I’m a natural storyteller. It is why I love books, how I met my wife, and why we started a bookstore together. Now we are continuing the narrative with our new project, a web series called From My Shelf Books Vs. The Evil Empire. The series is about a little bookstore in a rural area, and one man’s struggle to be both creative, and to keep the lights on.
Being creative is one of the underlying themes of the show. It’s said that everyone has at least one book in them, and we start the series with one of the main characters, Kevin, struggling to work through loss, write his book, and keep his bookstore going.
No man is an island, and Kevin is no exception. Kevin wishes that he could afford to hire someone to help the bookstore run smoother, and help appears. Art imitates life, because the show could never have happened without the creative efforts of a lot of local people.
One of the purposes of the show is to highlight Wellsboro and Tioga County, and one of our natural resources of the area is the people. There’s a lot of creative energy here, and it takes many forms. Some of those people tell stories, some make beautiful music, and some express their vision in a visual medium.
Every part of episodes one and two was contributed by local folks. Everything from the script writing to the music to the makeup, even the scoring was done by Galeton native, Monique Canniere, a sister of one of long-time employees of the bookstore. The actors are our customers, neighbors, and friends. The entire show is a community-driven project with a goal of promoting creativity, the area, and most importantly, fun.
This is currently a passion project; we can’t pay for much of anything. Our budget for the first two episodes was under twenty dollars. We spent about fifteen of that and four dollars of that fifteen was for black spray paint. We are using what we have in local materials and local talent to promote the area.
Just what is the Evil Empire? It’s the nickname that I use for Amazon. Now Amazon may not be inherently evil, but the way this online behemoth operates does affect the charm and economy of our town. Money spent here stays here and is invested in our community. Money sent away may never come back to us.
Isn’t it time we invested in our own story? Shouldn’t we build our narrative? Stories connect us, help us learn, and build relationships. I love a good story, and if you do too, then join us. We are premiering episodes one and two and the Deane Center in Wellsboro on Monday, June 30th at 7PM, before From My Shelf Books Vs. The Evil Empire debuts to the rest of humanity on the world wide web. I hope to see you there.