Friday, March 23, 2012
Sometimes things work out strangely, and sometimes they work out exactly backwards.
It turns out I had to move from Hollywood to Springfield to get on television.
This past summer, as I was hustling in LA, surviving on crackers, not sleeping, and missing Michelle, all for the shot at making it onscreen, a television station in Springfield was undergoing changes. KSFX, the local Fox affiliate was losing their Fox affiliation, due to a new station acquiring the rights to the affiliation. KSFX was now left to continue as an independent station, with a new approach. Thus, KOZL was formed by the company that was once KSFX. This presented a lot of new obstacles, but also some new opportunities. Most all of the KOZL programming would remain the same, they would keep their local news broadcasts, and it would remain in full HD, but now they could do something not normally afforded local stations constrained by their affiliation, they could produce original local programming.
I heard about all of this going down in late summer because I would still read the local newspaper online. In September, I came home for a week for a wedding and a visit. It was during this trip that Michelle and I had the it’s time to come home conversation, and we decided on December. Fresh off of that news, I e-mailed the general manager of the station saying, “Hey, I hear you’re looking for original programming, and it just so happens that I have a show you might be interested in called The Mystery Hour.” I also said, “I’m leaving for Los Angeles within the week, so we’ll have to meet soon if you want to discuss it.” Lo, and behold, he read the e-mail and agreed to meet.
I met with him and someone above him from the corporate offices and they loved the show from the clips I had sent them and from people around the building being familiar with it. It turns out that this meeting was less about me selling them on the idea, like I had assumed, and more about talking about how it could work. I told them I would probably be home around the new year. We kind of left it at that and agreed to keep talking. As I was in LA preparing to move back home, I took comfort in knowing that a possibility awaited me.
Now it’s official.
That show that I started more than five years ago.
That show that I, myself, have derided for being a fake TV show.
That show that I have sweat over, holding on to the notion that it may actually be worthy of broadcast.
That show, that show, is now going to be a half hour, weekly show on KOZL, airing at 10:00 pm on Saturday nights.
I’m going to be a realish late night talk show host, on a realish late night talk show.
Hey, I recognize that it is a local show, that will be seen by thousands, not millions, but I am excited. It makes me wonder if I had the choice, would I choose to have a tiny role in a nationally popular show, or my own show, on a local station? My ego side would want the national show, but my creative side would definitely go for my own show, but my wallet would go for the national show, but my wife would go for the local show. Local show wins.
It excites me, and it stresses me out a bit too. I have been working my butt off getting the crew for the show, getting equipment, and handling all of the details of getting the show off the ground. Yes, I had this show I was really proud of before I left, but when I came home, my video guy was now unable to help, my camera guy sold his cameras, and my venue, The Skinny Improv, moved to a smaller location. So, now I was a guy with a commitment to a show and, well, I had me, and I still had my desk, I guess. So, I’ve been working my tail off getting the band back together, as it were, plus all of the new things about having a show on TV that I’m ignorant to. It turns out it’s not just setting cameras up.
The show will now be at Randy Bacon studio, an art gallery/concert venue downtown, that oozes cool. I would have loved to keep doing it at The Skinny, my comedy home, but the new space, which is wonderful for improv, is not as equipped for this show. I’ve also been getting sponsors for the show. Don’t ask me how many I have yet because I will pretend not to hear you, but I’ve had meetings and we’re close on a couple (although, if you know of anyone, let me know). It’s been a perfect continuation of my year, jumping into things and figuring them out as I go.
Here’s the basic info:
The first show is scheduled for Friday, April 13th, ominous, I know.
(Will also be available on http://www.themysteryhour.com after it airs)
8:00 pm and 10:00 pm
2nd Friday of each month
Randy Bacon Studio
People will purchase a ticket for one of the showtimes for $5.00, where we will tape 2 episodes in a row. They will have the option to get into both for $8.00. We will tape 4, one month’s worth in one night.
I feel so lucky, really. There are very few places that have late night talk shows outside of the big ones on national television. I would venture that there are only a handful or fewer in places the size of Springfield. It reminds me of when I moved to Springfield initially, I would always pinch myself that there aren’t many places that have successful and sustainable improv theaters, but Springfield happened to. Then, I moved to LA and back, where I learned so much about the industry that will help me so much as I do this show, and I feel lucky again to be in Springfield.
It’s impossible to predict the twists and turns and where you’ll end up I guess.
I have revamped The Mystery Hour website as well. Go look at it, so that I can say I actually did it for a reason. For real though, after each episode airs, they will be available online at TheMysteryHour.com, so all of my friends outside of the area can see them.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve missed this whole blogging thing. I miss the process of writing. I miss the feedback. I miss feeling connected to you guys. I will start a new one. It won’t be one I update everyday, but semi-frequently, I hope.
Things are similar on the job search. I’ve had a few good interviews, including one this morning, but nothing big yet. I have just started substitute teaching, which is great blogging material, by the way. What else have I done to make money recently? I have made a website for someone, cleaned out an apartment, been in an infomercial, done improv shows, done stand up shows, I would even consider celebrity boxing at this point if I was a celebrity.
I realized in the official last post that I could do the thin line dividing segments in the blog thing. I like it. It took me 365 days to realize it.
Oh and here’s a commercial I made for the return.