Hey, what’s up, everyone?!
Long time, no chat. What a strange few months, eh? I’ve been meaning to drop by and update on things, but, honestly… I just haven’t felt like it. Yup, don't let the title of this post fool you – it's going to be a very honest, straight-from-the-heart update today. A long one, too. If it seems melodramatic at times, my apologies, but I’ve been needing to vent for a while now, and what’s a better outlet than right here to those that follow and know me.
So, you may remember a few months back when I said that I’ll continue pumping out the content and that things wouldn’t slow down. Well, that was me biting off more than I can chew. See, like everyone else in the midst of this pandemic, I’ve never tackled anything like this in my life. I shouldn’t have been making promises without knowing how I’d mentally handle these COVID-19 times. Truth be told, I handled it rather poorly. Still am, actually.
See, what many may not know about me, I’ve battled some nasty anxiety and depression on numerous occasions throughout my life and, like so many others, those shitty little “friends” of mine revisited me shortly after making that last update post. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work from home (yes, I unfortunately still work outside of Geek Pants Media), but it hasn’t been the cakewalk that I always thought working from home would be.
Being at home is great, but working at home – work that I’m really not passionate about – is hard. I felt like I was constantly being piled on by co-workers and I was feeling too much weight on my shoulders. I was getting hit hard by work stress when I already had more than enough real world stress to deal with – constantly worrying about my parents’ health, my brother in Toronto, my sister and her kids, my best friend who has a wife that works on the frontlines… my wife and myself, and my dog because her rabies shots were cancelled by the vet. The list goes on and on.
I had just started seeing a therapist in February – FINALLY – and our first session went great. My second session was pushed to a phone call because her offices closed down. That really bothered me. I felt like I was finally able to talk and get things out and it seemed to help. The second session was awful. The phone kept cutting out, I felt like I couldn’t get out what I wanted to say, and then it ended 20 minutes short because I couldn’t stop talking about the coronavirus and everything else that I wanted to talk about vanished from mind. Two days after that session that went nowhere, things got bad.
At first, migraines were hitting me. A wave of depression came after. Then bottling the work stress and eventually snapping… causing the absolute worst chest pains I’ve had in my life. I was straight-up ready to quickly write a will because I honestly thought that I was dying. I’ve always been susceptible to acid reflux and chest pain, but this was the worst thing ever. The worst part? I couldn’t even go to the hospital because I couldn’t risk catching the virus while there. I talked to a nurse over the phone and picked up some new, stronger meds. It took eight or so days, but the pain finally dwindled. I still feel slight waves of it, but it’s at least 95% better. That scared the shit out of me.
So, this is gonna bring me back to Geek Pants. I started the Geek Pants Camcast with Chris so I could have a reason to talk with my best friend every week and share it with everyone. I started Board Off with Kris to hang with another of my friends and just goof around. I started Shriek Pants to share news regarding two of my favourite things – physical media and horror. Ken Likes Comics was an outlet to discuss comic news that I was excited about rather than going to a forum or elsewhere. The thing is, these were supposed to always be fun things to get my mind off work and never feel like work themselves. Unfortunately, with everything going on with COVID-19 and my mind being so full of unneeded worry, Geek Pants Media started to feel like work. Sitting at home all day on a computer doing my job and then getting off to continue working just wasn’t and hasn’t been great for me. Not mentally. It certainly felt unhealthy.
For those that don’t know, a LOT of time and work goes into making all of those videos and podcasts and when they’re unsuccessful, it hurts. See, once I get together with Chris and Kris and record our shows, I’m diving into hell to get those videos done. I have an old computer, poor equipment, and rough, free software to work with.
For example, once I upload an hour-long video on to my computer, I edit the audio, enter photos, add any text and starting/closing credits, and download it. I’ll save an audio-only file for podcasts. That entire process for a one-hour video will likely be 3-4 hours. Once that’s done, I reduce the size of the video so it can upload on to YouTube faster. That takes around 40 minutes. Once that’s done, I upload to YouTube. That can take anywhere from 1-2 hours. In the meantime, I’ll write the titles and descriptions for the video and podcasts. Then after that, I create the thumbnails for the videos and podcasts, go on to HootSuite and enter all social media posts for the video and podcasts for when they go live. Basically, for one 1-hour video, I’m looking at a minimum of 5 hours work. That’s my entire night after getting off work. It basically means that I never have me-time nor time to really spend with my wife.
