And as of September 19, we closed out of our digital run on the Vancouver Fringe Festival. I’d be less than honest if I stated that I was happy with things. I didn’t get much of an audience. I certainly tried harder than I have in previous Fringe fest Outings. Ads for my play ran on social media every other day, and I bought space in the festival flyer and brochure. I also circulated posters and such on FaceBook. My goal was at least 20 tickets sold.
I’m thinking now that even though PLANET PHUCKETT!! could not be more timely or current, it is not a play anybody wants to watch. I thought that the warnings that have been in the script since 2016 have never been more relevant, and the message of understanding about our future could not be more timely. And I’ve watched Dr. Guy McPherson, who has masterfully given this message at too many lectures to count, and I thought I could change it but make it more intimate. Because if you’re talking about having a short time left, your connection with an audience is a big issue. If an audience identifies with Dr. Light, what else does that mean? Shouldn’t they hang on til the end?
Then again, getting people to watch the video was a big challenge. This is not to diss the people in Vancouver who put this together, but a live Fringe show is unique–people have the immediacy of looking at a real performer who can surprise or amaze them. Can’t do that on a digital form. And as Marshall McLuhan said, the medium is the message. When you’re watching PLANET PHUCKETT!! on your ‘appliance’, it’s no different from watching an Amazon movie or porn or your nieces’ baton twirling contest. When I’m live at a Fringe Fest, I’m competing against ten or twenty or however many other live plays. as a potential audience member, you take a chance on me because you’re not going to see my performance anywhere else. But when my piece is on your ‘appliance’, I’m competing against Amazon and their first-run movies that you can rent for $4.95.
For now, I think I’m putting Digital PLANET PHUCKETT!! on a back burner. Maybe I’ll share the current video with other digital venues. Or, perhaps I remind people that as a retiree, I can head out to your venue and perform for you. I need travel money and a place to sleep, and if you’re interested, I might even give a session on grief recovery. It’s something we all need if the predictions of people like James Anderson and Peter Wadhams really hit the mark.
For now, I have a finished video of a compelling play. I don’t want to give it away to the world. If I could find a way to monetize it (ask for a contribution of a few dollars to watch it) I’d be very happy. My other plans are to video and upload one of my 9/11 solo plays.
Watch this space.