So Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to attend the hitRECord event at the Warner Theater in DC. If you aren’t familiar with the website, it is JGL’s effort to encourage collaboration amongst artists of various talents into a variety of projects, mostly short films. As an artist (or someone who still aspires to be one when he grows up), I really appreciate the concept. Social media seems to gather us all together; it is nice to see it being used in a positive way, to encourage creativity.
So when I heard a live event tour was planned for the East Coast, I had to be a part of it. I really didn’t know what to expect; what could really be done live? Would they film something impromptu on the spot? Would they parade clips I could have watched from home in my pajamas? Would he drone on for several hours about the work being done to gather amatuer artists? Would there be juggling of goslings? I really had no idea, but I believe in investment. While I honestly didn’t expect the show itself would necessarily be worth the cost (including the drive up from 757), I felt it was worth it to support the cause that drives the website.
Unfortunately, I was pretty spot on with my initial guess.
First off, let me say that it is pretty near impossible to not like Joseph Gordon Levitt. He’s incredibly talented (even sang a bit towards the end) and charming (as far as dudes go anyways). I mean, seriously, the broads in the audience were nearly foaming at the mouth; it was mildly amusing. But he worked the crowd well, had pretty good stage presence. (And hey, he was almost kinda sorta Robin or Batman or Nightwing or something.)
But the show, at least on a surface level, was disappointing, I hate to say. For one thing, it started 15 minutes late, which was kinda tacky. And then, after our host entered and settled the crowd down (mostly the beforementioned foaming groupies losing their minds), he explained that they were trying to create a TV show with both live content from the shows and content from the website. Okay, fair enough. Then he walked off stage and wanted us to record him coming back on stage like he was showing up for the first time.
… what? Well, okay, I’ll play along. I broke out the phone (even though I knew damn well I wasn’t going to be taking video of decent quality way back in row V with my phone), and went along with it. As the show progressed, it was a series of cheap reasons to get people on stage interspersed with content from the website. Most of the content was good (but, again, I could’ve stayed home in my pajamas and seen the same stuff). The stage gags were mildy entertaining, but after an hour or so, the girl sitting next to me (a lovely hair dresser from … some city in Maryland… and no, I didn’t get her name or number; I must be getting rusty in my old age) and I were pondering, “Is this really going to be it…?” The show was just short of an hour and a half, and that was about how it played out to the end.
It was basically a crowd of people that paid to give these guys some content for their website and TV show. I am not sure what I was hoping beyond hope for, perhaps some practical application, inspiration prompts, maybe more of his personal efforts towards the project, etc. Instead, I got the powerpoint of video clips and some random people from the crowd dancing in front of a green screen. (The latter was pretty amusing, I must admit.)
That said, I am still glad I went. It reminded me of the kind of work I want to do, the sort of projects I want to produce and give to the world. Some of the clips really were pretty phenominal, and I want to invest some time as a vocal actor to a few that need it. I got some ideas that will translate well to a blog, made me excited all over again to be invested in these small beginnings and what is, hopefully, right down the road for me.
Ticket for the show: $40 (after various “convenience charges”)
Full tank of gas there and back: $40
Miscellaneous eats and drinks: $10
Amount of PTO required to get off of work for the night: $160
Souvenier book: $15
Total amount paid for attending: $285 (and about 12 hours total)
Being reminded you’ll always be a geek inspired warrior poet at heart: PRICELESS