TO VIDEO OR NOT TO VIDEO – more to the story

If you have not done so already read this TO VIDEO OR NOT TO VIDEO

This is not a retort or rebuttal. But rather a continuation of the conversation Pam has started, adding perspective and creating dialogue for all to continue.

I would like to first agree with virtually everything Pam wrote about recently. I know many that felt Pam was preachy or attacking Duchovniacs and others. I actually cannot find fault with any of it. As both a fan and a performing artist I struggle with this issue – among many others in the fandom. As a fan blogger that serves a dual purpose of promoting one of my favorite artists as well as helping fans access this star, I have different opinions.

I have been a live performer all my life. From playing piano before turning 5, to going to college as a trumpet major, to leaving college an Opera singer – via Broadway wannabe, to starting my own Improv Comedy troupe. I have been a student and professional performer, director and producer in numerous disciplines. And my opinions vary depending on which hat I wear.

As an artist I love having a record of my performances. It helps an artist grow. It can be purely ego at times as well. I have worked many projects that were video taped and I would never watch. Others – ones I was incredibly proud of – were not able to be video taped because of union rules, house rules etc. Frustrating.

However for most shows I have performed I would hate to have folks with their cell phones out in any capacity. It’s rude. You paid money to be entertained. Engage. Live performance always requires audition participation. I produce a show where we actual use audience volunteers on stage. However, every live performance relies on the focus, energy, and imagination to succeed. Phones/Cameras are distracting to both artist and other fans.

As a director, performer and lover of live performance I recognize that a video of a live show SUCKS by my standards. Unless it is produced with multiple cameras and amazing live director or editor for video archive, you never capture the true essence of the live experience, which is what I live for as an artist and fan.

Case in point, the video above is terrible. Many fans will watch and be grateful we shared. If I was of those four artists, I would argue the video misrepresents their amazing talent. I was too close to a speaker that was kicking out an unbalanced amount of vocals. However, my ears – just 18 inches from my phone at the time – heard a far superior final product.

I wanted to capture this for the fans because last night I was blown away by this rendition of “Lately It’s Always December” with Colin Lee delivering the whistle solo. When I saw Colin setting up mics, I whipped out the phone (which was off for the night and hence why I missed the top of the song).

As a producer I LOVE fans with camera phones taking video and photo and sharing across the internet. My personal success as an actor/comic has relied on this from the day I started producing my own work.

I started the comedy troupe with Laurice in 2002. Soon after we had one social media platform after another popping up. We would share videos of live shows as well as write and video original sketch material and behind the scenes footage. This footage helped us grow as artists and promoted us to new fans. I almost never put a penny into marketing because social media and word of mouth are far more effective. People also share photos and videos of their own promoting us to their network of friends and family.

I also follow a blog by Broadway Producer Ken Davenport. A couple years ago, he experimented with a social media section, where he allowed a certain number of fans to live tweet and other wise share experience of a performance of Godspell. The result was controversial and exciting.

As Pam admits, while she wants to respect the artist, she, like 1000s of others, love to follow the events from home (especially after attending their first event.)

SO WITH ALL THAT BACKSTORY / PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE…

If I were to find any fault with Pam’s blog, it does have a bit of a preachy high minded tone. This does not offend me in the least (I speak for myself here) but it does fall short of the full story.

Before the 2017 HELL OR HIGHWATER TOUR I actually reached out to producers. My first concern was, Duchovniacs.com is growing fast. We have over 40,000 subscribers that have actually entered their emails to follow us or comment on blog settings. I imagine many others visit the pages/posts from time to time. As we grow I do not want to become a problem for the artist. We are here to support the artist and fans, as a third party delivery of news and recaps of events.

I was mostly concerned on how we represent David that would any way be in conflict with David or their team. Producers assured me that David and the team appreciate all that we do in that initial conversation. And they were OK with us sharing photos and videos of the events. They even thought it was kosher to cover the event from multiple angles – having a few of our bus mates video and photo the shows to share – including periscope.

I asked we keep dialogue open over the course of the two weeks in case we did anything that crosses an line or they had an requests.

After Pam’s blog was published (and #4429 gate), one of the Producers said they spoke with David more on the subject (I think they saw some of the twitter chatter). David did not object to us sharing vids and pics but that he wanted all to be engaged, singing and dancing along. David suggested we put cameras on a tripod on the stage. I did this in Huntington last Thursday

I held the phone until Press had completed their business. I moved it when a fan was trying to get a couple photos. But the rest of the time I sang and danced. David likes when I dance. Moving on…

While dozens have gossiped and speculated, I have continued to have the conversation with the Producers about what works for them and David. It’s not like we are constantly updating each other but every night I make sure to say hi and smile to the team in case they have anything they need to relay on this subject and others.

I think all agree, I truly believe (risking speculation myself here, I know) David is old school, in a great way. These personal devices have no place at a live show. I do not disagree. And often they limit the holder’s ability to truly enjoy the performance as well as dampen another’s that may be distracted by the lights on the device, or often have views blocked by phones in front.

