was doing it alone and it felt, oh so very alone. People could give me advice or when I was panicking about something trivial that I had dealt with in the past, giving me the confused sidways glance. But there was no one who was truly devoted to this project as much as me. There was no one cracking the whip or giving me reminders to do things like I have for years with others. I had to remember to do it all. I had to be the one asking for help.

And there's the kicker folks. Asking for help. I suck at it.

But, I got it done. I did eventually really start relying on the kindness of friends and strangers (who are now friends) and getting it done. And, having a much bigger success that I could have imagined. A full house on a blizzard night. What more could you ask for? And, the performance being perfect. It was one of the greater nights of my life.

So, thank you to all who helped, thank you Brick for accepting me. It was a great challenge and success.

I'm actually going to stop writing about self-producing. Tons of people are doing that now. I have something else to write'll see.

Friday, January 08, 2010

My Life With the Thrill Kill....

no, not really. But, I did get your attention didn't I?

Here is my first attempt at blogging once a week (or once a month) as I promised myself. This, like everyone's more gym/eat better/drink less/quit smoking resolutions, will probably only last 1 to 2 months. But, here's hoping.

Now, one topic I promised was to continue to take you on my journey of self producing which seems to be a topic that is going around. Check out Jamespeak and all his subsequent links to the same topic.

Like I had said in a previous post - I have done this with training wheels on incorporation with Nosedive and St. Luke's Gingerbread Players. This time, except for the need to use Nosedive's name for little clerical things, I was going in head first, start to finish, my own project. I am now going to share some brief tidbits of mostly my feelings, some notes, over the course of time it took from creation to performance. Cause, as I said above, you can check out the nuts and bolts of self producing above and I am hopefully going to publish my Independent Producing book on my blog in the next few.

March: Began really thinking about my zombie piece and while walking to a friend's apartment in Astoria, "Come Alive" by the Foo Fighters came on my Ipod. An idea began to take form. It's a bit of a walk, so I just kept repeating the song until the scene took complete form. This is the scene where I introduce my heroine. I figure out there is going to be a heroine.

March/April: While beginning pre-production work on Infectious Opportunity, I keep thinking about my piece. I get wind of the "Fight Fest" that will be happening sometime in December. The scene I came up with was mostly fight. I decide to enter.

However, the whole thing is still in my head. Over the next weeks I attempt to get this little scene down on paper. I finally sit down to write it. With a glass of whiskey. The idea that no one will like it or understand it looms over my head the whole time. I get it done, I send it out to some friends, they come back with minor changes. I'm done.

Next, because this is a festival, I have to fill out an application and, uh-oh, send in a representation of my work. All the things I have directed have never made it to video. Except Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and this is Fight Fest, so I don't think that is going to do. I get Pete to give me the only copy we have left of the Blood Brother's videos that does have some pieces I help create and direct. It gets sent off.

May/June: ....still waiting to see if I got in. The fear and fretting begins to build. I begin to believe that the whole thing is a catch 22 - if I don't get in, it will be really sad, but I will just go on with writing the darn thing without a "test" scene. If I do get in, will I be able to pull off my vision and will people get it.

More later...