Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ustream Report: ZCHFS Episode 2


Despite the fact that I was really looking forward to doing Episode 2 of the Zak Claxton Happy Fun Show on Ustream, I came very close to canceling the show within 24 hours of its airing. Why? I actually had a very unexpected medical problem hit me on Friday morning, and while it wouldn't have significantly impacted the show itself, it had left me feeling pretty anxious, and I like to be in my most entertaining form when doing a live TV broadcast. Basically, I was concerned that I would be too busy obsessing on my medical issue (as I tend to do) to really put on a good show.

But then, something great happened: I realized that I could work the fact that I'd had this minor but perplexing health scare into the show itself, and suddenly everything clicked into place. All that preamble is my explanation (and excuse) for having spent the first ten minutes of the ZCHFS Episode 2 talking about my penis having fallen off. Just to clarify, my penis did not fall off. I may be a good entertainer and "the show must go on" as they say, but even I wouldn't have the wherewithal to sing and dance and be humorous had that actually happened, I freely admit. But doing that little schtick did allow me to forget about my actual issue and have fun and play some music. We entertainers are strange beings, and most people have no idea what's actually going on in our heads that allows us to do what we do. Enough on that topic for now; perhaps we'll explore that tangent in another post someday.

So, ZCHFS Ep. 2 went fine. Unlike the premiere, I was more comfortable with the technical end of things, and though I still had one restart of my broadcast software (as opposed to like six restarts in the first show), it all went pretty smoothly. I kept it more simple this time, only doing two main sections (a news update and the music portion). I rather enjoyed myself throughout the show, and we had a small but lively audience comprised of fans from SL, friends from places like the Harmony Central forums, and other random passersby. I also devoted more of the hour to performing music, which (let's face it) is what I do. But the overall format of the show -- maybe 15-20 minutes of news and views followed by 40-45 minutes of music -- seems to be working, and it's likely that I'll be sticking with that for subsequent episodes.

There is one point I'm still debating, which is the level of adult-oriented commentary in the show. With the music, this is generally not a problem; none of my songs use profanity and have themes that are unsuitable for kids. However, my between-song banter has always tended to be oriented toward adults, since most of my shows are in Second Life (which is only open to people over 18). I realized that after spending awhile doing a routine about my dick having fallen off that perhaps a notice at the start of the show telling people that objectionable language and adult themes might come up would be a good idea. Another thing to file in the "live and learn" folder.

The music itself went well. In case you're wondering, here's what I played...

Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
I've Been Waiting for You (Neil Young)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
Come Around (Zak Claxton)
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Crosby, Still & Nash)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Fade Away (Zak Claxton)

Huge thanks to the folks who dropped by the show! See you in a couple of weeks for Episode 3!