After only 4 days, we hit 21% of our funding goal!! Thanks for everyone’s support!
If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do … Hurry, so you don’t miss your chance to be the face of one of our characters!
Remember when I said we’d be rolling out this campaign the last week in September? Well, I misjudged a couple of events that flung that estimate into oblivion…
Anyone whose ever gone to a restaurant with me knows, I tend to have eyes bigger than my stomach. I’ll bring leftovers home and finish it, but the initial approximation is usually grossly over-estimated (I’m much better now than I ever was).
This year, I played a big part in helping out Jason’s family with the inception of Booville, a major Halloween attraction featuring 3 haunted houses, bands, bar, kids events, and other activities every weekend in October. The original plan had been to coincide Fool’s Journey’s indiegogo campaign with Booville, but Booville turned into a larger handful than originally intended; a great problem for any business to have!
Jason and I started a comic book about a year or so ago. Super happy with how the first 20 pages came out, we decided to try out our luck with passing it to the outside world. Indieaisle was where that path began, but we’d love to see it in the physical world as well! That’s where you’re help comes in…
Indiegogo seemed to offer the best options for our project, seeming not as stringent as some of the other crowd funding platforms. With it’s great sections on the best ways to organize a campaign, and other useful tools, the site itself helped me research the best way to deal with a project such as ours.
Unfortunately, nothing is free, and projects like this are very expensive (we’re not even asking for “wages,” just the money that needs to get handed to the contractors we need). With every donation of $5 or more, there are perks you will “earn,” such as free copies of the book, limited edition prints, etc. We even have a couple of options to get your name, or your face, immortalized into the characters or scenes of future issues!
That’s okay, we need networking pushes as well. Share and like our indiegogo page, as well as the Facebook and twitter feeds we’ll be posting. All social media loves posts that are gathering looks, and perpetuate them more and more, the more people like and share. Come back often to like and share again to help us promote!
Our first few days are critical to gather public confidence in the project. Why would someone we don’t know give us money, when the people we know aren’t helping? If you can donate, please do within the first 48 hours, even if it’s only a small amount of pennies. There’s no limit to the amount of times you can donate
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be updating, and possibly adding perks as we see which are the most popular. Want a perk we haven’t added? Tell us! Maybe we’ll add it in!
Check out the preview: https://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/e6a95d3c
The decision to print this book, get the campaign organized, and finished was about a 6 months project. I’ve ranted multiple times about my focus issue, so it’s feeling excellent that this is finally put together and truly ready to launch!
Being a partner on a project definitely changes the dynamic of it, and to many procrastinating artist types, add another level of distraction when communication lines aren’t extremely clear. This was our learning curve, and we’re still learning. We put a pretty great book together fairly painlessly, but when it came time for the businessy stuff, there was a huge wall. Setting specific targets, and timelines, is beyond important. It might have saved us a few months if we’d added a little less go-with-the-flow. There’s a balance there that needs to be found…
This has been a recurring theme I’ve stumbled over this year, especially with my new-found hero-worship of Tim Ferriss. I’ve always prided myself at being an excellent multitasker, but I’m newly convinced all it’s done is helped me be the best at never finishing anything. I definitely can’t make a decision between which project is taking precedence over another, or how to block out my day into sections where I can get actual work done on a number of them. This indiegogo campaign has helped me find these truths in a more-than-esoteric way. I’m finally working towards fixing them all, rather than reading someone else’s words about them, nodding smartly, and going about my day as if I wasn’t guilty of all the things I just agreed would subvert someone from being more successful (in whatever way that word was defined to them).
