Matter Studios Presents: ‘Total Power Move’

So, we are doing an event in early November on the theme of the “Total Power Move.” We announced it yesterday.

I’m not going to go into the performers and what they are doing and what surprises might be in store just yet, but I did want to answer the question: Why an event, and why now?

From the inception of Matter Studios we were obsessed with doing something live. We aren’t the only ones, of course: from low-fi readings to live podcast shows to big, big venue variety shows, live stuff is everywhere—especially in New York. The live experience is fun, fleeting, unique. It can even be lucrative. But we started with a sort of weird angle on it….

Our first idea was to create an American Idol-style national tour for pitches—a sort of traveling open studio event that would allow us to to discover, hear, see, experiment with and support creators with ideas who don’t necessarily have clear pathways into getting shit made. This is a live extension of the pitch questionnaire we created for this event—a very simple Google form that allowed anyone out in the world to bring us their idea by answering a handful of thoughtful, and occasionally funny, questions. (And we’re going to continue experimenting with this process — stand by for more.) With this pitch event, we’d build the Matter Studios brand, start relationships with new writers/videographers/documentarians/podcasters/storytellers, and ideally stumble onto some amazing projects along the way.

Then we started thinking: what if we paired the open studio sessions with a big event — a production that brought together performers, writers, artists, speakers, singers, dancers around a theme. What if we went wide to the world to say: come make something awesome with us for this one night, something that people care about and talk about and are surprised by and just totally enjoy? And then the next day people in the audience, or who heard about the event, were inspired by it in some way, could come down to the open studio to make a pitch straight to us, whether for a full project or maybe for another performance?

Of course, all of us wanted to experiment with stories in front of an audience, too, and creating that very specific feeling of intimacy and spontaneity and weirdness that you get when there’s so much energy in a room. Plus, none of us had ever done an event like this before, so of course we wanted to try/fuck with it. (Disclosure: big events take a ton more people, expertise, time and money than we knew!) So the idea of doing the main event first stuck with us.

We also knew the event itself would be a public pipeline to new voices and new ideas, as well as way for us to experiment with established creators who want to try something different. Some of the performers in our 11/2 event are people we are developing projects with. (More on them soon!) Others are people we admire, and hope to develop things with. Some are just entertaining, and we want them to be there.

Even more: with a few months under our belt, we are ready to say/show/display a bit more about what Matter Studios is about: surprising, risky, personal storytelling, in a variety of forms, that makes you feel something. If you don’t make the event we’ll be making all kind of other power-obsessed stuff right here in November. And that will make you feel something, too.

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