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Chaos & Structure – Pancake Art in the Era of COVID-19

*This was written and intended to be published in April, before the events in Minneapolis. As with a lot of things in these intense times, it fell by the wayside and sat 90% completed. The lack of mention concerning Minneapolis and the events surrounding it are not a commentary in any way and we intend to address those here, just as we have on our social media.*

I always tell people that I’m not sure if I’m built for the road or if the road built me, I imagine the reality is a little bit of both. I’ve been a bit of a road dog for a long time now, whether it’s doing telecommunications work, touring musician or, as has been the case for the last 3 years, full time Professional Pancake Artist. It wasn’t that long ago that I was counting down the days until I was homeward bound, about a solid 6 weeks into being on the road, jumping from city to city, airport to airport, eating far too much Dunkin Donuts and free hotel breakfasts. And now, here I sit, having spent quite possibly the longest time in one place for the last decade of my life. Times are strange, to put it mildly.

Normally this would be our busiest time of the year, and up until literally everything cancelled or tentatively rescheduled for some vague future date it was gearing up to be our busiest yet. We’ve spent the majority of my 5 years with Dancakes building a reputation as a reliable, fun and easy to work with events entertainment company. I think we’ve done a pretty bang up job of it too. When I first met Dan he was still working at Courtesy Diner and just doing Pancake Art as a side gig, it wasn’t even a job for one person, let alone 3 full time Artists, a manager, a part time assistant and 3 part time Artists scattered about the country.

And now, all of that is idle. Live events aren’t a thing, and we’re honestly not sure when they will be. What does an events company do when events are no longer thing?

I dunno, but to quote my good friend Luke, “Can’t get out of it, might as well get into it”, or to put it in a more succinct and less interesting way; We’re about to find out.

What the heckin’ heck have you been up to?

What a good question, glad I asked!

Obviously, we’re all out of work, but also obviously, we’re working more than ever. With no tangible source of revenue we’ve found ourselves in a situation we’re we have to pivot and try new things to ensure that we’re still going to have a company to run. I don’t want to sound dramatic, but it is a real possibility for us and a lot of other businesses. We’ve always had this ever growing pie of events that “Diversifying our revenue stream” is something we mostly mused upon but only acted on, at best, in fits and spurts. Focusing our efforts on events made sense, events made  us actual money vs all that maybe money we’ve left on the table.

With that said, one thing we’ve been doing livestreams…. Lots of livestreams.

Can’t say we’re exactly bucking any trends with this one. We’ve done our fair share of livestreaming in the past, but it was always a peripheral thing. Like literally everyone else though, we’ve found ourselves in a situation in which the only way we can interact with others doing what we do (live pancake art) is via livestreaming. Luckily for us, long before current events, we had set up our studio for high quality livestreaming on top of shooting our pre-taped content. It’s not an investment that really paid off when we initially set it up, but good lord is it coming in handy now considering that even mediocre webcams have been price gouged into oblivion. We’re slowly working it into our regular workflow, doing livestream pancake art classes, offering private livestream events and trying to consistently do a public requests livestream.

There’s a lot going on in the world, a lot that has changed and may or may not go back to what we knew before. It’s a strange time to exist, and an even stranger time to figure out how we might fit into all of it. Stay safe, stay tuned, and stay informed.

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