Perseverance is big, as there were times I wondered if it was worth working through to the end. Honestly, what helped me decide to keep going was simply: why not? If I don’t take the time to do it, I would just fill that time with other pointless activities such as my video game addiction I’ve suppressed (mostly) for many years…
I now have a quote from Bobby Flay posted in my face: “Take risks and you’ll get the payoffs. Learn from your mistakes until you succeed. It’s that simple.” Learn from your mistakes is such a cliché thing, that I never really thought about. When I don’t follow through with a thing because I’m not an expert in it (like creating an indiegogo campaign of which I know very little about marketing, and pitching, and all the things a great campaign has) I convince myself it needs to wait until I’m ready. Well, I can’t be ready until I stumble through it and figure it out. What’s with the fear of failing thing? It’s so antithesis to a fun, eventful, ever-growing life. Maybe I should start trying to fail at more things…
…which is sometimes exactly how I feel after a full day. I like being busy. Busy means I’m getting things done. Busy means my goals are popping up over the horizon…. except, in my hurry to reach the horizon, I didn’t realize I was blind to how I was getting there. “It’s all about the journey” is a horribly annoying cliché, yet unfortunately, like most good stereotypes, it’s too true. At the end of the day, when the destination is reached, what is there but to look back and remember how you got there, right? (sure, there’s new goals to set and sprint after, but that’s a different kind of problem).
In my blindness to remember what I did from then until now, I turned into a crazy control-ish like freakaziod who forgot that the things I was doing were supposed to be enjoyable. Sure, the end-game is what it’s all about, except it’s not ALL it’s about. S-L-O-W D-O-W-N…. <— that’s what I need to do, and when it’s done, things go much smoother. I just need to remember this all the time…
Today was a day for a little bit of work, and a lot of reflection. Perusing through some motivational material, along with reading How to be Legendary, really got me to (further) thinking about how I can get, even more-so, out of my own way. It’s been a pretty decent couple of days with the focus beacon continuing to hone in on a single target. Simplifying vastly increases ones ability to make effective decisions (I think Tim Ferriss taught me that). With only a couple things on the priority list, there’s little room for frustration that 1000 things couldn’t get done. What a great feeling this is!!
These other things haven’t been abandoned, only stretched into a strategic place early in the future. Moving things into this type of set-up is grossly more advantages for me, even if I continue to get the occasional twang of panic that maybe I won’t be able to get to everything. At this point, I’m chalking these re-lapses to the learning curve of reprogramming my brain. Relaxing, and accepting (with a purpose) is what I’m teaching myself this week. Yoga is a great influence for this, as well as helping my hips stretch into poses my training instructor will be happy with (no gutter talk here).
This acceptance of my time-line, the long-coming acknowledgment that I can’t get everything done yesterday, is a huge concept for my brain to deal with. There’s still some kinks to deal with, which is taking quite a bit of paper, with all the writing of everything I want to do, then breaking that down into Hows and Why’s, and linking them together into merging paths to simplify the progression (have I mentioned my issue with over-thinking)? But it feels good to start this letting-go process, knowing things will work out more effectively with a plan, other than a completely randomized, sporadic tackling of tasks.
Many of you might have been thinking that the most wonderful time of the year is Christmas. Sure, presents make their rounds into our lives, giving us the ability to further stock the crevices of our homes with much-needed stuffage, yet, as great as receiving is, there’s nothing like giving the gift of fright! Scaring the breath out of a group of tough, adolescent boys, or causing a group of grown woman to pee themselves is priceless! We’re lucky enough to have caused both, and more…
The greatest thing for any business owner is the ability to expand; gaining the ability to further saturate their market, or even reach into new ones. This year is our opportunity, using the creation of Monstrosity Entertainments brilliant prop and costuming skills to enhance the family run Halloween Haunt that sprang from the minds of a handful of youths years ago (This might be turning into a follow your dreams and do what you love post).
Finding a like-minded soul who believed in us, and what we wanted to do, was the turning point. A great sponsor is helping us ride the economic gap that exists for too many. All this happened because we weren’t afraid to talk about what we did, were doing, and wanted to achieve. We got foot stomped a lot, but it only took one to appreciate what we did and we were off…
So here we are, a little late in the season for most to be getting started, but with full confidence that it can be done. This team has pulled off larger feats in past years, and on a more personal note, there are pointed focuses to concentrate on! I may actually get some things done! Just have to dig in and get ‘er done! It’s going to be the best season yet!
