Analytic Vision

In the Target? That Is the REAL Question…

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 03/12/2009

Is it good or bad? Irrelevant.

Is it target-placed or outplaced? This is the real question. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a product, an event, or simply a sketch you wrote and read for fun.

There’s a short absurd sketch I wrote, “Interactive consultancy”, about a psychological counseler who goes crazy provoked by a client. It’s a three-page satirical instance I wrote for fun and which I have read on a few occasions.

Like I have stated, I’m not a good fiction writer, although I’m working on it, as a hobby.

This is the beginning of reading the text at Dragoş Butuzea‘s [ro, blog] Recitiri [ro, html] on November 2, 2009. (Filmed by iYli [ro, blog])

This is part of the discussions upon it that night (Filmed by iYli [ro, blog])

This is the text being read at the International Psychology Fair, 2008, together with Adrian Popescu

And these are the discussions at the International Psychology Fair

I haven’t published the text and I don’t intend to. But if you wish me to send it to you privately, you can write me an e-mail and I will.

First of all, I wrote it for fun and haven’t improved it. Its stake is either it works the way it is, either it doesn’t. As most of my short fiction scribblings, the main structural problem is that it offers an expectation and it fulfills it. That’s all. No twist. No surprise. No real conflict. It’s just an action-reaction kind of setup, which from a story point of view doesn’t offer much.

Then, it’s much too niched. And now I’m coming to the important marketing point I wanna make. As you can observe, the reaction of the two kinds of audiences are quite different. At the International Psychology Fair it was well received by psychologists which said there are a lot of incompetents who behave like the character in the play, and at Dragoş Butuzea‘s [ro, blog] Recitiri [ro, html], where a literary standpoint imposed, the impressions were quite contrary. This is a very good example to keep in mind considering:

1. If somebody likes your presentation, it doesn’t mean it’s great. It might just be that they’re in the target.

2. If somebody doesn’t like your presentation, it doesn’t mean it’s terrible. It might just mean that they’re not in target.

3. Weather it’s good or bad is not as relevant as being memorable. People might comment on it, forbit it (like Sorin Tudor did, by first posting my text on the website, and then deleting it, for which I thank him – it adds to my point, and also, I was quite on the fence about publishing it), but they will not forget it soon.

4. When you become aware of what you sell, you will find the most proper way to get its public to it. The first time I presented a censored version of the play was in May 2005, at the EuroDiversity Contest in Iasi (it represented Romania) organized by a student association, ANSSA. Then, when I actually presented it as a premiere during the National Theatre Students’ Festival in December 2005, I made some posters inviting the public, with the tagline:

“Are you tired enough of being psychologically fucked?”

That was in the day of the premiere. The hall was full of people. It was shocking, and I meant it to be, because it raised an expectation, as a spectacle, that was fulfilled (even if from a literary standpoint it is not good enough). One of the participants in the audience at the spectacle even told me she wanted to star in the next play setup. That brings me to…

5. It doesn’t have to be good to sell it. You just need to find its public. That doesn’t mean I’m in for selling low quality, I’m just stating a fact that you might have noticed. The “number one” is not necesarrily number 1 in quality because it is number one, but most likely because it got the promotion capital to be on the market as number one. Number one on who’s standards?

This short sketch doesn’t compare to my two drama plays, which are quite expanded (in space, time and characters), which I also haven’t published, but on which I got some appreciation from theatre experts. But those were plays on which I worked for months, even years, not a sketch drafted in a few hours and read for fun.

I wrote this post as an argumentation not even from a “look what interesting thing I’ve experienced” standpoint, but as a mere observation on how someone can use an experience to look at. I don’t ever intend to get money out of selling “Consultanta interactiva” because 1) I’m not into theatre and 2) It’s simply bad writing. And you might notice that I’ve stated a marketer’s reason first rather than an author’s reason. In the end…

6. If you want to sell yourself as an author, you’d better market yourself well enough!

[All videos embedded in this post are in Romanian]

PS: I’m only going to Recitiri for fun (you can read here Chinezu’s entry on this). And sometimes it’s very, very fun.

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6 Responses to “In the Target? That Is the REAL Question…”

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