Why am I doing this?
I’ve spent the last two weeks recording fourteen episodes of The Tales of Deputy Guppy for SaturdayMorningTheatre.com. It has been going rather well. I have most of the audio for the episodes recorded with the exception of my dialogue, which I’ll do as I edit the episodes, and one or two folks who I haven’t been able to schedule to come in yet. I’m excited that this project, which I came up with in high school albeit in comic book form, is finally taking shape in some form.
Last weekend, while recording one of the amazing voice actors who agreed to take part in this show, I was explaining the concept of Deputy Guppy, and of SaturdayMorningMedia.com. The voice actor nodded his head in agreement and then asked…
“Why are you doing this?”
He meant, what’s the point in doing all this work on this show (and on the website). I’m not getting paid for it and, in fact, I’m losing money on it as I made myself promise to pay each of the actors a small ‘consideration’ for taking part. Not a ton, but certainly enough to make it worth the drive to Burbank.
I answered him, “Just to do it.”
That’s pretty much it. I had the idea to do it and I’m doing it. Since Dr. Floyd started in 2004 it’s just kind of, what I’ve done. I guess like a hobby. I don’t really have any other hobbies. I don’t watch much TV, so this is what I do.
He nodded in agreement and we went on with the recording session. The questions though, returned to my head that night.
“Why are you doing this?”
This is when my brain went crazy. I know my friend didn’t mean it in this way but the question repeated louder and louder in my head with different inflections…Why AM I doing this?!
So, I started to look at it logically, or at least attempt to. I’m getting nothing out of this. Let me clarify that statement. Yes, I do get to flex my writing, recording, editing muscles and get to do a little voiceover as well. I also get to hang out with some incredibly talented people who lend their voices to the project and the recording sessions are always a fun time to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in awhile and then have fun laying down some tracks (as we say in the business). But other than those things I just mention, I’m getting nothing out of this.
I’m not making money (losing it, see above). I’m not using this to pitch to any production companies (and I’ve realized by this point, no companies are interested in my ideas). Nothing is going to become of this other than fourteen audio dramas that a handfull of people will listen to. Why am I putting myself through all this? For what? What am I getting out of it?
This is where my brain went even crazier.
Now, let me preface this next part by saying I’m SO INCREDIBLY appreciative of the audience I have. The audience I’ve built up through Throwing Toasters, through Dr. Floyd, through PuppetUp they mean the world to me. But the question my brain led me to is…
If I stopped doing this right now, who would it REALLY matter to?
Being honest, no one. There’s plenty of media out there for people to consume. If I just stopped making these silly little podcasts, no one would start an online petition. There wouldn’t be any outcry for more episodes of an underwater western. It wouldn’t REALLY matter in the grand scheme of things.
Why do I do this?