Since starting OohStLou last year, I’ve loved working with individuals to create videos that show the projects they’re working on. Meeting so many entrepreneurs, small business owners, artists and entertainers has been really inspiring for me, both personally and professionally. But I knew there was more I wanted to say about St. Louis than I could say alone. I had an idea for a series, featuring those entertainers and artists who know St. Louis personally and can comment on all the quirky things that make this city what it is. That’s how St. Lou Side Eye came to be.
There’s really nothing more quintessentially St. Louis than the side-eye. I think it’s an outgrowth of the Show-Me State mentality, a default posture of scornful disapproval for anything unknown. We side-eye new people walking into our favorite bars. We side-eye new businesses opening up on our favorite blocks, we side-eye pretty much anything we’re exposed to. It’s a perfectly passive-aggressive St. Louis pass time. Most of the time we end up liking the thing after we get to know it. But we’re not going to give it the benefit of the doubt.
So why not take that snarky, passive-aggressive air and apply it to some of our own better-known phenomena? Why not turn that laser light of scorn on our own foibles?
That’s the idea for St. Lou Side Eye. We’re not necessarily going to scorn whatever we’re reviewing, but we’re not going to automatically welcome it with open arms, either. That wouldn’t be the St. Louis way.
Diving in head-first I enlisted Chris Cyr of Impolite Company to help me find some talent, and we reached out to several great performers I’d seen on his stage. Blaire Hamilton of City of Night, Kenny Kinds of Sorry, Please Continue, Kenny Warner and Carolyn Agnew are our first
victims panel members, and they gamely showed up for nothing more than a vague description of “We’re uhhh… taping a show. I am going to feed you some stuff, it will be fun – oh are you allergic to anything? Yeah, no, it will be fun.”
Budget? No problem, I have, uhhh… $40. That will do, right?
A friend kindly offered a space to film and I scheduled our first taping date and dove in headfirst. Our first two episodes are finished and posted, and though I still have a lot to learn about producing this type of show, I am really proud of them. These first two are on the lighter side, but I fully anticipate covering a range of topics, from the serious to the silly.
We are just getting started, so I would love to have not only your support (share with your friends! share with your enemies! share with your in-laws and start a fight at family gatherings!) but also your feedback, and your ideas about things we should look at. What do you think needs a good, hard side-eye?
St. Louis can be a hard city to love. So many beautiful things. So many amazing people. So much bullshit on a political and bureaucratic level. So much hard work and goodness next to so much outright graft and corruption. Only by looking at it a little askance can we see it for what it is, learn to love it a little better, and hope to fix what’s broken. Come give St. Lou the Side Eye with me.
Hope you enjoy!