Howdy there, Scream Freaks! As you may already know, bein’ a happily employed artist ain’t the easiest thing to pull off, but bringin’ in sustainable income as a horror host is infinitely harder. Very few ambassadors of hosted cinema have ever pulled this off who weren’t already employees of a TV station assigned the task of creatin’ movie mascots for a paycheck. These off the street talents for hire ‘clude the likes of Elvira, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Joe Bob Briggs (just to name a few), all of who were brought in as folks with their own ideas and spins on hostin’ televised movie blocks that luckily boomed into bankable careers that were eventually recognized and celebrated on an international level. 

Between the local news station ghouls with dental insurance and world renowned mon-stars sellin’ licensed merch in their likeness, however, is an ocean of hopeful horror hosts yearnin’ for the same success — company included. There’s the neighborhood horror hosts broadcastin’ from local TV stations on their own dime who hope fame and fortune might swing their way, and of course, the endless line-up of online personalities committin’ countless unpaid hours to bein’ color commentators on B movies in exchange for social media fanfare they hope will eventually turn a profit. Now, some of these cyber horror hosts have found considerable success like the Silber Bolo winnin’ YouTube channel Dead Meat who impressively has over a million more subscribers than the Angry Video Game Nerd, but it’s a real toss up as to who really makes ‘nough dough through YouTube ads and Patreon to pay their bills and still have the luxury of eatin’. It’s a safer bet to assume most these web based hosts still work wage slave jobs to make ends meet while masterin’ alchemy in their free time.

That said, we here at Screaming Soup! HQ have been strugglin’ with this starvin’ artist issue and brainstormin’ some solutions. As one of the more ambitious horror host programs out there given our entire production is animated, we identify with those creators pourin’ themselves into their work with no financial appropriation to justify the time and effort they invest. Now, make no mistake, it’s our fanfare for horror and passion as artistic creators that drive us to produce 50+ episodes of Screaming Soup! with you Scream Freaks’ praises as a sweet bonus, but ’til all this hard work puts food in our mouths much less keep our lights on or help save up for rainy days down the road, it’ll always be a time demandin’ hobby. 

So, how do we turn horror hostin’ into dependable dream job we can put all our focus on, ya ask? Way we see it, there’s two options, and we’ve been pursuin’ ’em both this past month; sale ourselves to the corporate mainstream or become more resourceful as indie creators. 

The mainstream route is not for the easily dissuaded, let us tell ya. This is us essentially throwin’ ourselves at every network and talent agent we can find, hopin’ one of ’em will be so hooked by our irresistible tease of an email, they’ll wanna hear our show’s pitch and be so floored by it, they immediately run it to all the right people who wanna write us a fat check to produce a compromised version of Screaming Soup! for a national audience full-time. So far, we’ve reached out to a whole slew of  directors, cable networks, animation studios, streamin’ services, and no less than 40 different talent agencies in search of a writer/producer agent who can get us in front of folks with the pull to turn our passion project into a payin’ gig. We’ve had some passes, pitch packages chewed up and spit back at us in the mail, helpful advice here and there from friendly ears, abrupt hang-ups, and even partnered up with other talented creators in the same boat seekin’ a boot in the door to the big leagues. The craziest replies we’ve gotten by far were the agencies requiring interested parties to have an agent refer ’em for possible representation by one of their agents. Putrid polecats! Yer tellin’ us we need an agent to get an agent? Brings to mind that image of a snake eatin’ its own tail. 

The indie route is a little less frustratin’, but not without its own share of challenges. Rather than depending on the financial backin’ of a network with deep pockets to support our show and grow our brand, we adopt the business model of a independent comic creator and put a worth on our entertainment. With YouTube makin’ it difficult for horror themed channels to exploit their ad revenues, WordPress not allowin’ ads on their websites without a pricey business membership, and third party merch sites like Zazzle leavin’ folks with pennies for every $20 t-shirt sold with their art on it, Patreon’s just ’bout the only option left for a creator to make a buck. We’ve flirted with the idea of Patreon ‘fore, but always shied away, ’cause we saw it as a somethin’ for somethin’ kinda practice we weren’t confident wouldn’t interfere with our already packed production schedule. After some considerate thought, however, we think we’ve finally settled on some feasible rewards we can manage that won’t derail the show’s production. The plan right now is for these Patreon rewards to go live at the premier of our sixth season ’round the corner and will offer five levels of support that range from behind the scenes exclusives to IMDb credits on the show as an associate producer.

All that said, we don’t want to needlessly put all our eggs in one basket, mind ya. Which is why for now, we’ll be chargin’ down both warpaths ’til one of ’em yields the kind of success that allows us the benefit of creatin’ to our twisted hearts’ desire without worry for the basic comforts of livin’. Ya know, in the midst of all this, there was a piece of advice we came ‘cross from the fella who use to run the long defunct NOW comics company, and it really rings true to us as somethin’ everyone should keep in mind no matter what their goals in life are. He basically said, “No one ever fails. They just give up.” Makes a lot of sense when ya look at big shot horror hosts like MeTV’s Svengoolie who admits he became an overnight success in 40 years!  

What do you think, Scream Freaks? Do you hope yer favorite animated horror host manages to land a spot in a late night line-up on your favorite TV channel or would you rather keep Screaming Soup! the way it is with regular donations bringin’ you closer to the inner circle of our creative process? The Patreon rewards we have in the works aren’t set in stone just yet, so if you have any suggestions, now’s the time to let us know!  

Other than that, be sure to catch up on all past Screaming Soup! Seasons, check out this week’s Howl’n Hottie, read recent reviews for the newer horror films and comics we’re checkin’ out in our blogs, R-Rated Reviews and Sequential Slime, and help us get the word out about the web’s #1 animated horror host show! Please use our social buttons in the upper right corner of the site and follow our tweets, subscribe to our video channels, like our Facebook, watch and share all our vids, and keep that fan mail comin’. You can also warm up some Screaming Soup! leftovers with reruns currently playin’ on Beta Max TV, Sluggo’s The Vortexx, and Mr. Lobo‘s OSI 74!

See ya later, Scream Freaks!

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