Friday Night Fights

In case the various posts on Star Trek or my mentions of writing a space opera radio show hadn’t clued you in already, my geek quotient is reasonably high.

So yes, not only am I aware of Dungeons & Dragons, I have played Dungeons & Dragons and, in fact, have served as a Dungeon Master. As far as I’m concerned, that’s not a bad thing for writers or storytellers in general (see also these pieces on D&D and storytelling in Fast Company, Lifehacker, and Litreactor.)

Carlos Maza and Gina Barton have created a video for Vox in the Vox tradition of “[Subject], Explained.” It’s delightful, heartfelt, and reminds you of why it’s so much fun to “wander together” as they say.

Following the Money -er- Debt Financing

Reading a recent article by Bryce Covert about the demise of Toys “R” Us reminded me of other cases that ring similar bells about heavily indebted companies that went into bankruptcy like Hostess and American Airlines.

All said cases make me wonder what the place of private equity should be (see Covert’s article for some questions raised). And in case you want an argument for private equity much as it exists, listen to an interview with David Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group.

Scanda-wha?

Because I posted a number of videos by CGP Grey last week and because you want to know more about Skanda-hoovians (You know you do) Enjoy!

We’ll Give Scientific Rigor a Pass for Today

Even if I hadn’t studied primatology in school, I’d still like Lunarbaboon: his cartoons are so often fun and poignant.

Case in point: this particular entry that’s perfect for Father’s Day.

Thanks to all the dads out there.

Ranked Choice Voted First

My local primaries were not particularly interesting, but I found Maine’s primary elections very interesting to watch because they were using ranked-choice voting.

What is ranked-choice voting, you ask? Why not explain it with dinosaurs?

Or, you could look at this longer piece by CGP Grey:

I like this because it also explains how ranked choice voting (here called “alternative vote/instant runoff voting”) is not the end-all, be-all panacea, yet has advantages over “first past the post” elections.

And if you’re wondering why we’d want to move away from “first past the post” voting (i.e., what happens with most elections you’re used to), here’s another piece by CGP Grey:

Many a politician is not overfond of ranked choice voting because “voting for the lesser of two evils” is a pretty good strategy with just about every constituency outside of Cthulhu fans. Indeed, Maine’s legislature really did not like the idea of ranked choice voting and worked to have it removed, but those pesky voters has other ideas.

Here’s hoping the idea spreads, especially for local and primary elections that can benefit from more voter engagement.

Increasingly, Netflix Prefers Its Shows Homemade

Netflix is spending billions of dollars each year on content, so –love ’em or hate ’em– it’s usually good to know what they’re up to.

Adam Levy, over at the Motley Fool, has a piece that goes over Netflix’s drive to spend billions in creating original content is actually trying to save money in the long run (even if Fools don’t think Netflix is going to be truly “50% originals” as sometimes reported).

For indie filmmakers, definitely check out the last paragraph relating to I.P.

The Ever-Elusive Audience

We officially launched Jabberwocky Audio Theater on the broadcast airwaves yesterday. It was exciting. It took a lot of work to get to this point — and really, the main point of the work was to share these stories with people.

But, as with all creative endeavors –heck, with any endeavors that depend on public reaction to thrive– the enduring question is: will enough people be interested… enough?

And that multi-faceted question is important: because we all know how easy it is to click ‘like’ on social media. And being supportive in that way isn’t without value. Visibility counts. But what creatives really need isn’t simply awareness of their work. They need engagement with their work. They need an audience.

And sometimes, probably a lot of the time, even family and friends are not that audience. I know many an actor, musician, author, and filmmaker knows this, but it bears repeating. Because emotionally, it’s natural to expect good friends and peers to be into what you’ve been sweating and obsessing over… but that’s not always the case. And there’s any number of perfectly good reasons why that is the case — including the dreaded reason that they may be fine with you personally, but not into whatever creative work you produce.

Author Tom McAllister has a good piece over at The Millions that delves into the despair and neediness around seeking that audience (and not coincidentally, making money from your creative endeavors). It’s not the most pleasant read, but it’s an honest one — and a good reminder of your critical role in continuing to show up.

 

 

Voiceover Update: And (once again) Bjorn Munson as the Vorta

I mentioned this back in March when the prologue episode dropped, but I got a chance to play a Vorta, one of the villains of Star Trek, in an audio fan production last year.

The series, A Call to Unity, is now posted on iTunes so you can subscribe and get your post-Romulus destruction Trek fix.

Enjoy… maybe not as much as my character enjoys tormenting Starfleet captains, but, well, you know…

Escape Velocity Reached

In case anyone had any concerns, but I survived last weekend. I mean, the Nation’s Capital was demolished, but Jabberwocky Audio Theater had fun.

Cast & Crew of War of the Worlds, 2018

I even got a chance to look in on this guy who helped me with some timey-wimey stuff back in the day.

Also, Russia built a space battleship. It was an exciting weekend.

This Guy Has Balls

I’m currently getting ready for Escape Velocity this weekend, which is sure to be full of delightfully zealous fans.

Well, unless you get arrested by Klingons at an inopportune moment.

But this video reminds me how fandom takes many forms and friends and family can join in the fun regardless of whether they’re fans of the topic in question or not. Enjoy!