August was an exciting month for me. Not only did we get to perform the double-feature at the Paramount, and not only does our tour kick off, but I had a couple of opportunities to speak in public about my experiences the past few years with the show.
First, the City of Austin asked me to speak as part of their “Take It To The Next Level” series for local artists and arts organizations. I decided to speak about my final couple of years at Salvage Vanguard Theater (the company I founded in 1994 and ran through 2008, when I stepped down to do Nemesis), my first year after leaving the company, and the launch of the Live-Action Graphic Novel version of Nemeis, which was truly born out of necessity. The years 2006 through 2009 were particularly difficult ones for me, basically what felt like a string of failures, and by the end of that time I seriously doubted my ability to get anything done successfully. The speech I gave was a very personal one and I’m quite proud of it. Yes, it’s about an hour, but if you’re interested in knowing the challenges behind what led to the current iteration of The Intergalactic Nemesis, I’ll just say that you ought to watch this.
Second, KLRU, Austin’s PBS station, invited me to be a part of a group of panels talking about the state of the arts in Austin. It was a fun conversation and the panelists all did a great job pointing out the current challenges in our community. It was great to share the stage with the likes of Ron Berry (Fusebox Festival), Megan Crigger (head of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division), Kevin Benz (founder of CultureMap Austin), and a host of other A-list Austin arts folks.
Thank you, Jason, for linking to your "Next Level" speech! It's a compassionate, honest, and useful talk, with a great set of lessons for working artists. Cheers!