The Chronicles Of Quiet Desperation
(click for PDF version: The Chronicles Of Quiet Desperation)
Quiet Desperation was started in April of 2009 not as much as an attempt to make a “comedy” sitcom for the greater Boston area but rather an attempt to capture and document in some shape or form what I was dealing with in real life and the folks I ran with. The person who created it with me is named Joe Madaus who is a talented video man and comedian and who one night in Feb of 09′ asked me outside of the Comedy Studio in Cambridge if I was interested in doing a documentary… I always thought documentaries or bios were act three in one’s life so we figured out a way we could create one that captured things as I continued to evolved my creative side… Plus there were over 200 creative types I’ve met in the fields of music and comedy I wanted to showcase the talents and personalities of.
We never set out to create a comedy show like an “Always Sunny In Philadelphia” or “Seinfeld” but rather wanted to create a very surreal reality sitcom that captured the many different emotions, people, and scenes I’ve bumped into over the several years I have been living in Allston.
I moved to Allston from Danvers Massachusetts in November of 2004 in hopes of bringing a character I created called “Robby Roadsteamer” to as many creative realms as I could find… What ended up happening over the years living in Allston was me meeting a lot of amazingly bat shit crazy types that helped me discover a lot more of who I was underneath and giving me a strong desire to develop and create and perform under my own name. Allston the city was a brilliant live wire lady that never slept and who helped kill my past and allow me the chance to have confidence in my own ability which for many reasons was scared out of me while trying to live up on the very conservative Northshore. The show documents a very important transitional period in my life… A time I felt I was reclaiming who I once was.
Robby Roadsteamer was a character I developed that was a burnt out heavy metal singer that had the heart of a wrestler. Sorta like Andy Kaufman’s Tony Clifton character… The man you loved to hate. I developed it because I was too fucking shy to create under my own name in fears of the constant bullying I received over the years in my hometown area with anything I tried to do creatively. In my head if they hated the character onstage I was fine underneath because they didn’t hate me – they hated this persona that was suppose to elicit that response anyway and gave me more fuel for the fire; it let me be even more of a douche to the audiences I felt were being very douchey to begin with. Along the way as I performed as the character doing comedy songs in comedy clubs and with a band I built up confidence performing over the years to take a stab becoming myself performing… Well that and meeting some wonderful spirits who drove me in that direction more and more…. Starting to write songs that I would of written under my own name, and try to bring my personality out onstage and on video.
This is the closest Quiet Desperation gets to being a true Documentary. It captures me as I move from the shadows of the character I played at the comedy clubs and at rock shows called “Robby Roadsteamer” into trying to be my own self creatively while surrounded by a scene that mostly wanted the character. In real life it’s what was really happening. I had my closest of close friends in each role and had a blast developing ideas with them and Joe Madaus. I ended up making a band called “Super Time Pilot” under my own name with someone who gave me so much courage to go further and further into myself and my own direction and we got the band signed to Open E records thanks to Ernie Boch Jr. I tried to showcase the trials of trying to be creative in a scene that has a bunch of shitty industry types, press folks that generally cover local cats once a year, and radio stations that have long since been bought and sold only spinning locals on Sunday night pretty much… At the same time trying to show so many of the folks I was very close with at the time.
This was a very depressing time for myself in real life and on Quiet Desperation. The band fell apart and I couldn’t hide that storyline from the show. I lost some very close friends during this time as I realized how hard it was to have close relationships with people personally/creatively and that messed with my noggin so heavily. The show was no longer a loosely-based documentary of my life but rather turned more and more into a surreal theater of the absurd…Sorta like The Picture Of Dorian Gray(lovely book)… As real life went more and more into a different direction the frames on episodes 1-9 stayed the same and haunted me greatly… Early episodes captured times that were very magical and special to me and I knew as quickly as shooting the episodes beyond that those times weren’t coming back. Each episode is vastly different in this period because I really didn’t know where to head with a storyline anymore as I didn’t know where I was heading in real life. I floated in and out of friends and scenes and really didn’t find myself wanting to speak as much on camera so I wrote scenes around others to pick up the pace.
I was starting to recover and pour myself into music again. Some close friends helped me through this tough period on the music side of the tracks while I found myself drifting further and further away from my comedian pals as I found myself less and less in their scenes. Joe Madaus was really becoming a hell of a director and we were really starting to tap into some very fun episodes that made me feel like a kid again. You can see as you watch these episodes how many people come in and out of my life. The show captures how fast I was trying to run from my past while at the same time introducing so many new characters from many walks of life.
This was the end of the first chapter of Quiet Desperation as we ended the webisodes at 25 in August of 2010… and focused on getting the TV show ready for MYTV… And not a second too soon as sadly Joe and I had a falling out over the direction of the show by episode 22…. I was starting to burn out and the last few episodes showcased my indulgence in letting a lot of people in front of the camera that probably shouldn’t of been there. I started bringing my hometown area the Northshore onto the show and filling up episodes with house parties and cameos of people at those bashes.
I was burning out in real life and on the webisodes and I needed a long vacation. I was also experiencing a backlash of trying to perform under my own name and experiencing crowds that more and more wanted the character I played before which hurt me greatly.
We will soon be bringing you new episodes that took place after this period with material we developed for MyTV but was unable to use more than 10% of because of censorship issues with the station. I feel we steered the ship back in the right direction after all the lessons I and others had to learn through making a show like this. I find it hard to put a project like this in the same vein as just a comedy you see on TV but rather a behind the looking glass look into the scenes I ran in around Allston Mass from 2009 to beyond. I thank anyone who actually took a chance of looking behind this glass with me and hope to continue to develop this genre we’re working with.