However as a producer I know allowing fans to photo and video performances, and share online, sells tickets, albums and merchandising.

My on going dialogue with producers is to find that perfect balance that supports David on and off stage, keeps the dialogue going online and fans excited for the music projects and other future events.

If nothing else we save David’s team $1000s in marketing dollars.

Excuse me while I briefly digress…

For me, my mission remains the same as it did May 14, 2015 when I started the site.

  1. Bringing fans together from around the world to hang out and become great friends, sharing a common connection as fans, but growing far beyond. We are a massive dysfunctional family that supports one another in many ways beyond our unhealthy obsession with certain shows and their male star. We love David, X-Files, etc but this site has grown far beyond just watching David live and on TV, Films, etc. We get together and hang out. When fans are visiting NYC area we get together. This has created an important powerful social element that brings many people joy. 20 years from I envision meeting up with friends, like Deadheads or Woodstock alumni. Hugs, Happy Tears and Memories and a lot of “WTF were we thinking” moments.
  2. Making those fans feel a part of the action when they cannot be there. On 5/14/2015 I had about a dozen fan friends in mind.  We now have 100s of friends that we directly connect with regularly and 100s more that say hello at events or respond from time to time online. 1000s more are following the blog and twitter feeds. They are very thankful for us keeping them in the loop, sharing stories of our own experiences as friends as much as David’s escapades. Many love watching these videos no matter how poor the quality at times as much as another might stare at cat videos perhaps. It is content that has a demand, no matter how small.
  3. Letting fans now about events. David’s producers just recently created www.davidduchovnymusic.com Until then we relied on local promoters and David’s twitter, which we know is usually lacking in up to date info. Every event I attend I meet someone that thanks us for what we do and says they are attending because we promoted the event on this site. I have no allusions of this. I am deeply touched. And a new friendship is born.
  4. Educating fans that David actually has a band and writes his own music – not to mention the novels. Even tonight I talked to someone that had no clue what they paid to see. They love the X-files and/or Californication, they may know about Aquarius, but they have no clue David is a writer. Even after a concert, I have to remind folks when David says “This is a song I wrote about…” He was serious. Perhaps joking he wrote David Bowie or other songs does not help.
  5. It makes me happy. It makes me happy to belong to something that so many are happy to belong to. It makes me happy to laugh with so many so often as we do. I have paid my dues, working nearly 1 years without a vacation or doing anything for myself. And now I get to do things for myself that involve 100s of friends and 1000s of associations. I am not privileged or believe myself entitled. But it is my privilege to have so many great friends and experiences. I do not look for attention or wish for accolades. See friends and strangers laugh makes me happy.  It is the same reason I work as a comic actor. I love to entertain. I hate the off stage attention. I want to laugh WITH you. I want to interact WIITH you. I want to connect with YOU!

I am excited to report, due to the success of our work, the producers see the void we fill and have some plans to fill that void themselves, creating more videos for David’s youtube and website that will be far more professional published.

David’s team is an amazing but small operation. And till now they have been slammed with creating two albums and producing a tour. They are slowing down on new song creation and looking to expand how they get their material to the fans – via online videos, single tracks for download, smaller, more intimate acoustic concerts etc

They are working hard. We are working hard. Again, sorry for anything we do that offends or comes up short. We area a small operation as well.

I would ask (again) for ALL to stay positive. The world is crazy enough. We do not need to tear each other apart. Nothing nice to say, don’t say it. I regret tweeting a lot things I tweeted today. 2nd time I had to go on the offensive in past year to quell a group of cyber bullies.

But despite anything I or they or anyone has said, I have no hate.

I encourage ALL to stop online gossip and speculation (including those in my own inner circle of friends) which leads to a lot of #FAKENEWS

Not only do you make others feel bad, you deepen the ire you feel. Instead try laughing at me. Eventually I hope you will laugh WITH me but if laughing at me brings you joy I can handle it. (Most others cannot say same so please keep your mean spirited laughs and jabs pointed at me.)

I am deeply sorry to anyone we may offend by anything we do. I will never apologize for having fun, if the only reason I offend is your own ego and insecurity. But if I seriously say or do anything out of line call me on it. I am human. I need checks and balances.

We cannot please all. But for every one that shares concern (or is outright distasteful on “THE” twitter) I can name dozens that appreciate what we do and time and time again pour out their support.

So instead of shaming us, perhaps find a different outlet for your X-Files News or David Duchovny updates.  Or start your own. This is why I like Pam’s blog. It adds perspective. And even when I disagree I find the writing thoughtful and far deeper than my own.

I welcome all. This will never be a “competition”. You will never hear me say words like “TRUE FAN”. You will never hear me say one fan is more special than another.

Enjoy these artists and projects in YOUR way. For many our site is a big part of that process, along with the videos we share, periscope/facebook feeds, twitter feeds, photos and more.

Part of our fun (Actually the most important) is the connection we have with David’s fans from around the world and especially the close connections we have made with a few dozen friends.

We do this out of love. Thank you to all that share the love back.

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