Cricket's Notebook by Larry Stark - "T.G.I.M."

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


Thursday, 11 October, 2001:
"T. G. I. M. !!!!!"


Well, ...... it's Thursday, really, which is my point:
I have been trying literally for weeks to fight time enough free to get this message written. The events in New York and the burgeoning war had a bit to do with the delays, but the ordinary pressures of keeping The M irror up to date are even more taxing. I did see seven shows last week, and managed (I hope!) to say something about them all. But that takes time.
But I have good news important for all of us, and haven't had time to tell you all about it.

I roll out of bed about 10:30 most every monring and turn on the computer. Most days, along about 1 :00 p m I begin thinking about breakfast. Snuggling in among all the Spam are the e-mails needing immediate attention --- casting calls, performance announcements, emergencies, and reviews and quick-takes from other theater lovers. That's the traffic --- and it bears renewed attention several times each day.

In a sense, that constant daily attention keeps me from other things I'd like to do.<>BR> I'm hoping to start teaching a class in writing theater reviews, for instance. I'd hate to have to choose between responding to someone's homework assignment and putting up some theatre's casting-call.
But the news is:

Help Is On The Way!

Remember Juree James?
When she and I first talked about what she could do in re-structuring and improving The Theater Mirror, she said something I ignored.
She said she'd thought of doing a website similar to The Morror, but saw no reasopn to go into direct competition with a successful website. So instead she tried making The Mirror ready for some much-needed search capabilities, and she volunteered to do some of the updates that take so much of my time. Trouble was, we just got into each other's way trying to do everything piecemeal, so we called it off.

Then I remembered her idea about a whole new website, and I thought:
Why The Hell Not?
So this is what's going to happen:

Juree is, at this moment, working on a site to be called

NE Theater 411

I have told her to use whatever information she needs from The Mirror, so that initially both websites will be as thorough and as accurate covering all New England theater activities as possible. Then we will share information as it arrives.

Eventually, instead of pages in The Mirror for AUDITIONS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, or LISTINGS of current, coming, and opening shows, I will set up Pointers to send people directly to those pages as Juree maintains them.

Likewise, Juree will point people to The Mirror for reviews, feature stuff, archives of old reviews, and my Cricket's Notebook entries.

TWO Websites That Think As One!!!

When I contacted her with my new solution to Both our problems, this is what she said:

Subject: A new start...
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 10:19:52 EDT

Sounds great - (you should see the smile on my face right now!)?

I'm going to set a premilinary launch date of November 1st. I will begin collecting information for AUDITIONS, PRODUCTIONS, EMERGENCIES, BARGAINS, & SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS that are valid for that date and later to populate the content database.

I would like to launch November 1 instead of October 14. I still need to add the following elements to the site:
Allow people to sort listings
Allow people to submit their information

At the initial launch, I would like to direct people back to the Theater Mirror for things I don't cover. You point people over here for listings and I point people back to you for the reviews, critiques, and editorials. Let's think about how to get this transition to work best and make sure that people see the continued value of both sites.

I like your idea of a "Formal" transition, announcing our cooperative work.

Thanks again and I'll drop you email when the new site is ready for beta testing in a couple of weeks.

She is much more familiar with what computers can do than I will ever be.
She will fix it so that you can ask to see all the shows at one specific theatre, or plays in a particular town, or shows on a specific date. She'll make audition-calls disappear once they are history, and see to it that finding what you need to know is easier and easier.
And I'll do whatever I can to make certrain that when either of us gets a bit of news, it becomes available in as timely a fashion as humanly possible.

That's my news!
And I'm so glad I had this Monday.....well, okay Thursday! to tell you all about it!

Break a leg all!


THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide