That's right, this month marks the ten year anniversary of this humble theatre blog of mine.
In all that time, I have been in many shows, lived a few places, tried a few experiments, published a novel about the theatre, tried to start my own company, wrote produced and performed (for very few people) my own one man show, helped found a small arts center, wrote another stage play I hope to have performed sometime, and generally continued to participate in and celebrate the stage in my life.
Through all of that there has been this blog. True, it has over the last few years had less content on it than it did in its early years. This is due mostly to my not being in someone elses show for quite a while. As regular readers know, most of what I write about here on the blog is how any given show I am in is progressing. I write about other theatre thoughts sometimes as well, but a general over view of my success and that of the production has always been the meat and potatoes of always off book, with general theatre advice columns coming in a decent second place in terms of frequency.
One of my first posts ever, about stage kissing, continues to get responses even all of this time later. I am proud of that, and happy to advise anyone who come to the piece by way of a Google search. (where the post is in the top ten, first pages returns sometimes.)
That early post is, however, in general the exception. I rarely get feedback on my thoughts here on the blog, even when I'm in a show. Outside of that kissing post from 2005, I've not gotten any comments on anything I've posted here in a very long time from the perspective of cyber space, despite my best efforts to involve any readers our there in the conversation.
Does that bother me? Honestly, yes. Perhaps not as much as it did in the earlier years, but the lack of connection I have made with fellow artists on this blog is discouraging and sad. That was and remains that only reason for Always Off Book- to share my thoughts and experiences on acting in the theatre with others who share my deep interest in same. I have hoped for years that a niche would build around this blog and it never has.
Blame promotion, or luck, or something else for that, heaven knows I don't know. I have the same problem with my regular, somewhat more business focused blog, TyUnglebower.com. The fact is that with that one exception, this blog, after ten years of my trying, (ten years!) reaches and touches, it would seem, nobody. I am not even certain if any of the posts get read, though I have, in theory, a few following via blogger, according to the stats.
I'll allow myself a tiny bit of self-indulgence here when I ask, would it have killed any of you guys to have answered and shared your thoughts on something I posted over the last decade, when I asked?
Now that I've put the disappointment front and center, I won't dwell on it. I will say that despite all of this, the blog is vanishing. I may have less frequent original content so long as I'm not in a show, and it would seem I am writing for basically nobody but myself here, year after year. But just as I won't allow myself to give up on the desire to do more acting and directing on my life even during the inexplicably dry periods, I will continue to keep this blog. Like the creative life, it will have eras of high and low points, much activity, and virtually none. But the words remain. My reflections, advice, perceptions and temporary memoirs-in-miniature from productions continue to have value to me, and, I maintain, still have value for others in theatre who should happen to come across it.
So despite the crickets, for now, it stays. And to celebrate ten years of blogging, I will be reposting some of my "greatest hits" on a regular basis throughout the next year, as time allows. Posts of all kinds that I think have defined this blog in its many stages, and posts that I think, or at least hope, can be of service to my fellow actors. Short of that, I hope the posts are interesting.
I'll continued to post original context throughout the tenth year, as it comes to me. But I'll have blasts from the past mixed in as well.
So, happy anniversary, Always Off Book.