And that’s just one video. On average, I was putting out three videos a week plus a podcast or two.
So, where’s Shriek Pants? It’s done. Done for now, anyway. A lot of research went into those short little podcasts and being that they were weekly, that’s the first to go. They had an underwhelming following, too. The amount of plays/downloads on SoundCloud dropped weekly (the first episode had over 70 plays, then it went to 50, to 40, to 20, and then the last few were only played several times).
As for Board Off, if you’ve noticed only classic episodes going up lately, it’s because I couldn’t mentally focus on cutting new episodes. I have three or four episodes left that Kris and I recorded. I’m currently cutting a new one right now. Once those three or four episodes are done, though, we’re calling a wrap on Board Off and it’ll be going on indefinite hiatus. Truthfully, Kris and I had already discussed taking a break. He’s busy with school and it costs quite a bit of money to always buy new board games to play (outside of the fine folks at Channel Craft, we’ve never had games donated to us).
Ken Likes Comics was going to have a sporadic schedule, anyway, so that’ll likely still keep running its current course. When I want to do one, I’ll do one and post it. No set schedule means flexibility and that means I can stay passionate about it. Same goes for Geeky Unboxings and Ken Talks specials. With no set schedules, I’ll just record new ones when I feel like it and post them. And speaking of Ken Talks, I’ve actually been dabbling with the idea of just posting more raw, uncut videos of me talking about things that I really want to talk about (such as the X-Men movies and The Last of Us Part II). I watch this dude Trinity over at 2nd Street Marvel on YouTube and that’s what he does. We started at the same time and he has 1300 more followers because he can crank out content more regularly by just talking with the viewers rather than making his videos feel like shows. That’s been something that I’ve taken notice of and I definitely respect his work ethic.
Now for the flagship show, the Geek Pants Camcast. If you’ve been watching the last few episodes, you’ll notice that Chris and I have been keeping it alive by meeting on Zoom and recording those meetings. I think that’s been working pretty good for what it is. I’m a perfectionist, so I’m my own worst critic, but I’ve been learning to shrug off the fact that the audio isn’t the best and just going with it. Chris and I will actually be shooting two new Camcasts tonight for Predator and Predator 2, so watch out for those ones in the coming weeks.
Anyway, there ya go. That’s the current state of Geek Pants Media. Going forward, Camcasts will continue on Tuesdays, though they’ll likely have less photos throughout them so I can cut/post them quicker. Everything else will arrive when they arrive. No set schedule. The Board Off that I’m cutting is funny and I think you’ll enjoy it. I was planning on having that done by tomorrow, but I’m not going to rush it. It’ll go live when it’s ready. If you were a fan of Shriek Pants, I’m sorry. Hopefully you can understand and I appreciate you listening and supporting it. For everything else, they’ll keep coming when I’m ready to do them.
Here’s the thing – I have to feel passion for what I’m working on or else it’s just work. I’ve been losing the passion recently. And honestly, I really miss writing. I actually had the opportunity to apply for a writing position at Bloody Disgusting a couple months back and skipped it because of my mental state at the time. For those that don’t know, I used to write/edit for websites, write screenplays, I worked on a novel… and I’ve been missing that lately. In fact, writing this giant-ass update today has felt great.
I actually just wrote a screenplay for a short, one-minute horror film that I’m going to shoot in my house during quarantine. The box of props/costumes just arrived from a year-long Halloween store today. The short is titled The Next Room and I’m really excited about it. It’ll actually be a few different firsts for me. For one, I’m going to actually star in it. We’ll see how that goes. And secondly, I’ll be shooting and editing the thing. Never done that before. I was originally going to do it for an online film challenge, but when it turned out that the company wanted to take all the shorts, mash them together, and not give credit to the filmmakers responsible for each short, I was out. Instead, I’m still going to shoot it, but I’ll air it on the Geek Pants YouTube channel when it’s complete. Can’t wait for you all to see it!
Okay, according to Microsoft Word, I just passed 1700 words, so I think I’m gonna wrap this up. I hope you’re all staying as healthy and happy as possible. Thank you for your continuous support and reading all of this if you made it to the end. Haha! Talk to you all again soon!