Ostensibly back to work today. But it was a slow crawl and I didn’t get much done. I had an online meeting about trying to find ways to get more people to listen to my podcast - numbers have dropped slightly this year, though nothing to worry about yet. I think it’s maybe partly to do with the show losing a little bit of magic without an audience, but I think it’s mainly due to me making the decision to try and give a spotlight to fewer big names and more up and coming and online based acts, as well as trying to maintain a good representative balance. So basically I am a bloody hero and am being punished for it.
To be fair, treating my work as a proper business has never been my priority and have always seen any money we earn as a bonus - a way to pay all the people who make the thing work and to put forward into new projects. Maybe a businessman would think it was a bad idea to give lesser knows online stuff a boost, but fuck that. I have always operated under the idealistic and mistaken view that if something is good and you patiently wait your turn, then it will do well. In truth the pushy pricks who make a fuss invariably do better, but success is their punishment. It rarely turns out for them as they thought it would and they are hardly ever happy. Apart from Ricky Gervais. Seriously, he’s pretty much the only one who seems completely content and good luck to him for that.
Ultimately there are compromises to be made. I’ve realised that the only way I am going to get some of my favourite projects off the ground is to do them myself, and though I was resistant to ads for a long time, that has turned out to be the best way to (slowly) raise funds. Though the constant support of badgers and kickstarter backers has really helped us keep our heads above water.
My business partner, Chris Evans (not that one) is similarly the least likely businessman in the world, more interested in filming the work of unprofitable stand ups than filling up his bank account. We are the luckiest of men though, cos we get to fund our bizarre projects and do the things we want. I wonder if we’d do better if we hired a PR team or a celebrity booker. I am not sure it would be in the spirit of things.
But I think as the prospect of live gigs returns that I will make more of an effort to book bigger names and I will take on board some of the suggestions from this meeting. And though we’ve somehow made a modest business success without knowing what we’re doing, imagine what the two of us could achieve if we were pulling in millions of pounds a year, like some of the big podcast guys…. It could be ridiculous.
I always thought the road was too short for us to get that far. And recent events have made me realise that it might be even shorter than I’d hoped. I am proud with how far we’ve taken things though and how little we’ve let any of our relative success change us. Be cool to be making movies though, right?
I think our best PR machine is you guys. If you can spread the word about the podcasts to as many of your friends as possible, then we should start to grow again.
And though I am sure that most of the people reading this are already monthly badgers - that extra revenue really gives us the chance to move forwards and gives you a ridiculous amount of extra stuff in return. Join the Kool Kids Klub here
I managed to have a brief couple of thoughts about the new series of Relativity (and like everything this year, it’s likely to end up quite testicle related, though that could be a beautiful thing for morning Radio 4) and packed up this month’s monthly badger draw rollover prize box. Congrats to winner Ade Austin.
Then I got a bit tired and so sat in bed watching Netflix. I don’t think I’ve ever seen They Live before, but had a little look.. It seems to be about 80% two blokes who like each other hitting each other cos one of them doesn’t want to put some sunglasses on. Some see the film as a critique of consumerism, I think what it is really about is trying to show the power of words over violence. Had Rowdy Roddy Piper been even slightly more able to convince with language then we could all have saved ten minutes of needless punching. At that point in the film I was keen to find out more about the aliens and what they were doing (and why they bothered layering their adverts with the true version underneath), so it was a bold directorial decision to have a punch up about nothing instead.