I almost created another blog… but decided I should just incorporate everything here instead. STEALING SHADE is me; the area in my head where my muse dumps ideas, lately, to sit and fester into frustration. But that’s where this “new” blog idea erupted from: all this festering frustration at being a giant slacker. When compared to most people I know, I’m involved in a lot of things.
Please don’t interpret my tone as annoyed- lately I’ve realized the blessings in these creative juices, understanding I need to better hone my focus to complete the projects swimming around in my muses bowl. This is the new point of this space of bloggedness I’ve claimed. Since most of what I do revolves around what I want STEALING SHADE to be, here is where I’ll stay to ramble about my accomplishments, goals, failings, and the whats and hows of all of the above.
In all my recent activity, the number one thing that’s been repeated is the importance of writing down your goals. Cliche and brainless, I find it more and more important in success, especially in the specificity of the goal. Who doesn’t want to be rich or happy, even both at the same time!? I don’t think setting these goals will do it, because they’re abstract, indefinite ideas, un-trackable, and especially prone to arbitrary distinctions.
My goal of “making more money,” is now “have $10,000 direct deposited to my accounts monthly, with a savings account exponentially increasing by my residual income.” Did you laugh? Problem number one that I finally, mostly, got over had to do with my goals; it is perfectly reasonable that we can all dream this big with a clear intent on making it reality. Dreaming it, and saying it, are only a first step. A path to get there needs to be as clear as the goal itself. I’m sure we’ve all come across the idea that things won’t just fall into our laps. Same thing here, and just like the goal, the path needs to be clear as well. Also, I do’t want to be rich because I’m greedy (not in my mind anyway). I want money, because I want to be able to focus on all the things listed above, without freaking out that my rent might not get paid. So, freedom is really my goal.
Much of my issues until this point, and a lot of why all of my projects remain unfinished, is that part of me thinks I’m too old to start learning all of these new things. I do’t know how to make a movie, or write a book, or have my own business, or create an uberly awesome Halloween attraction. Not on paper anyway. But, I do believe that I can learn anything, and traditional methods hinder more than help. Besides, I’m not that old. I turned 35 this year, fully planning to live more years than that into the future, therefore having plenty of time to embrace life, and create my universe the way I see fit. Yet, that little nugget of self-doubt burrows through, setting me back at times when I might have simply driven through (go here to read more about this part of me).
Another thing I do to trip myself, is distract myself with my own projects. F-O-C-U-S is a skill I have either forgotten, or never truly had. Get one thing done, than move on. Or, schedule more clearly when each project should be worked on. I’m sure those with overactive muses can understand this, and if you’re one who has learned to master control of theirs, I would love to hear from you. You are more than welcome to guest-post here!
The first thing I did was re-embrace working out- a great love of mine, that allows me to experiment with multiple theories about nutritional and medical science, which translates well into understanding that even people who are sure they know, don’t necessarily know. HUGELY important concept to embrace when you want to do everything contrarily to how the majority explains they should be learned. Not only that, because most people consider me a crazy person for this attitude on fitness and nutrition, is that a large percent of the successful people I read about, swear by a fitness routine of some kind, many even talking about taking time aside for meditation.
It seems antithesis to focusing on what one wants to do, by taking time away from it, but when your serotonin levels are high, and your brain is trained to focus (through meditation) it only makes sense that the rest of your world will be more easily managed. I’ve definitely found my mood to be brighter since re-beginning my focus on fitness. I was doing a separate fitness blog here, if you want to check out).
Did I mention a focus problem? Well, this is my current step. Number one priority right now is the Halloween haunt and Festival, as it’s currently the end of August, giving us about 6 weeks until opening night. I am helping with costume design, and construction, head chair of 1 (maybe 2) specialty events, along with the regular work that goes into these types of attractions (overall construction, clean-up, organizing, employing, training, etc). I am very excited, refusing to listen to the voice that is asking when it will be time to finish the novel that should have been finished last week, or the F.I.T. project that I recently had a brainstorm on and want to implement. All things in their times, though, right? Isn’t that the moral of this rant?
