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My Show is on Tubi | I Think COVID Broke the Back of Live Shows | Thank you 500 Subs
Grievance Gulch is streaming for free on Tubi. Thanks everyone for everything.
According to the stats page, this Substack now boasts 500 subscribers. Let me wax philosophically extra for a moment as a way to give some context behind merely saying, “Thanks.”
I started farting around with writing around the time I graduated high school in 1994 and I’ve been trying to make something of it ever since. Every artist has their journey — including journeys of their heads up their cabooses — and I’m no different.
Writing is still my thing that I’m doing. More specifically, I started this Subtsack thing in January of 2022 with no idea whether it would go anywhere at all. In January of 2023 I migrated many of you from Mailchimp without knowing whether you’d stay or immediately unsubscribe in disgust.
Well, not only have most of you stayed, you’ve been kind enough to share. Other folks are finding me as well. This means a lot. Thank you to everyone reading this and everyone who has been kind enough to support me by going paid or sharing stuff with friends.
By way of supplementary thanks, I’m offering free Audible copies of my novel Apprentice Quest.
All you have to do is email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, indicate whether you are in the US or UK market, and I’ll reply with a code until supplies run out. If you enjoy it, I have codes that will work for the following two novels in the series as well.
I do apologize, people in other markets, Audible doesn’t offer codes for you. But I will send you lewd drawings via email, and posted publicly here, instead.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Sure, but can this guy really do lewd drawings?” Trust me. I get lewd, baby. Feast your peepers:
Grieveance Gulch is now on Tubi
A team of amazing and hilarious people — who are listed here at grievancegulch.com — joined me last year in crowdfunding and creating a six-episode animated show from scratch.
I just found out this week that the show has finally made it through the winding tubes of the internet and is now live on the streaming service Tubi. You can watch for free by clicking the button below.
This is an important trial balloon for me as I’m exploring options for distribution when I finish my main current project The Mostly Serious History of Wine, as well as the next one, Charlie’s Electric Car.
“But Jim,” you might be thinking. “Why in the owl hoots are you trying to do those things anyway?”
Well, sit down, partner. Let’s talk about the state of writing and performance post-COVID from the admittedly-flawed and thinly-data’d perspective of me, your old pal, Sweet Jimmy.1
I Think COVID Has Broken the Back of Live Performance for Indies
I swear to you, there was a time when people would leave their houses, go down to their local comedy club or theatre, and pay money to go inside without knowing who or what would be performed.
I know that because often times, in Atlanta, that who or what would both be your boy, yours truly, Jimmy Jams.2 In fact, it was a career-altering shock to me when I staged my first play in 2016 and, despite almost no traditional promotion, actually made money.
At the time I’d been damn near killing myself trying to sell novels for $2.99 and Bezos only handing me $.34 each. People paid $20 to see my play. They paid $10 for live improv shows. And audiences grew. It was a real, “I could actually make a career out of this!” moment.
You know what happened next: there was a small global health concern. But hey, I’m still alive, and I’m still married to the world’s greatest wife, so no complaints.
I’m not saying people don’t go out at all anymore, but I don’t think they go out indiscriminately anymore, as much. Here’s a Dallas newspaper saying the same thing. That article alludes to studies done on the subject but I couldn’t find those.
I think that if you are already famous you can still make money on your name by performing live. But what about the not-famous people who used to put on local shows? Unknown schlubs barking comedy at people’s heads? You know. People like me. Your man right here: Jimmy Jambalaya.3
Let’s Do Film/TV Maybe?
Mind you: I’m one of those guys who wants to do stuff himself.
Okay, that’s a self-aggrandizing lie. I want to do cool and fun stuff myself: welding, working on cars or bikes, making furniture. I’m perfectly happy to let someone else do my taxes, clean the toilets, and squirt the anti-flea goo on the cat. She’s only 8lbs but I don’t like when she squirms around and makes angry chicken noises.
Since it no longer seems possible to become Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams, and because live shows appear to me to be a professional dead end, I’ve been diving into how film and TV distribution work.
Obviously, I have zero contacts in either world. I have been flown to Los Angeles once to have a meeting with TV people, but I made a sarcastic joke in that meeting which, to put it generously, did not land. In fact, I think I’d have gotten more laughs had I interrupted the meeting by loudly and vigorously eating my socks.
So how the hell am I, a man who rudely eats his socks in meetings and appears to buy needlessly-long socks with this in mind, going to make my fortune in film and TV?
I have no idea. But I have plans.
This is Why it’s Good that Grievance Gulch is on Tubi
Tubi is super popular with indie filmmakers right now because, unlike most other streamers, they appear to actually share a decent portion of revenue with artists.
If that’s true, it might be because Tubi is at the stage of their life cycle where they are still being kind to creators whereas other outlets like Amazon Prime Video and YouTube have already passed the point of, “fuck the indies.”
My goal is just to make a living as an artist. I don’t really want to have to know about any of this stuff. But that’s life.
Grievance Gulch is a bit of a weird fit for Tubi. We delivered it as six short episodes. But Tubi won’t accept a series with episodes under 20 minutes, so I had to lump Grievance Gulch together into one long thing. For this reason, and because I don’t have an ad budget to promote it, I don’t expect it to bring in the millions.
Still, it will give me a look at what self distribution is like as opposed to chasing traditional distribution for my in-progress documentaries.
We shall see, friends. And again, thanks for being along. Who knows how this story will go for Big Jim the Capuccino-Loving Squirmy Cat Avoider? No one. And yet, the story must be told.
No one really calls me this.
I like this one too, but again, nobody calls me this.
Again, not a real nickname. But I do love jambalaya.