Thursday, September 18, 2008

Print Is Dead


I am not immune from the occasional and stereotypical actor's nightmare, but last night's dream was quite different. I was performing a play that I wrote. There were other characters, but I was the only person onstage. The other characters were referred to as being on stage, but their voices were pre-recorded. Matt Elwell and Dianna Driscoll were in the booth and, I must say, did a fantastic job with all the light and sound cues.

Everything was going as intended. Even had a packed house. After one group scene, again, where I was the only person on stage, I walked into the audience. As directed. As planned. What happened next, though, was not a part of the show. A group of people from the audience jumped up on stage and took over. They somehow quickly and miraculously set up musical equipment and broke into "Jeepster" by T. Rex. It was awesome. The crowd dug it and I dug it. It was much better than the crap I was doing alone. After their set, an argument erupted with two couples in the middle of the audience. It had everyone's attention. The argument morphed into an original acapella song. Then another group of people in the back of the house started singing an acapella song.

It was great. Everyone was having a blast. And I lost my pants somewhere. Is there a lesson? I guess. Art sure is a lot more fun when you include people. And always keep track of your pants.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Time, Inc has just launched the beta version of a service called Maghound which is best described as what?"

36% said "The last gasp of a dying industry - PRINT IS DEAD!"
- Um, yah. Maybe. But not what I was going for here.

27% said "Napster for magazines"
- Hmmm, a magazine sharing service? You can keep your Playboy, thank you.

18% said "YouTube for magazines"
- Great. Time magazine is now posting pictures of people getting hit in the nuts.

19% got it right with "Netflix for magazines"

According to Folio, after four years of development and testing, and almost a year after first being publicly announced, Time Inc. has finally launched the beta version of its virtual newsstand delivery service The membership pricing is tiered— three titles for $4.95 a month, five titles for $7.95, seven titles for $9.95, and $1 per title for eight titles or more. Memberships can be entirely managed online, as well as by email and phone, from changing magazine title selections to updating personal information and placing magazine delivery on hold for a temporary period. All titles sold on Maghound will be classified as single-copy sales. Maghound will pay the publishers a fixed fee for every copy of each title that is sold.

That's actually kind of cool. Like Netflix, you pay a monthly fee and get "x" amount of titles, but you don't have to return them. They're yours. I sound like I'm pitching this. I swear I'm not getting any money from this. As a person who sometimes buys a magazine or two, but doesn't want to commit to a whole year's worth of anything, this is great. It's like having a bevy of literary mistresses. I feel naughty and well-informed.