Monday, October 27, 2014

Tips on Episode Title Suggestions

Hi Everyone,

One of the best parts about doing IST is reading through all of your suggestions every week. We seriously spend a solid 20 minutes during each improv session cracking up at some of the stuff you guys have come up with for the intrepid crew of the Sisyphus. With that said, we want to pull back the curtain on our suggestion selection process a little so you can know what suggestions are most likely to get used and what suggestions might not get used.

Here are some tips for IST episode title-suggesting:

1. If you have a cool idea for a holiday-themed suggestion, suggest it a few months in advance. Over the weekend, we got a ton of GREAT Halloween suggestions. Unfortunately, our turnaround time for an episode is usually from one to three months on average. It takes time to edit an episode, to add sound effects, and music, and fix any technical problems an episode may have. We LOVE doing holiday episodes, but make sure you send them to us in advance. If you have a great Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Boxing Day suggestion for instance, now is the time to send it.

2. We don't (usually) do impressions of existing Star Trek characters. Since IST is set on the USS Sisyphus, and features a completely original cast of characters, you're not usually going to see Spock, McCoy, Captain Picard, Chakotay, Odo, or Captain Archer's beagle show up in an episode of the show. It does happen every once in a blue moon (sorry, Crick) but not often. So, if you send us a suggestion like "Captain Kirk Goes to the Planet of Clowns!" we probably won't take it. We assume that you want to hear more about the adventures of Captain Baxter, Lady Cola, Lorem, and the Guitar Center Guy, anyway.

3. Other Star Trek references are great. We will GLADLY take suggestions that refer to other stuff in the world of Star Trek like aliens (Klingons, the Borg), technology (phasers, shuttlecraft), and food and drink (synthehol, gagh).

4. Gods, we like puns. We love puns. Always feel free to send suggestions that contain puns.

5. We enjoy stuff that sounds like the title of an actual Star Trek episode. We've done some of our funniest episodes based on some of our most serious-sounding suggestions. "No Good Deed" and "The Stars are Fire" are less silly than our typical suggestions but they yielded some really fun episodes.

6. We like stuff that references other stuff. We love doing homages/parodies of other properties whether. It's Law and Order, or Quantum Leap, or Tennessee Williams. Always feel free to send suggestions related to other properties that you might want to see parodied.

7. We love silly stuff. This is a comedy show. Always send silly suggestions. The sillier the better.

8. Send lots of suggestions. Don't feel like you can only send one suggestion. Send as many as you can think of. Update: Nowadays we ask listeners limit themselves to three suggestions per recording session. But if you have more ideas than three in a given week, save them for later! Even with warm-up scenes, we can't use anywhere near all the good suggestions we get, so if your suggestions don't get used, there's always next week!

9. Do make references to our show. We like the sound of our own characters' names. Feel free to keep sending in suggestions that reference stuff in the world of IST.

10. Please don't send stuff that's sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic. It doesn't come up often (fortunately), but we like to embrace Gene Rodenberry's vision for the future which means embracing every single person out there as an equal. If you have something hateful to say that puts down a whole group of human people, please keep it to yourself.

Finally, we just want to say thank you, suggestion-givers. We absolutely could not do this show without you. You are quite literally our inspiration. Thanks for coming back each week and giving us the fuel that makes the Sisyphus work.

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