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  • rileysoloner

Googy Morning, and Good Luck.

Life without Googy Morning as my creative outlet for the past two years? I can’t imagine.

Thank you to every single person who showed up to watch and chat week after week. You gave so generously with your time, presence, comments, art, and hard earned money in the middle of an ongoing global pandemic. Everyone who watched and played along with such kindness, open mindedness and creativity, you made this project worth the time and effort.

I got the news about PS ending shortly after what I thought was the absolute best Art Toilet show we ever did together. The toilet was filled to the brim with so many creative people showing off such a wide range of art projects. Thank you to everyone who dropped their art in the toilet with me. As Mom used to say, “that came out of you!?” Great work everyone. Keep going.

Thank you Chris Gethard. I so admire your conviction to build little, special, imperfect spaces for the oddball creative experimenters. I am incapable of summing up the influence you’ve had on my work. Unless of course you were to show me how by doing it first. Then, like so many times before, I could go ahead and do my goofed up version of your thing.

Thank you to Jersey Dave, Bryson, Forrest, Hex and Jess. You served as the most excellent, patient, giving, competent, thoughtful collaborators I could have asked for. It took me so long to get over feeling like I was asking too much or too weird. You were there for me every step of the way. I can't think of any time you dropped the ball on me. The safety net you provided allowed me to feel comfortable pitching and trying everything.

Thank you to ellena[sic]. My wife, my darling companion. Nobody has heard more half-thought, nervous, anxious pitches of Googy Morning ideas than ellena. She takes them in thoughtfully and responds with feedback that fortifies the viable ideas and blows the bad ones away like a dust cloud. It fills my heart to hear her laugh through the closed door when she watches from the other room. I love the sweet moments we shared playing video games on the show together. I can’t boil down what her love means to me into a couple of lines. You keep me going.

I've been trying to be some kind of professional comedian since 2007. To make up for the amount of work, money and beautiful photo opportunities I’ve missed out on, I read a lot of wisdom for the creatively stuck, bitter and unsatisfied.

I’ve learned that being professional isn’t just about getting paid, but rather about showing up on time to do the thing because it’s for the people expecting you to be there and doing it. And you know what? I did that. I tend to unfairly push back the goalpost for myself but I’d like to briefly take pride in how often I did show up for Googy Morning. The final episode on Planet Scum will be the 90th! From the start, I deeply cared about it. When it became clear that you got something out of it too, the meaning grew deeper. There were many weeks when I felt I simply didn't have it together. Emotional slumps where I was tapped. But there’s a show to do.

I’d show up to the Tuesday meetings with Bryson, Jess, Forrest and Hex. I got to be really honest with them. We would just talk and find an idea to bat around. Usually, that became the episode. I'd make videos and run to the dollar store for props. Come Saturday, a great audience would watch and play along. Let me set aside my unfair, unrealistic, unimaginative expectations of money and attention from industry middlemen I don’t even respect anyway. Planet Scum gave me what I needed to exercise that professional muscle through a very challenging stretch of life. I must once again thank the audience, Geth, the producers and ellena.

A lesson I seem to be tasked with re-learning forever is about who I reach with what I do. My reach is not wide, but there is depth. There is love, kindness and creativity exchanged in these depths. As I learned to make the interactivity meaningful and different, I did my best to make episodes more about the presence of those who made the moment special. A practice of setting aside that impatient hustle for ever more eyes and dollars. The show was always at its best when it became a game of catch between us.

It’s bittersweet but it seems the end of Planet Scum is coming at the right time for me. I need to seek out new skills and non-creative work to stay afloat. I acknowledge how extremely fortunate I've been to earn any money doing any of the creative stuff I’ve done. I lived the real-life Wayne's World, hitching to a public access joyride as it burst onto "real" TV with a budget and guest stars that would have made 2007 Riley’s eyes bug out. As that happened around me, I was desperate to make my career trajectory a diagonal line going up and up. It kinda broke me. I thought it would fall into place and I just didn’t fit. I am not owed anything.

I’m still patching up holes in my logic and self worth from that kind of brainwashing. I've had similar, unhelpful thought patterns pop up with Googy Morning. “I need this show to grow so big, it could pay my rent!” No. Calm down. It provided tools to connect kind, cool people to each other and my work. That’s a lot. The right thing for me to do is to expect less from comedy, so that I may still like what I like about it.

It's time for me to build sustainably and slowly. I’m working on setting up support for my creativity, rather than expecting it to support me. Thank you for everything, I have no complaints whatsoever.

Only a couple more Googy Mornings, my Googy Morning People! What should we do? Good question!

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1 Comment

Sean Elliott
Sean Elliott
May 05, 2022

Thank you riley for making saturday a good time to get up early. I loved all of it.

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