So my first experience “manning a booth” is over- it was exciting, rewarding, and exhausting. I came home from Providence’s Foo Fest/Makers Faire late on Saturday night, and Sunday was a day of foggy memories, sore muscles, and slow, zombie-like movements. Standing all day, talking to potential clients continuously, and lifting and moving my machine and all my display materials had taken a toll on my mind, body, and soul.
Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by to see my work and to reminisce about the old arcades and the early days of the E-street Band. I could have sold several “Bruce” machines if I had them or was willing to sell my prototype. Several guys lingered and studied my price sheets to see how they could afford to have me make them a new/old machine. If any of you are reading this- please give me a call- we can make that a reality! Several small groups of guys and gals huddled near the booth just to hear the endless string of songs from the machine in its “jukebox” mode.
If nothing else, I proved to myself that there is an audience for my work- and the positive feedback and words of encouragement and praise made it all worthwhile.
I had no expectations of getting any strong leads from my booth at this festival- after all, the demographics for Foo Fest tend towards the younger, “fringier” crowd. I considered this a practice show- I am really aiming to show more at arts festivals where I am more likely to find more clients from my era that would appreciate my work- but I was very pleased with the feedback here- the younger attendees especially were very complimentary- and interested in what these old machines were like- many having never seen or played anything but video games.
For example- I got sincere compliments from a 20-something DJ, who appreciated the art work and attention to the artist in the design. I heard words of appreciation from a young local female radio personality. I was asked if I would be interested in displaying a machine in the Providence Museum of Art and Science (if the curator’s dream ever becomes a reality). Finally, a writer for a prominent Rhode Island monthly publication indicated that she wanted to write a story about my work.
Even if nothing comes from any of this, I believe these are signs that I may be onto something. Thank you to anyone and everyone who offered kind and encouraging words.
Chapter 1 is complete.