(Originally posted at The Twisted Geeks)
We’ve been trying to make it to Seattle for 3 years to join in on the fun of Crypticon. It was great that this year was the year we finally made it, coming from Central New York to hang out with the west coast horror scene.
As with every other convention I’ve been to, I failed to save enough money, loving the handmade items brought by multiple vendors that I would have loved to add to our hold of household treasures. My weakness being books, I spent most of my money in that category, excited to talk with independent publishers Blysster Press and Evilgirlfriend Media, and authors Marie Frances, Eloise Knapp, Peter Clines, and Thom Brannan. (Be on the look out for reviews from all of the above). This is my favorite part about conventions; meeting like-minded weirdo’s who put my geekiness to shame. Seeing others succeed at doing what they love is always an inspiration, and Seattle is packed with people with the entrepreneur bug. Definitely my favorite part about Crypticon over the other large conventions I’ve been to: the amount of indies making a legitimate presence.
Along with meeting others paving their own paths, the opportunity to listen to, and speak with, those more advanced in the entertainment fields, in one way or another, is great. We were able to listen to interviews with Nicholas Brendon (Buffy, TV series), and John Carl Buechler (director of Troll & Friday The 13th pt 7). Playing around in the amateur film-making world ourselves, it’s always a treat getting insights from those who’ve been in the industry, getting it done.
We had the great pleasure of meeting, and interviewing,Taylor Mane, his wife, Renae, and Derek Mears at this past Crypticon. Due to some technical issues, the interview is not available to be heard, but there were some great insights divulged pertaining to Mane Entertainment’scurrent project, Compound Fracture, a feature film the team has taken on tour.
First of all, though approached by distributors, Mane Entertainment decided to take their first film on the road, much like a band might when touring for a new album release. We found this an innovative, fun idea. Fans get the opportunity to experience the “red carpet” walk, before going to see a new movie not yet released on a mass scale. We thought this a great nod to the changing world of the entertainment industry, especially towards the fan base who make or break an enterprise. Unable to stay on the west coast long enough to attend the Seattle or Portland premiere, we’re hoping they get out to the North-East so we’ll be able to do our own review of the movie.
The greatest part about this interview, was the ability to ask the team about the artistic process, a process typically unique to each individual. Renae, the writer of Compound Fracture, was extraordinarily forthcoming about her journey from idea to writing to pre-production and beyond. Taylor also explained their wish to film in Hollywood, explaining how no one films there any more. People come out to L.A. and Hollywood to pursue their dreams, but there’s no Hollywood in Hollywood anymore [paraphrased from memory by me].
What was humorous to all of us, was how the husband-wife team got Derek Mears to sign on. All hanging out one night, (Taylor and Derek being long time friends), Taylor turned to Derek, asking, “You want to fight me?” Dereck’s answer, “Hell yes!” was an involuntary volunteering to be in Mane Entertainment’s first production. Derek did say how it was nice to be able to walk to work, (and we will not mention anything about rainbows).
Another point that stuck with us about this team, and their production, was the idea that when they originally said they were going to make a movie, not many took them seriously. As in our world of no-budget, amateur-indie, so is with the bigger world of those in the industry. More people talk than do, so when things get done, people double-take, which is what happened with a friend of the teams who was willing to help out on multiple levels to ensure the production was a success. It’s nice to see that at any level, great people who have your back, and perseverance, can go much farther than someone’s cash (not to say cash can’t be helpful). From idea to production, Compound Fracture took about 2 years. Our Dollmaker project doesn’t seem to be on such an extended time-line now, which helps our sanity a lot!
Check out Compound Fractures tour dates to see if they’ll be near you! In every city, the team chooses a local charity to benefit.
Crypticon was a great weekend, full of inspiring people on multiple levels. Connected with Swamp Road Trail of Terror, we were also excited to speak with a local Seattle haunter, who displays his own craft at Crypticon every year, along with setting up the haunted house that runs the weekend of the convention. Every horror convention should have a haunted house!
Check out my newest review over on The Twisted Geeks!