Monday, May 12, 2008

Practicing what I preach

So, my theater company, the Mammals, plans on producing a play entitled The Meatlocker. I've been playing with storyboards for a comic book that will be tied to the production.

The hope is that when this graphic novella is completed it will excite folks into getting to see the production. The comic book itself will be cast as a show would and the photos will be doctored in photoshop like the images above. (That's me by the way). This rough draft of a storyboard...I made this with a digital camera and my computer while watching baseball on TV and the Daily Show last night.

So, this is more than merely promotion, although it is definitely promotion. It is sort thing I can do with actors that doesn't necessarily endanger the sanctity of the rehearsal room, and it starts to give you an idea of the play, the narrative, the tone. And, it is achievable. Personally, I am drawn to the graphic novel form, but why cant this be modified to fit the medium and interests of anyone out there who sees benefit in sharing more.

So, this is just one of the ways we can start to increase content regarding our work. Also, over at you can see all the photos we released one at a time to get Chicagoans to check us out when we did Clay Continent. All taken during rehearsal without impinging on the "safe zone" per say.

Anyway. I thought this might be a way to illustrate just a little bit of what I'm talking about. It doesn't have to be a comic book, but cant this sort of multidisciplinary approach opens new avenues to us? Especially those of us working in genre based - genre inspired work.

I feel this sort of promotion can actually expand the notion of what is performative when shared with the audience. The actors, the director, most of the folks involved all get involved, can decide upon the content, and really being to elevate how they share on the blogosphere.


Director said...

Absolutely! This is something we're discussing on Scott's Ning forum right now. I wrote a post regarding this kind of thing yesterday (

Basically, there are two types of work: hands on and while-you-sleep.

A pen salesman can sell 10 pens or one million. All he has to do is call up the distributor and order more pens. This is while-you-sleep since he doesn't actually have to make all ten million pens.

A masseuse, on the other hand, is hands-on. If you suddenly gave her 10,000 clients, she'd be overwhelmed.

So the question is, how can you improve recognition and bring in revenue (or butts in seats) without having to spend hands-on time doing it? Ideally, you want a while-you-sleep approach. Your graphic novel requires hands-on work to make it, but once it's made it's a simple matter of printing multiple copies and handing them out. By doing that, you're making a little money (i assume) by selling them to cover costs, as well as boosting ticket sales by interesting people who ordinarily would not have come.

I think it's a brilliant idea!

Devilvet said...

I agree, and even though it is hands on...since it is a medium that I have affection for, and me being a storyteller...I look at the Graphic Novella as an opportunity to create as well. This isnt promotion that I begrudgingly have to do for the show. This is a new creative venue to enhance what I am already doing.

The actors you have agreed to appear so far dig the idea too. And, other people in my locale are already starting to gravitate toward the project and the compnay as a result.

The process of making the book is similar to the process fo rehearsal and since we are taken a very inclusive approach...the rewards are more people wanting to participate and spectate.

It is starting to work for us.

Devilvet said...

apologies for the lobster claus above

Scott Walters said...

Brilliant! Will you sell these in the lobby? I think you should! Much better than a program as memorabilia. Much cooler.

Devilvet said...

Well, that is what we are thinking. On the lobby or off the website. Or possibly a join ticket sale thing like see the show for $15 bucks or see the show and get the comic for $20. Have to crunch the numbers to see what will work.

Maybe have a little raffle to give one away at everyshow to show it off.

I think the ultimate publication would have the visual narrative first and the actually script in the back.

I'm right now just trying to get the narrative laid out so we can hopefully start shooting the book Julyish.