Threads to inviting people to contests/auditions?
I am the writer and creative producer for Run To the Battle Productions and we are currently casting for future episodes of our web series Audience. We frequently crowd source talent for the project, especially voice acting. We are super independent but our output is strikingly professional and getting better each day. We have fully cast and recorded the pilot, but future episodes will need more voices. We have done casting calls before and had great success finding eager actors with valuable skill. Any way to bring these opportunities to the attention of more prospective volunteers is welcome, so I've considered posting about these casting calls here.
What I need to know is, is that appropriate? I've not seen much crowd sourcing coordinated or promoted here yet. Do people think this forum has members that are interested in acting or vocal performance? Frontrowcrew certainly has it's share of anime and cartoon fans. If we were to do this, making the announcements on one thread would be best, if I'm not mistaken? Any advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
On this forum there are many creative people who put out a remarkable amount of work. Quite often people team up to work on projects, and it's not uncommon for some members to ask for help with specific roles or elements in their creative endeavors.
Most importantly, the vibe is friends helping out friends, either by contributing directly, or with reviewing, or suggestions, or comments, or (quite importantly) with general or specific encouragement.
The forum is NOT a venue for crowd sourcing. This forum is not a crowd. We are not a demographic to be targeted, nor are we eyeballs to be sold. We are not an audience to have announcements be made at. Even Rym and Scott understand that. The forum is a community of people with diverse geek interests getting together to chat.
The fact that you are asking your question is the clearest indication that you shouldn't be asking for help with your project. If you cared about the forum, you'd already know how much the forum cared about your project.
And, I'm sorry, but your posting history doesn't have a very good record. The only threads I remember you starting have been self-promotional, or promoting projects you are working on. Clicking on your profile confirms that...
- you started a thread asking for help contributing to a Utena wiki, a request that would be far more suited to dropping into an existing conversation about that topic. Nobody really cared about it.
- you started a thread asking for help workshopping a game you wanted to work on, but had nothing to show.
- you started a thread about a web series you were working on. Nobody replied to any of your posts.
- you started a thread about other creators coming up with similar ideas as you. An interesting topic of conversation, sure, but launched very much in the spirit of "look at me and these things I did once".
- you started this thread.
There's nothing wrong with threads like these, but this is a discussion forum. It's for chat. We get to know each other, not by product pitches, but by chatting. By shooting the shit. By saying dumb stuff and being called on it. By raving about things we love. By sharing videos that entertain us. By answering questions and helping people out. By getting into stupid arguments with Scott.
It's only because we enjoy chatting to each other that we want to help each other out with their creative projects. I don't want to put too much weight on numbers, but someone who has only posted 50 messages to this forum isn't going to have a lot of friends. That's not a slight on your character, it's just how conversations work! Once you've posted 1,000 or more non-spam messages you won't even have to ask if it's okay to ask for help on a project, people will offer their help because they like you as a person.
There are talented people with interesting opinions here. When I make a thread, it's about things I made or am participating in because things I'm not involved in are naturally going to be made by people who are involved. I discuss a lot of anime and stuff, but again, making a thread about Attack On Titan is pretty pointless considering it already exists. The more unique or novel any post I could make, the more personal, and by extension the more presumptuous.
I feel this chemical depression whenever I post here, because I know any post could be the one where I piss off a long term member by showing any kind of ambition or trust. Any time I sit out of an updated post because of spoilers or choose to participate in an obscure topic, I know it could mean lost progress or the sound of crickets. I've tried to be casual, I've tried to be patient, I've tried to be open about myself but none of that is enough. I know interacting with social in groups and online communities is a tenuous process, more of an art than a science. It invites failure. Still, I feel like nothing I do will ever be right. I'm playing this game where chiming in too often is an irredeemable offense and being introverted is giving up.
