I'm just about out of production tricks to share with you all, if that wasn't obvious from my last post about #garnetglee. There's more to what I do, network wise, but it doesn't lend itself well to explanation. How do I get guests for BSC?
1) I'm literate of the Souls community so I know who I like.
2) I ask and I'm a nice guy.
It's a big part of the show but there's no trick to it. Same with picking games for Watch Out For Fireballs! (me and Kole talk about it), playing games for the show (I play them when I can) and managing the schedule (I just sort of do because if I don't, I'll die). This is a long winded way of letting you know that my half of this blog is done with production notes and will instead just cover musings about games and my life as a podcaster. I hope that's OK.
And I'm going to start this series by saying thank you and talking a little bit about crowd funding. Like many, I was initially skeptical of crowd funding. On one level, there's an indignity in asking for money but on a deeper level, I don't think people should have to. I wish that we lived in a world that could support a healthy artist class.
Smarter people than I have talked about why we can't (and undoubtedly, there are people who probably believe we're doing everything right in this regard and I'm off my nut) but to my eyes, we're fucking up. Traditional roles for paid creatives are extremely limited and those who have landed them are extremely talented, yes, but also extremely lucky. Staunch capitalists can insist that the market knows best and the cream will rise, but maybe I don't like cream. Letting the market decide, when it comes to art, creates a world of tragically boring art. Having the most popular things be the only successful things is a Bad Idea and one of the reasons I, and many in my generation, I feel, are pretty fed up with capitalism. Which is a whole other conversation.
But anyway, what's success? This concept is not only heavily subjective but it's also been heavily revised in the internet age. The rise of self publishing allows anyone to achieve a certain type of success. Anyone with a smattering of resources can do what we did with the network, start a podcast or put out an album or write a book. And, assuming you actually have something to say, you can achieve a measure of success. And assuming they're willing to stick with it and try things until one sticks, they can probably achieve the audience we have.
Here's a sidebar: here are the creative pursuits I engaged in before I stumbled upon WOFF!
Three Musical Solo Projects
Dozens of short stories
One full length novel
Anyway, another way to measure success, at least in my mind, is getting to do the thing. There's that Onion article, the "Find the thing you love to do and do it on nights and weekends for the rest of your life" that is, to me, the most resonant thing The Onion has ever done. If you want to hear the sound of my voice as I slowly sink into a depression based around that idea, I recommend checking out Dead Idea Valhalla, which is a podcast series that could almost be said to be about that.
Crowd funding has the power to couple the first definition of success with the second, which is how I came to peace with it. Partly due to practicality (that is the way I am going get any hobby to pay for itself in this world) and partly because it has a potential for beauty. We are extremely lucky to have a large number of very dedicated fans and that is due to the particular alchemy of what we do and our consistency. But because we're doing it in an age where crowdfunding is a concept, we're able to make a little money with it too, edging closer to holistic success. And it's possible we'll make it all the way there and it's possible we won't. Also, I wouldn't put it past #brands and #corporations to totally fucking ruin crowdfunding. But for now, we're kind of riding a wave and I feel extremely lucky.
This is why I got so mad at potato salad guy. I'm into crowdfunding as a potential answer to a very serious, very nebulous problem with the world. Since we, as a society, have decided to convert our advancements in technology into money rather than quality of life, we have generations and generations of people who are wasting their potential in offices. I think we'll never know the cost of this compromise. And there's this very neat idea for fixing it and right now, before the Zach Braffs of the world fuck it up, we can thrive a little bit. And then potato salad guy shits on it. I dunno.
Anyway, thank you guys very much. What you guys do for us is really important to me and not only has practical benefits, but makes me feel a little less doomed about being a creative person in 2014.
Hugs and kisses love, Gary