First Night Twitters
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So that was the enforced triumphant closer to the first show of my run at the Hamilton Fringe Festival. “The Fail Whale Tales” stopped suddenly for those watching on the web, but not for those in attendance at The Pepper Jack Café. Apparently it wasn’t just the folks in the room learning stuff about Twitter. Seems Twitter checks the number of tweets you send out over the course of time and cuts off your ability to broadcast tweets after a flurry of activity. As you can imagine I send a few tweets over the course of the show, so this was a small setback for the remote audience. But that will just motivate folks to come down and see it live.
Admittedly, the first show did feel like a first show. Nervousness, excitement, nostalgia. And that was just from finding a Dr. Disk in Hamilton, a music store franchise that I’d not seen since my university days. Sadly, the closing of the Twitter-dam was not the only obstacle that I was going to hit.
The day in The Hammer started easy enough with most Asian restaurants allowing me to put up posters in their places of business. Very friendly and nice of them. I attribute it to the Soft Country station that each and every one was listening to. Even handing out fliers to people, some folks acknowledged that they’d heard of the show and were looking to come see it. So far so good.
I get 15 minutes before the show before they open the house to the public, so I’ve got to hook up things fast. Power up the laptop. Connect to internet. Test projector. Get Twitter pages up to display both on laptop and screen. #Fail For whatever reason, my laptop would allow the projector to broadcast the page, but not my laptop screen. So all that did was force me to crane my neck at the screen all night. Not ideal, but a small issue nonetheless. The intro music with a voiceover that I painstakingly put together on Friday got faded out and skipped over. Small cue problem but nothing that can’t be fixed next time. Actually I better get that in there. Not only does it well introduce the show, but it took a ton of swearing and cursing out Audacity to get the thing finally done. Note that I have a new found respect for Producer Darcy after this.
So, the music faded (it shouldn’t have) and I took the stage in front of a goodly number of folks, 20 or so, for a Sunday. For a show that had a lot of raised eyebrows about it, I did okay on that side, as the numbers for some of the other Sunday shows seemed slight, more a testament to the good weather and it being later on a Sunday than the quality of the shows here. The audience was really good about firing off suggestions and I was able to have fun and play with the assembled mass, taking their suggestions for topics and turning them into something decently funny. Since I don’t say a word on stage, the projection screen is the thing with all my words appearing there. When one poor fella dropped his beer bottle in the venue making a racket way louder than the sound of my typing, the acknowledgement of his apology was made public.
Weird moment of the night was when I described the trending topics as the “Who Just Died” board. Got a nice laugh and then I go look at it with them. Top trending topic: “RIP Frank McCourt”. That’s a nice piece of business.
We had a couple of twitterers there in the form of @Aernaroth and @ashley__ who attempted a quick tweet during the show. More of those should come over the course of the run as people become more comfortable with the process. Add to this that as a result of the show, I ended up getting quite a few more followers on @failwhaletales. In fact several audience members said they were going to go open a Twitter account for the express purpose of tweeting me during the show. Awww, the little darlings.
Aside from the technical glitches, the missed steps, and the elderly reviewer that left stating he had no idea how he was going to talk about the show, it was not a bad shot for a first-ever performed show. It was a wee bit long in the tooth so I know how to pare it back and hopefully get the number of tweets down so that I can finish the show for all to see, not just the audience in attendance. That and my hands are getting tired. It should only get better from here.