This past week, we celebrated our 10th episode of Stage Door Live. The amount of support we have received from the sector and from our audiences every week has been amazing. It has been so fun to see our committed audience members pop in the chat on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter/Periscope each week. One of our audience members recently said in chat, “I look forward to this every single week.”. We do too.
The last eleven weeks has been a whirlwind, as we figured out exactly how to create a live show every week. We’re theatre makers, not necessarily live broadcasters. Though I have had experience as a filmmaker and in various aspects of video production, remote live production was never an area that I had explored. I guess, now I can say I have.
Those of you who have been watching since Episode 1 can probably see the changes we’ve made. We are on a constant search for the right tools to make our live webcast look better and operate better. These are the types of challenges that excite me, and that challenge still continues. You’ve also seen the technical difficulties that tend to pop up. Much like live theatre, we never know what is going to happen after we push the ‘GO’ button and the proverbial curtain opens on our live show. With guests calling in from everywhere, we are constantly dealing with rural broadband issues, clogged internet infrastructure, and our own underpowered equipment trying to do big things on a small budget.
Stage Door Live launched a month into the Covid-19 pandemic and total lockdown in Ireland. I built a control room in my apartment in Drumcondra made up of a mishmash of my video/projection design equipment, and each of our team members did an inventory of the equipment they had in their own homes. In order to improve the quality of our webcast, we have supplemented that equipment with cloud based servers, and have slowly (Amazon takes a while these days) been adding to the equipment each of us has in our own houses. The Stage Door Live team all comes together working remotely via remote desktop software to run teleprompters, operate video and audio mixers, communicate with our audiences on social media, and welcoming and supporting our guests (who are also using whatever equipment they have in their houses) to the program.
Many of you have reached out to me asking how we produce a live show with guests calling in from all over the country. On Episode 10, we decided to turn the #ArtInIsolation feature to ourselves and to share a little bit of the behind the scenes of our operation.
We need your help.
TheatreMaker.ie is an un-funded, passionate group of theatre makers who have come together to champion theatre in Ireland. We create content and provide resources for theatre makers and lovers of live performance in Ireland and throughout the world. We are all volunteers who believe that a dedicated resource for theatre makers and lovers of live performance is a necessity in Ireland that is not fulfilled by the mainstream media. Each of us puts in at least 20 hours per week into Stage Door Live, and we share the expenses of the production which currently total about €400/week. We have several additional resources in our long term plan that we would like to launch. This will take some time, and money, that our small volunteer group of theatre makers don’t quite have right now.
So, we’re asking for your help. We’ve created a Patreon page where you can become a patron of TheatreMaker.ie and support our ongoing production of Stage Door Live, and the eventual launch of additional resources for the theatre sector.
Our Patrons will get access to the behind the scenes of TheatreMaker.ie: Special live stream discussions with our team (and other guests), special blogs by our team, behind the scenes videos, and a chance to be our un-official editorial review board (providing suggestions for topics, artists we should cover, and guiding our general direction with our shows and resources).
Your support can be in the form of a one time donation (though you only get the perks with ongoing donations), or you can subscribe to support with ongoing donations of €5, €10, €25, or more each month.
For all of us on the TheatreMaker.ie team, creating Stage Door Live and our other resources has been a joy and was so very much needed to keep our sanity during the lockdown. We see a value in continuing Stage Door Live long into the future, and we hope you do too.
Other Things You Can Do
We understand that times are tough. Many in our audience, especially artists and arts workers, aren’t working right now and there is no end in sight to the shutdown for theatres. There are some other things you can do to help us, even if you cannot support us financially:
- Subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Click here.
- Share this page with your friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
- Watch our programmes, like and share them with your friends and followers on social media
- Talk about TheatreMaker.ie and our programmes with your friends, family and others in the industry.
- Like and Follow us on Facebook.
- Follow us on Instagram.
- Follow us on Twitter.
If you are able, we hope you will consider supporting us by becoming a Patron through our Patreon page. And as always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of the team for more information. My direct email address is email@example.com.
Thank you again for all your support for the first 10 weeks of TheatreMaker.ie and Stage Door Live. We are committed to focusing in on Irish Theatre for many more weeks to come.