by Scott Bullock
Please Party, Thank You was our first live show after our prototype Ultimate Viewing eXperience Featuring Holme. It opened after 7 months of re-tooling, planning, and hiring to become a Real Company with Plans for the Future. A fully-immersive bachelor party thrown by an out-of-touch computer for a confused Average Joe and long-suffering NY Jets fan, the development and deployment of PPTY was exhausting, nerve-wracking, and ultimately a great and satisfying success.
The recently-named Future Proof needed people, space, and a plan of action. Following a hiring-spree (including promotion of yours truly (Scott) from itinerant contractor to Full Time Employee) and the acquisition of a tattoo parlor in Bushwick, a plan was concocted spanning the next several months. After that plan was smashed and rebuilt a few times (pour one out for the Cheese Platter Jazz Seminars that could have been) what remained demanded the narrative begin with a gas station attendant and Jets-themed YouTube commentator named Bruce Warford to obtain a Cube full of LUX super-science that fell from the sky.
Suddenly Bruce became the center of a vortex of weird characters and LUX shenanigans. Private Detective Ace McGruff, Cypher Rage and Zag of the Buddy Resistance, Usher Randall of the 8th Row Group for Emotional Uplifting, and LUX alum Dr. Kiet Aksorpan all jockeyed for his attention and support, all demanding he give them the Cube, an object of great power and mystery whose mystery was only exceeded by its power.
Enter LUX, who decided that the best way to get Bruce’s support was to throw his bachelor party for him and invite all his friends. Conveniently, all of Bruce’s friends happened to be the people who bought tickets to the event.
We designed the event, basically, as a live-action video game complete with opening cut-scene, non-player characters, and quests that culminated in a narrative pivot-point: which faction would get the McGuffin? The answer was going to impact the rest of the year’s narrative, so we were even more interested in finding out than the audience was.
Leading up to the opening we were nervous. As individuals we had had experience with films, with theater, and with online content, all the parts that went into the 2017 UVX, but this was something we hadn’t really done: immersive nightlife gameplay. There was an undercurrent of worry over whether we could make this thing, whether anyone would like it, and if we were all insane for thinking we could do this.
Sleep was lost. Props were built. Coffee was brewed. Scripts were written, actors cast, and rehearsals held. VenueSearch18 nabbed us location in Long Island City. We had a single day to move our shit in, run a show, and move our shit out, which we (more or less) accomplished.
And people had a great time.
People learned to make their own tin foil hats and swore their allegiance to the Unperson Army from the inside of a beat up Buick. People colored over Giants memorabilia with green sharpies and learned how to properly cheer on the Jets. The audience met undercover Resistance members, made secret contact with IT, and watched movies with a computer cultist, all accompanied by an indoor beach, slot cars, a photo booth, drinks, and live music.
At the end of the night the 8th Row cult won out, aided by their representative (and fan-favorite character) Usher Bill and the LUX Cube found its way to their weirdly worshipful hands.
We came out the other side exhausted, but excited. People liked our thing. People came to our show, participated in our content, and left entertained. Further, phase 1 of our narrative for the year was complete, and the gears began to turn for the next event, coming only 2 months later.