League Roundtable Discussion
This is Part 2 of a two part roundtable discussion. If you haven't already done so, you should read Part 1.
NR: We talked about Shari's page and about Peter doing the website. We didn't talk about Kelly, Sal and me and why we're here. So, Kelly, what is it that you do for the show?
KH: I run the "kinder, gentler" Scarlet Pimpernel Message Board.
NR: Well, you started with your page (Kelda Blakeney's Palace) first.
KH: I started with my page because a lot of my friends had a web page so I thought I should have one too and learn how to do it. I just had it sitting there and there was nothing on it. Then I saw Pimpernel and I joined the League and I started putting up the pictures from when I went. So, I thought I might as well just make a Pimpernel page. I think it really started to take off with the Pimpernel-isms. So much stuff was being said that was just too hysterical to just let it go away. So many people who didn't see the first show would email me and say, "Thank you for putting that up there because now we're in on the joke." They loved the ad libs especially. Then Diane Terusa started the Message Board because the Playbill Online Message Board crashed. That was in the summer of `98. Then she went back to school and she asked me to take it over. I became a little bit of a witch with the delete button and kind of whipped it into shape. (laughs)
NR: Well, explain that. I don't know if everybody realizes...Some people think you delete just for fun because you get a malicious thrill out of it, but you agonize over that.
KH: I do agonize over it. It's hard sometimes to draw the line and where is the "censorship thing" that everybody pulls up when they're mad that you deleted something that they did? All I want is for everybody to be nice to each other because when I joined this group I thought they were the nicest bunch of people I've ever had the pleasure of talking to. I don't want it to turn into a bunch of back-biting and sniping, so if pushing delete when somebody says something nasty, before it turns into a big war ...if the price I have to pay to keep everybody in a good mood is that a few get mad at me, I'll do it.
SP: I agree. Peter and I tried very hard to keep the League list nice. We try to put in an obvious appearance as the administrators on the list and explain what's allowed and what isn't allowed, and that there will be consequences for people who treat others badly. I think that's helped a lot.
PW: Yes, certainly. We do put a lot of thought and heartache into deciding how far we let people go, what kind of things we should overlook and what kind of things do we come down hard on. Part of that, we let the League itself tell us. If Shari and I get a lot of complaints about something, we'll take care of it right away. That does make it easier, but we still have to be careful about all of it. And then there are the times we don't have that kind of response, so there's no obvious choice and we have to make a judgement call on our own.
KH: And you do it. You stick to your guns.
SP: When I was involved with starting the League, and I think Peter will support me on this, what we wanted was a supportive, kind gathering of people because that's so much what the show is about - people supporting others.
KH: You two have a much harder job than I do because when somebody writes it and sends it, it's already in almost 600 mailboxes. I can catch something on the board at four in the morning that nobody's seen. I can't tell you how many times I've deleted something ridiculous at four in the morning, before everybody else jumps on it. But it's four in the morning, nobody's seen it. You can't take something back that's already in everyone's mailbox.
SP: Yes, but anyone can post on your message board, Kelly, and they can be anonymous. At least with the League, we have an email address. We can take them off and they won't be able to get back on, although we haven't actually done that yet.
PW: No, we haven't.
SP: But, we have held out that threat and we would do it if it was necessary.
NR: The board can get out of hand, and there have been a few posts that have been really horrifying, and I don't think most people are aware of them.
KH: There's been a lot of stuff that you would not believe. I take it down before it becomes a battle.
NR: I just wanted everyone to know that because it's not an easy decision. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes you get a solicitor who posts something totally unrelated on there, and it's a no-brainer, but a lot of them are not that black and white, and it is tough to make the decisions. Now, Sal, your contribution has primarily been at the TKTS line. Can you talk about that a bit?
SI: After Kirby Hall's SP get together to raise money for BC/EFA, everyone was sending me e-mails telling me SP was going to close. I thought there was no way this show was gonna close. It is too good a show. So I thought of a grass roots marketing idea of going to where the people buying tickets would be - TKTS! By 2:30 in the afternoon there would be 400 ticket buyers standing in line. With a little info flyer and two pieces of Werther's Butterscotch, I would hand out and talk to anyone who would listen. It just took a little time but it made a world of difference. I think that more than anything, the best part is knowing you were able to make a difference.
NR: And you made a tremendous difference.
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