So it’s been a busy year (and …uh… change) since Don’t Quit Your Day Job went on hiatus. I’ve been distracted by improv and a new-found fiber arts gang and all manner of other mischief, but the biggest, most all-consuming distraction of the last year has been the addition of a truly precious little girl to the family, and my big sister’s long-overdue promotion to “Mom”. So she and her cousin are the stars of the comic marking their aunt’s triumphant return to late nights cursing at my computer and unsteady drawing hand. You all remember Missy. Now meet JoJo.
I have a whole pile of new things in store, so stick around friends.
So this is the part where I geek out about how well this experiment of mine is going.
I jumped on the NaNoWriMo bandwagon so I could use the public shaming aspect as a motivator. Several of my improviser friends are writing actual novels, and did the customary public announcement:
“I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. Ask me about it constantly so I feel obligated to keep writing.”
So I did the same.
I’m ahead on blog posts, and I have several more that only need a few touch-ups before they’re ready to post. The scripts were being neglected, as I’d finished the easier of my two planned arcs, and wasn’t feeling up to the task of the second. I need to add more characters, and I was really struggling to come up with characters with any sort of depth.
The Hideout runs a show called The Free Fringe where groups submit really ridiculous format ideas, then get a thirty minute time slot to try them out in front of an audience. Sometimes it’s amazing and turns into a new troupe. Sometimes it crashes and burns. This is why the show is free.
Last night’s Fringe was a NaNoWriMo special where a group of writers came in, talked about their work a little, read a scene, then a group of improvisers from the Austin Secrets cast would pick up the story and play a few scenes to help work out what comes next. I tossed my scripts into the mix, just to see what would happen. Given that I couldn’t really read a scene, and it would be very hard to explain the comic quickly, I didn’t expect much.
I should really stop underestimating my improviser friends.
I gave them a very open scenario, and they jumped in enthusiastically. Two happened to perfectly fill the roles of two characters I’d partially written, and two more gave me really excellent new characters to build on.
I walked out of the show with four pretty solid characters in my head, then I stayed up late brainstorming with the Boy, filling out those characters, building their world, and plotting their arcs. I feel like I have a few years worth of material here, if I stick to my one-a-week schedule.
I’m actually itching to start drawing, so I’ll probably hit the 30-script mark early and get a jump start on my buffer.
My comic is coming back! Yay!
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Improvised Charles Dickens? What could possibly go wrong?
I am somewhat relieved to say that rehearsals have not actually devolved into Dickensian Speech for Sport …yet.
I’ve had the privilege of lighting this show, and it has been one ridiculous and amazing Victorian-era tale after another. We’ve had a happy family of morticians, a secret society of lamplighters, and one ill-advised voyage to Australia. There are top hats and tragic deaths, fancy accents and small children who speak above their age and station, all served up with the usual spontaneity and mischief that come with improvised narrative.
We will round the halfway point of the run this weekend, and I can’t wait to see what the second month will bring.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Apologies for the low quality. The last-minute gag seemed like a good idea. Drawing a comic with the fancy pens and India ink seemed like a good idea. Doing both at the same time… did not quite produce the desired results, but I didn’t really have time to start over before Halloween was over. So here you go – a little window into my drawing process.
I may feel compelled to clean it up later in the week, if I have time.
Speaking of time, I guess now is as good a time as any to make this official:
The comic will be on a sort of hiatus for a while. The holidays are always insane for me, and this year I’m even more behind on projects than usual, so the comic can’t have a monopoly on my precious evening hours. I may do a low-tech, scan-in comic like this one when inspiration strikes.
More importantly, I have a large backlog of completed projects that I haven’t blogged about yet. So there should be more non-comic posts coming in the next month or two!
I’ve also been wanting to step back for a while and work on the comic – I already have some upgrades in the works for Page and Karen, and I have some new characters I’ve been itching to add. So look forward to that in the new year!
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Apologies to everyone who is not familiar with the Hideout Theatre teachers and Battlestar Galactica.
Our Level 6 class shows are at 7:00 for the next three Sundays, if you happen to be in town.