Doing it up

As I write this, members of all four casts of the Neutrino Video Projects (Chicago, DC, New York, and Seattle) are likely sleeping-in in DC, resting up from last night's performance of the Neutrino All-Stars to do it all again tonight. I wanted to be there, but it had looked like my day job needed me all day Friday. By the time we figured out that it wasn't as crucial a day as we had thought, I couldn't get a plane ticket for any sort of reasonable price. Oh well, it means I get to do the CCC show at The Playground tonight.

We're getting geared up to do something similar in Phoenix next month. Last month when Shaun and I were in Miami performing as Bare at the Miami Improv Festival, we got chatting with Election Show 2004 (whose cast overlaps quite a bit with the Seattle Neutrino Project). "Doing any other festivals this year?" "We're going to Phoenix." "So are we!" "We should do a Neutrino down there!" "We should!" "Let's go stand outside because we're in Miami and it's warm!"

So, we contacted the organizers of the Phoenix Improv Festival and they leapt at the chance to have the critically acclaimed, world-renowned Neutrino Project performed at their festival. Leapt, I tell you.

It's been interesting planning this. Getting ready to do a show this technically complex in a far-off city, with cast and crew members I've never really worked with before, has gotten me to get off my butt and get some things formalized I hadn't before. I made a tech plot that shows what plugs into what in the theater! It's something I've scribbled on countless pieces of scrap paper trying to explain the show to people, but now I've got a shiny PDF with boxes and lines and everything.

It also got me to do the sort of FuzzyCo Media Blitz(tm) that I know how to do and always plan on doing when we go to a festival, but somehow I never quite get around to it. "Oh, the festival organizers will do publicity," I always think. And it's true, and I'm sure the PIF is doing an excellent job with the press. But at some level, press attention is something of a crap-shoot of what happens to catch the eye of what particular editor on a particular day. Like how after Steev went on WGN to promote Don't Spit the Water, the sports anchor was so tickled by the DVDs of Silly Faces* and Silly Dances that he's been using them, including prominent displays of the URL, as intros and outros to his segment for weeks.

So, I bugged April, the PIF's press coordinator, for her Phoenix press contacts. She sent over a list with phone, email, and website contacts -- very 21st Century. I looked up mailing addresses for all of them** on the crap-shoot theory -- if April had already sent them all emails, maybe a physical thing in their hands would be a different stimulus that might get a response.
I sent out 19 envelopes with press kits for both Bare and Neutrino Project in each one, and everybody got an extra goody targeted to their market. Radio stations got an audio CD with Shaun and I doing his "Big Tony, Little Tony" sketch*** and audio clips from three Neutrino scenes. Newspapers got a data CD with high resolution photos of Bare and the Chicago Neutrino Project cast. And TV stations got a DVD of a Neutrino Project show. (I was planning on making a "selected scenes and best-of" DVD, but I decided timeliness was more important, so that got shelved for the moment and I just duplicated an entire show.)

So... tell everyone you know who lives in Arizona. Saturday, April 16, 2005 at The Playhouse on the Park Theater (1850 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ). The Neutrino Project (with Cog) at 8 pm. Bare (with Hemi & The Buzz) at 11 pm. Whee!

*Featuring 60 seconds of *my* silly face.

** Well, almost all -- if you happen to know the mailing address for the Phoenix-area Clear Channel stations, wanna pass that along?

*** Yes, sketch not improv -- I'll grimace at you when you call my improv a "skit," and then happily turn around and exploit that confusion when I'm doing PR. Sue me.