I didn't notice this comment by Shutter until just now, and frankly, I was a bit miffed seeing it:
You are RIGHT. Eric doesn't owe ME a thing. He owes everyone in Cooperland a decent explanation on WHY he accepted the hosting job on an event that featured headliners flying or driving to the event...and was worked on by other people (not just me) for MONTHS before he accepted the hosting job...
And then...ditched the whole thing without a public explanation to ANYONE. He left people hanging. And then decided to do his Cooper Thingie and charge money to attend to boot. That was really foolish anyway, since Jim Brunberg at Mississippi Studios suggested if we were going to charge any gate fee to attend, that the speakers should be paid for their appearances from the receipts. All except the headliners, who had agreed to appear and travel to the event FOR FREE.
No, Eric owes me nothing. He owes everyone he's asked to show to his soiree why they will be talking to maybe twenty or thirty people in the audience for nothing, when they could have been speaking in front of hundreds of people and getting paid for it. And having their speaking slots covered by Oregon Public Broadcasting.
He owes THEM. I don't want to hear any more excuses about this. You guys got shorted. It is what it is, and it probably AINT gonna be that good. I am okay now with the whole thing, but I feel sorry for the people he basically cheated out of all that. Especially the people with Cooper books out there, like Bruce and Marty and the others.
No worries though, guys. AB of Seattle is going to organize a Cooper event in Seattle and pretty much everyone will be invited to participate. You can refuse to participate on whatever moral ground you wish but I will 100% assure you of one thing. If you show up for a speaking slot...and when you step out there to the podium or whatever...you are going to be looking out there at a lot of faces.
Try not to get stage fright. I decided not to organize such an event unless the Prime Directive is that we have either a full house, or maybe standing room only. I won't waste my time...I learned a lot running those Cooper events at the Auburn Ave Theater for the Auburn Days festival, and Connie the Festival Director was right. You want a full house buzzing, waiting for your contribution to the whole thing? Then the organizers have to schedule headliners, which means famous people (none of us fit that bill, not even me) who will fill the seats.
I will be accepting applications for speaking slots AFTER December 1, 2019. It's first come, first served. And trust me...they will go fast after we make the official announcement. Don't commit to anything now. Think about it for a while. I would wait until after the event in Vancouver this year before you decide.
SIDE NOTE: We understand that it's possible that Eric will run another event in 2020...and we don't want you to be forced to make a choice between a Cooper event in Seattle...and another in the Portland/Vancouver area on the same day. So if Eric reads this post at some point, (or someone tells him about it) our plan is to hold the Seattle event on Saturday, November 21, 2020. That is the weekend PRIOR to Thanksgiving, not AFTER. Hopefully Eric will schedule for a different day because that is the only Saturday in November that year I can organize this. If he schedules for the weekend after Thanksgiving there will be no conflict. If he schedules for the same day, or the same weekend, there is nothing I can do about that...but neither will I change the date. November 21, 2019 will be the date of the Seattle event. I have already made certain arrangements for this that cannot easily be changed. And I won't be changing them.
EDIT: There is a practical reason for opening applications to speak or participate so many months prior to the event. To pull such an event off successfully with the results we want, the planning for it must begin far in advance. We just can't throw this together at the last minute...and frankly...arranging for certain people to take the time and trouble to help us out by showing up (yes, headliners)...well, those folks will need a great deal of advance time, because most of them are pretty busy. And some will have to travel from a pretty fair distance. It's easier for us to arrange all that if we ask them to commit far in advance of the actual event. I will be starting the process after December 1 and will keep you updated on our progress.
And I won't fill you with hot air along the way. I have already discussed our plan with some of the people we are asking to show. Some of them have indicated they WILL attend if they are asked. I can tell you now that we will be doing the Cooper Character Lookalike Contest using the same prize structure we had planned for this year. And yes, we will try to get public television and media coverage for you. We haven't decided on a modest gate fee yet (five bucks has been suggested) but if we do that, the funds will be distributed evenly between the speakers, except for the headliners, who will show on their own dime. Believe it or not, we do know some nice folks who would actually do that for us. Our biggest headliner is actually FROM Seattle originally. I am already organizing a Planning Committee for this event, since trying to do these things alone is well...not smart. If you want to apply for the Planning Committee, feel free to contact me about it. Ideas have been flying to me since yesterday. One guy on the committee wants to charge a gate fee and send half the proceeds to the Seattle Food Bank, or some local organization for the homeless, other half to the scheduled speakers. I actually like this idea and want to hear more. Planning the event far in advance also makes it easier for us to budget the appropriate amount of funds needed to do it.
Meanwhile...I don't actually wish Eric's event to fail, even though I still mean all those things I said. Anyone participating in that should try to get the word out as much as you can, so that you can fill at least a decent portion of the seats. I would not leave this all up to Eric.