I’ve been doing live brentalfloss shows for about 18 months, and the requests for me to play shows in specific cities continue to roll in. Before I say anything else, please know that it is AWESOME that so many of you want to see me in person; it’s always flattering to be reminded that I have fans all over the world.
That said, I learned a lot of things during my five-show “mini-tour” in August and September. I thought I could play a show across the country and that the sale of CDs at the show would pay for my travel expenses. In most cases, I was wrong and I frankly lost a few hundred bucks when all was said and done. I don’t say that to bitch and moan, only to frame what I’m about to say:
I love doing live shows. In college, I was an acting major and I realized I didn’t love the process—the actual work of acting—very much. I was also surrounded by people far more talented at performing and dedicated to it. Consequently, I gave up my idea of being a performer and focused on writing. The fact that the “brentalfloss” phenomenon has brought me out of my performing retirement is no small consideration; I always had the soul of an entertainer beneath the mind of a writer, and it is an amazing experience getting to connect so intimately with my audience.
Here’s the thing though: It doesn’t make sense from any standpoint—much less a business standpoint—to lose money when I play shows. I’m working on some new merchandise that may help in the future, but as it stands, there’s no tried-and-true business model that allows me to play a show somewhere and break even. I get requests to do shows in Europe and even places like Australia and South America, and I think to myself “That would be fun, but I’d basically be losing hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars.” While the sales of my CD have been very satisfactory, I’m nowhere near “rich” or even “well off”. There has to be a better way.
And so that’s why I choose to tell you this: while I may occasionally do a show in a city to which I already happen to be traveling, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to personally pay for the travel costs to go farther than, say, five hundred miles away from New York City.
UNLESS someone were to help pay for the travel. Gaming conventions routinely fly internet celebrities out to appear, and there are myriad ways to raise money on the internet. So if you’re one of the hardcore fans that wants me to do a show nearby (casual fans, I love yew guys teww), you might consider getting some cash together and sending me a message via Youtube, or using a connection with a local convention to help fly me there. I will not always be available for a particular date, and I may not be able to travel to each place requested, but for those of you who are serious about seeing a brentalfloss show, the power is yours. If you can pay for a round trip ticket and provide me with a place to stay, I am much more likely to say “yes!”
Just something to think about. As always, I am thankful for the love of my fans.