Sriya Sarkar

Digital Media-ite, Comedian, Filmmaker

Sriya Sarkar can be found at the intersection of comedy, political issues, and digital media (just off of I-95). A filmmaker and comedian, she recently received her Master's in Integrated Digital Media from NYU's Polytechnic School of Engineering.

The smorgasbord of her work lives here.

Logistics: The Sequel: Part Two: Continued

Again, the week was a very logistics oriented week. I also pinned down the question I am trying to answer - which I was struggling with a lot last week. Without further ado:

1. QUESTION - How can young voters be mobilized to vote through comedy?
     I know in previous conversations, it seemed as if comedy was veering too much into the medium discussion. But the more I think about it, I have to politely disagree. In this case, and throughout the development of this project, comedy has been a lens through which I have tried to explore various issues. I believe the medium, in my case, is the show (or the website, or the videos, or the myriad of other ideas I had). There are an unlimited number of ways to mobilize voters, none of which are the ostensible correct approach. What I am trying to research is one specific approach that happens to be comedic in nature. 

2. DATE AND VENUE STUFF
     The event page is up and set, for the most part. In my initial meeting with my advisor, we had discussed how taking a measurement of my audience before and after the show would be helpful in analyzing impact and change. To that end, I devised a set of survey questions to be included as part of the ticket checkout process. They are listed below:

1. Which of the previous elections did you vote in?
     2008 (presidential)
     2010 (midterms)
     2012 (presidential)
     2014 (midterms)
     Not a single one #MissingOut
     N/A

2. Are you registered to vote?
     Yes
     No
     N/A

3. Do you intend to vote in the primaries?
     Yes
     No
     N/A

4. How much do you research before voting?
     The whole ballot
     Just the presidential candidates
     Just the local candidates
     Not at all
     N/A

5. What is your age?
     18 - 24
     25 - 29
     30+

6. What is your Twitter handle?

There would then be a follow up survey sent to all attendees following the event.

3. PARTNERSHIPS
     I learned about and reached out to a number of organizations this past week to partner up in some way. As I realized earlier last month, there is a lot of activity in the field that I cannot hope to compete with in this short of a timeline. If you can't beat them, join them, as they say. So who did I reach out to?

Oh Say Nation - they're a brand spanking new website and app that is trying to make political engagement fun, engaging, and even hip. Their app is getting a fair bit of traction for being one day old and from the research I did on them, they are attempting to align with the NYC comedy scene in order to get more comedians to use it. I had a great meeting with them over the phone yesterday where we discussed how we could mutually benefit from a partnership. I am thinking a kind of "casting station" or "casting zone" where audience members (who would predominantly be comedians anyway) could use the app to cast directly from the event. OSN is also potentially interested in sponsoring lolvote. which would be fantastic because the financial resources of a broke grad student only stretch so far. 

Laughing Liberally - they're part of a larger organization, Living Liberally, but one could argue they've been doing political comedy for a consistently long time with some of the best progressive comedians in the scene. I reached out to them to partner and it got an even better offer - they would provide the comedians! I am working with Katie Halper and Julianna Forlano on that end. No one has yet been confirmed, though.

Turbovote - This is the site that originally spurred my pivot in the first place. We have a meeting set for Thursday (tomorrow) to discuss things. I think it is incredibly important to have some sort of physical presence at the event that will facilitate voter registration and reminders. I think that is one of the fundamental elements of ensuring people turn up at the polls. 

4. TALENT
     In addition to Laughing Liberally, I have also reached out to Electoral Dysfunction, Political Fashion Chat, Ted Alexandro, Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson of the "Guys We Fucked" podcast, and Hari Kondabolu. Electoral Dysfunction and Political Fashion Chat are definitely interested. We're all in the midst of figuring out logistics and how we can make it work since these are groups and it requires significantly more wrangling/schedule flexibility than just one comic. 
     Declines so far only include the "Guys We Fucked" ladies but only because they are out of town that day. No answer yet from Ted or Hari. 


 

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