I should probably address the nature of my threads. The one about the game I was working on, was naive and a mistake. All the input about the nature of discussing mechanics before launching a prototype was stuff I'd read before countless times, but it was a slap on the wrist I could've avoided. The Utena wiki thread happened because I thought Presents would have a lot of people excited about something like that. I did it because I thought people here would be interested. The post about Audience had similar motivations. People really like anime and mlp here. It was in their "wheelhouse" as some would say. I was incredibly self conscious about the Mass Effect post, and I tried to make it clear that my own story was almost more of an example. When you consider how many years ago I had that experience, it might be a clue that it wasn't my proudest moment. How many artists do you know that rave about the glory days of their first DA submissions?
I bring all these things here because I'm trying to share them. Audience has thousands of fans already. You know the saying "quality over quantity"? I share stuff here because I want a couple people to see it, people that really think about the stuff they see. The discussions on this forum are more insightful than what you see in Youtube comments or water cooler conversations. It is actually hard for me to do it and I probably won't continue.
There is something to the notion that feeling you have to ask answers the question, but it's also a catch 22. If I cared about the forum, I'd already know they care. I feel like I care, but you've methodically explained how little everyone cares about me. I can come to 2 conclusions. I am mistaken in thinking I care, and the forum members somehow psychically knew that even before I did. The second possibility is that there is no correlation between my sincerity and my fragile self esteem. No matter how deeply I'm invested in something I always doubt myself. It is lovely to think that there is some form of brotherhood that grants a community an innate sense of inclusion and esteem, but when you have low self-esteem you can't rely on anyone to care just because you do. I'm being told there is some system here where I can just assume everyone cares about each other. The problem is that they don't. You do have to proven this yourself. It's disingenuous to promise something that you are emphatically demonstrating to be nonexistent.
I'm sure there are respected people with lots of good will built up on this forum that can rely on its support. That doesn't mean confidence in your place here translates into actual camaraderie. I made some of those threads thinking people would encourage them, and they were ignored. I tried not to take it personally, but that isn't a option anymore. The fact is I just wasn't good enough, and believing I was wouldn't have changed anything.
I am sincerely sorry to anyone that felt like they were being treated like an opportunity. I regret not finding a way to avoid making people feel that way. This is pretty much the only forum i frequent, and there aren't really other forums where I share projects I'm working on. I tried to give things, but I made it sound like I just wanted to take. I didn't mean to do any of these things, but it is the fact that they happened anyway that makes me feel remorse. You can be offended about how I went about things, but don't try to tell me more trust would have changed anything. Pessimism would have prevented me from even trying to post in the first place and everything would have been better for it. If people are interested in what I'm doing they can invite me to share, but I'm not going to stick my neck out unsolicited.
You're asking about the appropriateness of asking for help on projects, and after I reply, you post something like this: How are we even meant to respond to that? Are you asking us to change our behavior due to your misguided views about us? Are you asking us to treat you differently than we otherwise would out of some kind of pity? What are we meant to think about you when you post that?
This is not a catch 22 situation. You know how to make friends and be part of a community? Be friendly and join in with community activities. It's THAT simple. Unfortunately, my only (remembered) interactions with you on the forum have been neutral to negative. Paragraphs of explanations or excuses only adds to the negativity. After my post, a reply simply saying "Okay, got it" or "Thanks for your thoughts, has anyone else got something to add?" would have been way better in terms of adding to the net positivity of human interaction, and some humor would have gone a long way too.
Please don't take this all personally though. I really know nothing about you, and I have no bad feelings. You're not the only one who has struggled to join in with the forum and felt bad at initial tepid reactions. Just ask Geo.
Like I said, once you've been chatting here a year or so, or about 1,000 messages, we'll know you well enough to be friends, and then help on projects will arrive naturally.
It is impossible for me to care about every new username that pops up, because I have virtually no personal connection to them. But to many other forumites I've been chatting with for the last 7 years? Really strong personal connections! We go out of our way to meet up for dinner, hang out at events, get together for board gaming, stay at each others' places when visiting other cities, write songs for each other, draw pictures of each other, go on vacation with each other, develop games together, date each other's sisters... the list is endless.
You sleeping on my couch when you visit Berlin isn't going to happen after only 50 posts. Me even clicking on links you post in new threads probably isn't going to happen after 50 posts either, to be honest. But there are many, many others on this forum who would be welcome to crash on my couch, and they would all be totally comfortable asking to, and the sign that they are my good friend is that they wouldn't be uncomfortable asking.
