A few friends and I decided to start a new blog…
In 2007 I had no idea what I wanted to do with myself. I was very single. I was very bored. And I watched TV. A lot of TV.
I decided to enroll in some night-school classes at a local college. One of these classes was an introduction to Mass Media. Always having an interest in communications, this seemed right up my alley.
One of the projects was to start a blog. I loved reading Pop Candy on USA Today at the time. That’s what I used as my inspiration. I wanted to create a blog that elicited dialogue between fans with shared interests. I wanted people to share their two cents.
With that TheTwoCents was born.
A few friends joined up with me, writing about movies, music, books, comics, television and all things Pop Culture. We even shared our stuff on MySpace. Yeah, MySpace.
One day in the mail, I received a screener DVD of a show starring Matthew Bomer (before finding fame on White Collar) called Traveler. What? Me? This dude doing a free website for fun? Yup. Then the light bulb went off.
I signed up for all the press lists for the networks and I started to get more and more of these DVDs. I found myself on conference calls with some of the biggest names in TV as well as being on the same calls as giants such as TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly.
As my friends started to get ‘fatigue’ of writing, I kept the direction going – focusing more and more on TV. I went out to Live Journal (anyone remember that?) and found fan groups – asked for volunteers to come write for TheTwoCents – and they did.
At our height – we had over 30 volunteer writers and covered well over 100 shows currently airing on television.
I found myself at Network Upfronts in NYC. Sitting in the room with the movers and shakers of TV. Shaking hands with Tina Fey, Jerry Seinfeld, the cast of Glee and so many more.
Through MySpace I was able to contact many of the cast of The Office – directly. I had exclusive interviews with the cast. I was quickly becoming one of the “experts” on NBC’s hit comedy. I interviewed an actress who played a guest role in one episode – Yvette Nicole Brown.
We kept an email correspondence and at one UpFront, when she hit it big with Community, we ran into each other and she jumped up to give me a big hug. She introduced me to Joel McHale and Chevy Chase – yes, I shook hands with one of the Three Amigos! While I did my best to play it cool that I belonged there – inside I was ALIVE. Look at what I’m doing, where I am and who I’m sitting and chatting with!
Scranton, PA decided to host a convention with the cast of The Office. I was invited as a member of the media to help host it. I got to meet all the cast (played poker with Ed Helms, sang with Craig Robinson, exchanged mementos with Angela Kinsey and shared a drink with Kate Flannery). I was even a part of the convention sharing a Blogger Breakfast dais with Brian Baumgartner and a few other cast members.
One of the best handshakes was with Bobby Ray Shafer – the man behind Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration. We kept in touch, and on one visit to LA my cell phone rang. “Keith, it’s Bobby. I saw you’re in LA – want to grab some lunch?” WHAT!? I’m “doing lunch” with a TV star in Los Angeles.
I got to meet Peter Krause, who I was such a huge fan of in Sports Night. I sat and chatted with a young Chris Pratt and Amy Poehler. I met RON SWANSON! I participated in conference calls with huge stars. One of the most memorable was Kermit and Miss Piggy. I was on the phone with the voices I grew up with!
I started a podcast with my best friend who moved to LA. I got to interview Max Greenfield from New Girl and had quite a following on iTunes.
TheTwoCents became TwoCentsTV and we had to expand to a dedicated server because our readership just kept growing.
I was going on the local Rock Radio Station (WPRL) to talk TV often. Still calling in from time to time in recent years, I was a part of one of the highest rated morning drive shows in the area!
I was welcomed into the membership of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association and got to vote for the Critic’s Choice Awards! Me – this guy with a blog.
It was time for me to make the decision – do I move across the country to LA and do this ‘for real’ or do I decide “What’s Next?”
Right about this time, I met one of the most interesting women I have ever had the luck to talk with. She made the decision easy – stay with the girl. After almost 5 years of marriage and amazing kids – the choice really looks like it was a no-brainer.
I was SO fortunate to have amazing people by my side as my Editing team on TwoCents. They allowed me to continue to live my life outside TV and kept the site going. PG, Rachel, Anne, Farrah, Karen and more. They really helped me never give up and made TwoCentsTV the beast that it grew to be. Not to mention so many many many volunteer writers who gave their blood, sweat and tears. Some like Patricia, Jeff L, and Caitlin have been with me almost the entire run of the site!
A fellow Office fanatic – Kevin Greene – was an ENORMOUS part of our site. The evolution of our piggie bank logo (his name was Abraham, by the way) and all special graphics were the creation of this fantastic artist. PLEASE check out his work and let him know how special he really is. Again – he did it all on VOLUNTEER basis. Amazing man.
My family acted as my “office” staff. My parents receiving and going through my mail from networks and my brother, sister-in-law and nieces cheering me on or joining me at special events.
Then there’s Jules and Brianna. Two of the most important people in my life – who I have NEVER met. They joined as writers and never stopped. They did everything for me on this site. EVERYTHING! Problem solving, people wrangling, special reports and hours and hours and hours and hours of toil. All because they loved this site. I truly love who these two people are. I can’t wait to see what they do next.
We never made money on this site – not sure how – but we didn’t. This was a decade long labor of love. For all of us.
In the current world of television coverage, most everyone is shouting into the wind. I’m very proud of what we did. Sure, we were shouting into the wind, but every so often, people would shout back.
So, why now? Well, to be honest – it’s just time. Jerry Seinfeld knew when it was time. Derek Jeter knew when it was time. And I feel I do, too.
My life is so full. I live on our family farm where I get to chase around pigs and chickens. I have a great job at a local catering company. I am married to my best friend and have two of the most amazing children, and one more who will be arriving in a few weeks.
I’m in my 40s now. I’m Dad. I’m Farmer Keith. And you know what? I don’t watch that much TV anymore. I enjoy This Is Us, The Flash and some others, but you know what? The life in front of me is so much more interesting.
Sometimes the words “Thank You” are so overused they lose all meaning. But I want all of you reading this to know that I mean every single morsel of gratitude those words are meant to signify. I’m humbled by your support, your help, your direction, your feedback and your readership.
As for me – well, I’m focusing on being the best Dad I can be and learning how life changes in my 40s. I can’t do it all without some form of artist output – so you can follow my life at MindofTheModernMan.Wordpress.com. A few friends and I have decided to start a new blog… sound familiar?
This isn’t the end. It’s just “What’s Next.”
With all my love,