In the couple weeks since attending Heroes & Villains Fan Fest (HVFF) in San Jose, CA, I’ve shared a couple small stories about our experience at this con, but Brian made my job super easy this week because now I have the chance to share pictures and tell even more stories about that weekend. The first picture here is Brian and me, fawning over a mashup of two of our favorite things (click picture to expand). Half of what makes conventions so much fun for me, a modestly well-adjusted introvert, are the people I get to share the experience with. Being able to share this experience with Brian, and his wife Sarah, was so much fun; plus we got to hang out with a listener of Arrow Squad and Jason Cabassi, so I hardly thought about the fact that I was sharing air with tens of thousands of people.
But this post isn’t amount my introvertedness, no it is not. This post is about how much fun it was to see Brian on stage doing what he loves to do. Having been on this journey with Brian for a while now, listening to each episode of Profitcast in such a way as to provide a companion blog post, I just felt like I had a unique perspective on everything that was coming to a head as he took the stage Saturday and Sunday of HVFF. Some of the realizations Brian shared with me, as he’s sharing in this episode, but some of them were less about him and more about the conceptual idea of performers.
Before I get into the conceptual idea of performers, I want to take a moment to draw focus to a couple things. Brian gets excited about weird stuff. Like getting on stage, standing in front of thousands of people, and having to think on his feet. He’s a weird dude, but I like him anyway. The “nerves” he gets before getting on stage are more akin to, say, Steph Curry before he gets on the basketball court… or being five years old and waking up at 6 a.m. on Christmas morning… or being 12 years old on a plane to Disney World. They aren’t nerves as we normal people might consider nervousness; it’s bristling excitement, it’s finding energy from anticipation, it’s looking forward to something.
I am a complete 180 degrees from him. If I was getting ready to go on stage in front of thousands of people, I’m just hoping I remember my own name, remember to breathe, and hopefully, how to walk. While I might be able to hold my own on a podcast, in the safety of my apartment and tucked behind a microphone, the paradigm of a live, in-person audience is another thing all together. And I think this is one of the coolest things I learned, personally, from this weekend. We’re not all supposed to be able to do what Brian did. We’re not all built to moderate panels and facilitate a discussion between fans and actors. It is just as important for me to recognize that this isn’t my sweet spot, it’s not something that excites me or energizes me, and to step aside so that other people can step in as it is for someone like Brian to realize that this is where his passion lies.
Arrow Squad has seen success largely in its community. We receive a lot of monetary support for a podcast of our size, I would guess, but certainly not enough for us all to, quote unquote, quit our day job.
But it is a fan podcast, and Brian would likely agree that it is a hobby podcast. Because he stuck with this hobby podcast in spite of any scary financial situations and the uncertainty of where Profitcast would take him, he saw a tremendous pay off that weekend at HVFF.
Giving up is the only way to fail 100% of the time. It’s hard to see a result like this in the midst of emotional upheaval, and that is one of the reasons that Brian wants to start a Mastermind group. By developing a place where podcasters can go to seek advice, to receive encouragement, and learn about their craft, we can take advantage of a built in model that is less tangible in an industry such as ours. Curiosity breeds experience, experience breeds knowledge, and knowledge breeds more curiosity, three categories that we can exist in simultaneously. Three categories in which we can both want or need help, but also provide help.
This brings me full circle to the conceptual idea of performers. Where I recognize that I am not built for being on stage in front of thousands of people, there most certainly are people, like Brian, who enjoy that sort of thing. He goes into detail about his experience on stage and what it means to him, but there are a couple major takeaways that we can all get out of his experience, whether you want to be on stage or not, and I think they all cry out for a place like a Mastermind:
1) Gain experience. Here are a couple cliches: “You’ll never know if you like it if you don’t try it.” “How do you know you don’t like asparagus if you’ve never tried it?” “You don’t know until you know.” Do you know any 4 year olds? The average 4 year old asks over 400 questions every day. From the day we’re born until the day public school has sufficiently squashed out our will to live, we taste everything, we touch everything, we stare, we test, we question. Keep doing!
2) Niche down! You’re going to get sick of hearing that, aren’t you? In all seriousness, though, use that experience gainer inside of you to decide what you really like and what you really want to do. You’re an adult now, so you can take #1 as far as you need to, being discerning about what you like and what you don’t like. I know that I do not like public speaking, but I do enjoy writing. And look! Here I am. Writing. You don’t have to do it all… do what you WANT to do!
3) Share! Share your experience, listen to other experiences. Grow, learn, give. Keep the circle going. Feed other podcasters.
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- Arrow Squad – Live from Heroes & Villains November 2015
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