I actually have a spare bedroom. You know, in case anyone was thinking I'd only give them a couch.
I mean, you seem like a nice enough guy, but (and I can't speak for anyone else) as has been pointed out, we just don't know you, man. You're a vague acquaintance right now. It'd be nice to get to know you better, y'know? So pull up a metaphorical pew, and just hang out, man. Relax. Don't be afraid to speak up and be counted.
Log in, read some threads, make a post if it seems relevant. Eventually, if you don't get bored, people will get to know you. Then, if you make a thread about a personal project, rather than having to ask for help explicitly, if you mention that your project is open to new members and people are interested, they will initiate an attempt to get involved. If not, they will ignore you.
Plenty of the people on the forum probably ignore me, because nothing I say is really relevant to them. That's fine. Some of the older members probably still think of me as a punk kid, and that's fine too. But some people know me, like me, consider me a friend. That's because I've been here for like, 4-5 years. Just takes time, like everyone said.
Yeah, I'm gonna have to agree that what line was pretty rough. I may feel that way, but telling people that doesn't communicate anything useful. I feel like this more because of the structure of forums. You get this sense that posts take up this sacred space and the more things go wrong the lower you can rank your own words. Eventually yeah, I feel terrible no matter what I do. Being more sensitive than normal isn't going to help because that would instill a false sense of security. Again, I told you guys too much about me and I made it worse.
I know how to offend people, but not doing it isn't as simple as people think. Something can read as a clever quip or an in-joke, or as nonsense trolling. I can try to avoid making trouble, but you see everything more clearly in retrospect. I feel like I have to obsess over how I word things and present things, but bad luck and a failure to look at certain perspectives can mean a lot of misunderstandings. More than in initially posting, there is the prospect of looking at responses, which is much worse.
You said yourself that there are certain things about this community that you have to experience to understand. There are the obvious social graces of all society, and then there is the "vibe" that every group has individually. This is what I stepped on and it is pretty obvious that there are subtleties that take more time to learn.
What amazes me is that when I show up with actual content and media topics to discuss people ignore it, which is fine no one likes everything, not everything strikes a chord, but when I fail to read the air or break forum conduct I become "the most interesting man in the world". Now, conversations I've participated in started by other people have gone okay, but I have something to bounce off of. When you join in on something that's already happenin' there isn't as much at stake.
I write this show with things I've learned listening to Geeknights and stuff I've heard on the forum in mind. I made the discussion thread for Audience specifically because of how people here have impacted it. I update it hoping people will feel like they're impacting a cultural endeavor, but now I feel like a leech wasting everyone's time. Originally the intent was to offer people something they'd had a part in making happen.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still proud of the show, and I have confidence in everyone working on it. They're making a great thing. People like Utena, people like games, it isn't the things I'm discussing that turns people off, it's me, and that stings. I try different things but it only attracts negative attention.
The thing is, I don't see the forum as just a venue to be exploited. I primarily see it as a place where good conversations take place. Everyone has a quick wit and a lot of savvy with the interests they discuss and you get the feeling people will know what you're talking about. I see a bunch of people that all come together to discuss what interests them. There is knowledge and good taste flowing throughout the place.
You get the sense that if you bring something here, people will have insightful comments. I don't "need" extra help or input, I just see the people here as being able to look more deeply into the matter at hand. I don't see everyone here as some expendable resource I just have a lot of confidence in what they're capable of. Luke saw a pattern in what I was posting but I don't actually think that way. I mean, I see where he got the idea but still.
Are you trying to have a conversation here? Or throw a strop? It's just unpleasant for us to have to read it. What part of this didn't you understand? Or this? If you are in a bar, do you want to make everything about you and your negative activities and feelings? Fuck no. Relax! Have fun! Don't drag the mood down!
This is NOT all about you. This is NOT all about your projects. Nothing about your projects sets them apart from any of the dozens of other projects anyone else here works on all the time. Nothing about you sets you apart from the dozens of other new users who arrive at the forum every few months. Not even a conversation in a thread like this sets you apart from the half dozen other new users who have gone through a similar crisis of confidence.
