out perform // outlast // out work
When the clock strikes midnight, Out of the Woodwork will celebrate its first birthday. One year ago today, I sat down to a computer in the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library to create the first blog post of my life. I sorted through dozens of websites, layouts, and potential subjects before I began. I started with people I knew- my new favorite singer that I’d been lucky enough to meet (Soren Bryce Martin), actors I had met when I worked as an extra, students, garage bands, and old friends. Through this handful of connections, I began to broaden my horizons. I was introduced to other bloggers, radio DJs, Indie singers and YouTubers. Throughout this process, one thought kept me motivated: I wanted to truly be of help. I loved the people I met. I listened to their music and watched their films. I called in to their radio shows and voted for their contests. When they took beautiful photos, I showed people. I was among the first to know whenever they released new material. Yet, for every supportive act I seemed to do, these people returned the kindness exponentially. We began a symbiotic relationship, a two-way stream of support. With every step up we pulled the others up with us. Looking back on the first year, I cannot help but be grateful for the outcome of our efforts. I have met so many fantastic support networks and even gotten the chance to speak with some of my favorite artists. I was introduced to a thriving dance movement in Ogden, Utah, a movement that underlies the success of famous dancers like Malece Miller. Like I detective, I traced this movement and discovered UDO, Lisa Tucker Photography, and Austin Spacy. After interviewing three members of this collective, OOTWW’s popularity began skyrocketing. They shared each other’s posts, they told their friends, they gave encouragement and feedback generously. Every project involving their group lived and thrived. Other networks rallied to support me as well. From my contact with Soren Bryce, I discovered LA’s Artists in Music Awards, The Emerge Radio Networks, Twitter Tuesday Live, Indie Music Bus, Glitter Rose, Torrey Mercer, and the band Spaceship Days. I scored an interview with the Twitter Tuesday Live radio show, and was listed on the Indie Music Bus website. After that, interview submissions began pouring into my email.
While all of this was taking place, I was introduced through an old high school friend to a Graphic Design student prodigy living in Oregon. I contacted this young man about creating some small photography projects together, and before I knew it he was helping me redesign my website altogether. Regan Nishikawa‘s work far exceeded the level of many professional graphic designers that I had met in the past, yet he happily dedicated his time and efforts into supporting my ventures. We brainstormed together and produced a small line of T-shirts containing the names of most of OOTWW’s supporters at the time. We sold nearly double the amount of our initial goal, and were able to donate 25% of our profits to Soren Bryce Martin’s upcoming EP.
It soon became apparent that Out of the Woodwork would need to become its own entity, separate from my own social media pages and acting page. Only a few months ago I decided to launch a Facebook and Twitter account solely dedicated to OOTWW. My first posts to this website garnered scant readership, 20-25 views per week. 35 posts in the future, however, I found myself with thousands of collective views. As OOTWW approached its first birthday, I set a goal for it to reach 10,000 views in its first year. Last night, that goal was surpassed by nearly 200. My past guests pulled together and released their interviews once again, and their friends joined them. At this moment, I can think of nothing else to say to all of you but truly, sincerely, thank you.
Thank you to my early guests for being willing to believe in a poorly constructed blog with few readers. Thank you to my later guests for being so excited to share our posts with your friends. Thank you to Walter Hargrave of Indie Music Bus, Mikey Jayy of the AIMAs, and Mark and Carol of Twitter Tuesday Live for inspiring me to continue down this path. Thank you to the supportive families (blood or not) of Ogden, LA, and Charleston. Thank you to the local Charleston film operations like Crown Vision Media, Block One Studios, Jenny Kleiman, and MMGPro Video for showing interest in both my writing and my acting adventures and offering to collaborate with me. Thank you to my own family for helping me sort through submissions and listening to hundreds of new songs with me as we drove or worked in the yard. Thank you to my friends all over the country who tuned in to my radio interview and spread my commercials all over social networks. Thank you, Southern Comfort producers, for helping me establish my first connections in the entertainment industry, and for staying in contact with me long after we wrapped. And finally, thank you God for blessing this venture and for showing me that kindness is the ultimate want of the world.
Looking forward to another year of service, good times, and great people. I’m Chancy Johnson, here to bring them~
Out of the Woodwork.