As I’ve said elsewhere, everything’s shitty when you start.
If you’re starting something meaningful then that usually means it contains a component of personal growth. Since personal growth involves getting to where you can do something that you can’t currently do, the odds of you doing something perfect the first time when you don’t know how to do it are very very low.
That said, let me share with you a personal growth story.
Once upon a time in 2014 a blog appeared on the internet which nobody read except me.
It was of course my own blog and it was about a new project I was working on in my house called The Eureka Room.
Wow, you might say, The Eureka Room started way back in 2014?
No. It actually started so long ago I can’t remember when. In fact, I couldn’t even date it back in 2014 -the blog just says “So I’ve had this idea for a long time and am finally determined to make it happen this year.”
The 2014 version of The Eureka Room was created in the same room in my house as the current (2020) version of the Eureka Room. But on a much, much lower budget.
What was it like to visit The Eureka Room in 2014?
It looked like this:
Terrifying. It looked terrifying. When my friend Jen visited her first reaction after she stopped laughing nervously was “So… are you going to murder me now?”
Did I mention I was on a budget?
The walls were made from a roll of black plastic I bought from Home Depot and stapled to the walls and ceiling. The front white wall was a $60 splurge on actual projector screen material. Of course, I didn’t have budget for the grommets. It was just loose fabric that I stapled in the same manner I stapled the black plastic.
I also made some cheap benches out of these clever things I found on Amazon:
You could choose from any of the three on which to be murdered upon.
These benches (and some of the projector stand) are the only part of the 2014 Eureka Room that made it to the 2018 version.
I also bought a set of $50 of surround sound speakers and a $300 handheld projector/camcorder (Yes, it did both and this was in 2014. )
So why is The Eureka Room not the glorious death dungeon it was in 2014?
Well after I got it set up and ran a few tests I had a few realizations:
- Plastic is reflective.
- It wasn’t all that special. At least not on this budget.
The plastic issue I could have avoided if I had thought through more ahead of time. The light projecting through the room hit and refracted all over the wrinkles of the plastic. My vision was a completely dark room but even at the projectors “black” setting you were still able to see around the room without issue. The ambience I had hoped for was not going to happen with plastic.
But the budget was another issue. On this budget, the best I might be able to do is better tighten up the plastic so that the room might asphyxiate visitors. But like I’ve said, this wasn’t meant to be a death dungeon.
It was just a little weird theater with uncomfortable seats. Not super fun. It needed something more and I wasn’t sure what that was.
The nail in the coffin for the 2014 Eureka Room was that my income for calendars was down significantly. I knew I could rent the room out on Airbnb and make some decent money for it. (After I converted it back from murder chamber, of course). Knowing that I was going to have to replace the black plastic anyways and not having a plan for Eureka Room 2015, I decided to rent the room out.
- Cheap black plastic is reflective.
- Blogs are hard to do and it’s really easy to lose steam or run out of things to say.
- A small budget on this project was going to keep me in shittyville for a long time.
Sure, I would have liked to have thought through the black plastic problem. But on the other hand how do you know when you’re done thinking and need to start acting? While I wish I *had* thought of it, I don’t regret that I went forward without all the facts. I hate being in analysis paralysis.
A few other notes:
- The original blog and many photos can be found here: http://eurekaroom.blogspot.com/ It’s a terrible blog. I share it as a reminder to you that everything starts shitty. And that’s OK.
- In the blog I mention 25 scripts that I had written. I’ve looked for them but the were either morphed into the current list of scripts or lost to the sands of time. Perhaps someday they will be found and cringed at.
Here’s a short walkthrough of the original black plastic Eureka Room: