As I write this, I am gratefully sitting in an air-conditioned building while Minnesota’s long-overdue summer finally descends on the city of International Falls. We’re pushing 90 degrees outside with a slight breeze, and I’m stuck working while the rest of the community heads to one of the Northland’s many lakes.
Hard to complain, however, when the Icebox Radio Theater is turning the corner on its best summer ever. This past week, it was the local media aiding the cause when a news station out of Duluth aired a story filmed during our last live show on July 29th. Cast, crew and friends of the theater gathered at my home to enjoy the broadcast, and feel just a little famous. So far, a lot of friends from all over the world have contacted me, saying they enjoyed the video and what we are doing here in International Falls. If you’d like to see the story, it’s still available HERE.
Sometimes, I feel my agricultural roots sinking deep. My family were all farmers a generation or two back, and it seems like I have a seasonal clock in my head that only allows certain jobs to be done at certain times. And for whatever reason, I write in the summer. I can write at other times, of course, but the business of making scripts seems to flow best when a warm breeze rattles through the scrub pines and maples, and the buzz of mosquitoes keeps most people safely sequestered behind screens in the cool of the evening. Laptop computers have been a boom. Nothing like sitting somewhere outdoors on a warm day and bringing worlds to life, creating problems just to solve them, and dreaming up characters that are both fantastic and familiar. Not that I’m able to do this very often, of course. You write a thousand words just so a sentence or two can really reach people. But I count myself among the eternally blessed that I came to International Falls and found an audience I could at least talk at.
Next, its back into the grant grind as the theater looks ahead to next podcast season, and major change in how we do things. Instead of seat-of-your-pants writing and producing, we are plotting out twenty podcasts running from Labor Day to Memorial Day, checking our calendars to see where the recording windows can be found between the responsibilities of jobs and family, and basically looking at making the leap from amateur to professional. That’s right, we’re taking advantage of Minnesota’s favorable funding environment toward the arts by writing grants, and paying our talent with the proceeds.
Now I’m not suggesting our very dedicated and talented troupe of actors has been ‘amateurish’ in their work so far. Just the opposite. They have worked so hard for the IBRT, it’s time to recognize the fact that they’re professionals already, and reward them with a paycheck. They are professional, as far as I’m concerned, and I want the world to know that. Look forward to the coming season and the changes in store on the Icebox Radio Podcast.
Much more news lies ahead, so don’t forget to check this space. And as always, Keep Listening!