John Holdun

The Last Gig Is A Long One

The ghosts set up in scene 3

We did it! Graveyard Swing was a spooky success! Thanks to everyone that came out, and to everyone that couldn’t make it but sent well wishes and good vibes!

The show changed dramatically every single day of the five-day run, sometimes even between tours on a single day. We added lights, fog, effects, narration (delivered live by yours truly, assuming the role of one of the crypt ghosts), music, and depth. It was the very model of plussing, and I was beaming as the last guest walked out. There are a million things I wish we could have done differently, but that doesn’t matter, because we did it. Huge thanks to Zander for coming out and being glued to my side throughout the show. I owe a lot to a lot of people for their help, but more than anyone else, this wouldn’t have happened without him.

My biggest regret is that we never quite figured out how to get the motors working. I built a couple mechanisms that were producing the movement I imagined, but the motors in them were too wimpy and we didn’t have enough force to actually move the props. We bought a beefier motor—big thanks to Joe for dashing out of the theater late one night to get to an auto supply store before it closed—but never figured out how to actually hook it up to a power supply. It’s something we’ll keep working on, and we’ll have some good R&D up our sleeves in time for show 2. I had been prepared to kill animation for this production as long as we managed to get all the scenes up, so while this was a bummer, it didn’t exactly come out of nowhere.

All in all, we sold between 50 and 60 tickets, which is fabulous! Again, I was prepared to sell 0 tickets and still call this thing a success if we got it standing. I totally dropped the ball on marketing; that’s another to-do for the next show. There was only one attendee that was not a personal friend or came with a friend: a group was waiting in the theatre lobby for the escape room next door to open, heard about what we were doing, and came back after they escaped!

We shot a video walkthrough that I need to re-dub, because I found it almost impossible to point a camera while reciting the spiel, but expect that before next Wednesday’s update.

Next Wednesday’s update!? Yeah! I’ll have more than enough to talk about besides the video: it’s time to tally the receipts and see how much this actually cost (spoiler: I didn’t make my money back but I wasn’t trying to). I also need to polish up some of the web-based parts of this operation.

Most interestingly, I’ve started working on a production schedule for the next show. It opens in April. We’ll talk about that too.

Hope you had a great Halloween! See you next week!