Saturday, March 04, 2017

Here's Johnny......

 Some where in my stash of "things important" I have saved all the name plates (all 8 of them) that were attached to my dressing room door each time I did the Tonight Show.  Seven one them were with Johnny Carson the eighth was with Mr. Leno. Assuming that they will play all seven of my show eventually I will make $165.69 dollars.  Woo hoo! I just received this check in the mail for the show that aired on April 16, 1985. I will have to look up in my own personal journal to determine which character it was that co-stared with me that day so I can give them $11.85. 
This represents my residual for a replay on antenna TV, an online streaming service of "classic shows".  That is the same as a basic cable rate.  I remember well going on strike in 1979 for a new AFTRA contract.  The despute was over a commercial residual contract increase and we actors were on strike for a couple of months. The new contract included perpetual royalties for repeated shows.  To this day I get money, and always will, every time SOAP is played on the air. At the end of the negotiation just as every one had agreed the union brought up the idea of cable residuals. 
In 1979 cable consisted of a thing called HBO which was only in New York.  The producers stood firm on the idea that the market for such repeats was so minimal they would only give a minimum residual.  AFTRA agreed and the contract included only a token rate not the usual rate.. As we know cable, Internet, and streaming content is now a very lucrative secondary market. Although the producers are free to negotiate their fees on a show by show basis the performers have been stuck with the same old cable/Internet rate since the1979 contract.  That said,  if the cable rate had been negotiated to be the same as broadcast network residuals that check from Mr. Carson would be 10 times greater.  It still would not be the kind of royalty that one can retire on but it would be a little more commiserate with what the producers are making from the same repeated show.  
Here is why I bring this fact up in a blog today.  I got a new keyboard for my iPad and I needed something to write about so I could test it out.  I wanted to see if my investment was a good one.  Keyboards have always been very important to me.  I am a good typist so the speed and construction of the keyboard is fundamental to having a good typing experience.  I have gone through every kind of keyboard in my experience.  
In college I used a portable Underwood typewriter to type all of my assignment papers.  Pushing a key on a manual typewriter required not just a touch on the key. It required pressing the mechanical key down about a 1/4 inch with enough force to make a nice bold letter through the black ribbon of ink.  Then came the electric typewriter. The machine itself would deliver the proper force necessary to strike a perfect letter on the page.  This made typing faster with the touch lighter.  
My Mom worked for my Dad's investment firm and became such a fast and accurate typist she could "out run" the speed of the iconic IBM Selectric.  She had to slow her fingers down enough so that the machine could keep up with her.  She retired before the computer revolution in keyboarding got to the point it is today.  I can't imagine how fast she could type given the keyboard I just bought.  
I am not a good thumb typist and the virtual keyboard on the iPad screen is like trying to make words by tapping your fingers on a table.  So to do any kind of thoughtful work I need a real qwerty keyboard that is really fast and comfortable. 
To give it a plug this is the new Magic Keyboard from Apple.*  I have been using the Apple wireless keyboard for some time and like it for the touch, but the battery housing, weight and awkward shape was not pleasant to travel with. Besides I had to keep double AA batteries in my briefcase cause it seemed to always run out of power.  The final straw was when the on/off switch became damaged. To use it I had to take out the batteries  every time I wanted to turn it off.  Reinserting the batteries before I could type made it difficult to capture a spontaneous thought in a timely manner.  The Magic Keyboard is recharable with a lightning cable and has a much more durable on off switch. The touch is even improved over the older generation wireless Keyboard.  
So I hope you enjoyed this test drive of my new keyboard. 
As you were,

*This evaluation of the Magic Keyboard is based on the experiences of one iterate writer. No warranty, endorsement, recommendation nor specific technical opinion is implied or given. Do not use a keyboard if you are allergic to any of its parts or if you have ever suffered from finger fatigue.  Side effects of using this keyboard may include, typos, incorrect auto-correct, sentence fragments and content of questionable veracity.  If content coming from this keyboard is posted and rampant trolling of that post occurs, Apple nor any of its associates will be responsible.  If you have a text that lasts  more than four hours immediately contact your eighth-grade English teacher.  This and all visceral devices should not be used while driving or operating heavy machinery or when trying to communicate a concept of importance. Carson Productions, NBC, The Tonight Show, EPS Payroll services have nothing to do with the keyboard blog recommendation and any references to them in the writing above was simply a misdirection for marketing sake.  If after using the Magic Keyboard to write you experience a drop in the number of friends you have or an increase in frowning emojis in you feed or any of its threads stop using it immediately and consult with a friend face to face.  Studies show that if this keyboard is given to a thousand monkeys for a thousand years they would eventually write the classics.  


P. Grecian said...

I'm pernickety about my keyboard, too. I've gone through three desktops, but have retained the keyboard because we're used to each other.
And the disclaimer: I heard it in the low pitched fast announcer voice it seems we always hear those things in. :)

cwalter said...

I've always wondered about residual payments for shows from years ago. Your explanation cleared up some of my questions. Thanks.

As for typing, I am strictly a "hunt and peck" typist, so speed and pressure are inconsequential.

Jafo said...

I miss the mechanical click of the old keyboards from the IBM AT/XT era. I loved the way each keypress would resound throughout the room.

The green monochrome screen I can do without, though.