Let me put it REALLY simply:
You said "Do people think this forum has members that are interested in acting or vocal performance?"
If you were approaching us as friends, you would already know that the forum DOES have members that are interested in acting and vocal performance. You'd know that it's one of Victor's main gigs. You'd know that Muppet is producing a podcast series and was asking for cast members just a few weeks ago. You'd know that quite a few members do acting or storytelling or poetry reading or other vocal things.
This is the reason I replied as I did to your initial post. Your own words show ignorance of the community here on the forum, so any solicitations for help seem to come from an outsider, and feel like spam.
This point is clarified by this exchange:
"Umm, I'd be willing to help you out, voice acting is kinda fun."
"The team is doing fine already and the competition for parts is pretty stiff. If you see any parts that interest you great, but if you try out please, do it for yourself. http://tinyurl.com/l9uxxt3"
Don't you see how that looks? Don't you see what that would feel like to Ilmarinen?
"Hey, friend, I'll help out if you need it..."
"Go apply at this link along with all the other people who have already applied. You probably won't be picked to take part, but before you know that you'll have to put in all this effort for no reason. Your personal connection with me via this forum is worth nothing, and will have no impact on if or how we work together on this project in the future."
Is this the model of interaction between friends?
People don't know who I am. No one gives a shit about me. I'm just another face in the crowd. Okay, nothing new. Society is big, we got a lotta people. Basic stuff. But when I try to explain my side of the story it isn't out of some conflated ego, it's because it isn't known. Know one knows or cares, got it. Is it impossible to see explaining in more detail as a way to alleviate that? This situation is happening now, and I don't have time to get to know everyone and become their children's godfathers. I'm trying to explain what is going on right now.
I understand your main point is that is is a generic kind of situation. It happens all the time. Nothing is special about it. I believe it. You can just say that. You're trying to help, and I appreciate that. Hearing how conflated you think my ego is and how faceless I actually am doesn't help. The point got through, but I doubt this would help other people in the same position.
You're completely right about what I said to Ilmarine. It was meant to be about how participation should be for their sake, but in the process I was cold to them. I didn't want anyone doing it out of pity, but the result was that it was dismissive. I worried about saying the right thing and it came off as hurtful and callous anyway. This situation is really awkward and being emotionally equipped for it might help. Thinking through every post carefully ought to make up for that, but clearly it wasn't carefully enough.
You are trying to give basic advice and I'm letting the details derail it. The thing is, I am a person. I'm trying to detach from the situation and see it for what it is, I can on a logical level. Knowing you consider this impersonal doesn't change anything. I feel horrible over this. I hate myself more that I ever have. I empathize with your frustration, but you've gotta see how this could effect someone. This paragraph is being rewritten over and over, and I know it probably won't be right. These kinds of problems are caused by people.
Hint: Do NOT think through every post carefully. Don't do that at all! Just fucking post. Have a conversation. What you are doing now is not having a conversation. You're whining and explaining and making excuses. This just isn't pleasant. If you were in a bar, people would be tuning you out, or just walking away. You're literally doing yourself no favors at all.
We don't get to know someone by them explaining their personalities. It's like writing advice for fiction authors: show, don't tell.
Post whatever shit comes into your head on any topic in any thread. Seriously. Stop explaining why or why not, and just do it.
Stop rewriting paragraphs. Get your thoughts down, check for spelling, and hit post. I don't want the highly edited structured viewpoints laid out with introductions, opening paragraphs and closing statements. Just hang out and chat... you know, like everyone else does. Highly structured and rewritten posts are for blogs or magazines.
Stop trying to think everything through entirely logically. You are attempting informal social interaction. Telling us you are thinking everything through logically just feels creepy, like when Axel tried to explain step by step how someone should kiss a girl. Just go with the flow. You seem like a nice enough person, so just be yourself.
Also, I'll never forget becoming LackOfCheese' "nemesis" by beating him in the grand round 1 by some silly slim margin. :-D