So, just what does Eric do? He writes songs certainly. He has been of the fannish persuasion pretty much all of his life, although he didn’t really realize it till pretty late. He’s been an avid con-goer for some years now, and has been to a lot of cons the last year (12 in 12 months last year). He plays music that con-goers seem to like (at least they get his references, more on that later). But does he really play filk? Is he really a Dementia artist? Why does he like to write about himself in the 3rd person? Is he really as pompous as this bio makes him seem? The answer … well maybe.
Eric has spent much of the last couple of years wondering just what his place in the filk community is. You see, he really doesn't play much that you could really call filk. He gets this despairing tone to his voice and wallows in self-doubt, which prompts most of the filkers he knows to start making fun of him. How did he end up here then?
He spent a lot of time at open mikes and coffee houses getting blank stares when he would use a word like décolletage in a song, or when he would use a phrase like "enough curves to make Rubens blush" as the first line of a song about lost love.
It was 5 or 6 or 12 years ago (never ask Eric about when things happened, he only can tell now because he keeps track of everything on Live Journal, oh, his LJ name is ericcoleman, go see what he thinks about this weekend) that he wandered into a filk room late one night, sat there with his guitar in his hands for several hours, and then wandered back out again. He did this for several years (and Jan Di Masi has made fun of him for years about this since). He would maybe play a song, get some laughs, get worried since he "didn't play filk" and wander out again. He has since gotten over this. He spent a lot of his childhood going to Sings with his mother, who was a big folk music fan, so sitting in a filk circle is a natural thing for him.
He's been a part of fandom for a long time. He wandered into the con scene completely by accident around 20 years ago (it's that time issue again) and never quite got away. He worked for a computer store that set up a game room every year at Windycon. He thought that the idea of the convention sounded pretty dumb (he had the same vision of a con that most folks who have not been to one seem to have, he got over it), but the idea of getting paid for the entire weekend was a pretty good one. Late one night he found himself swapping puns with a "Bob somebody" at a party and this convention thing really wasn’t dumb, it was fun (the "Bob somebody" was Bob Asprin, one of Eric's favorite writers, who he has never run into again). Since then he has run gaming and special events at Capricon and gaming at Windycon. He can now be heard as the voice of Radio Capricon every year at Cap. With Mike Bakula taking care of the technical end of thing (although he has since retired), Radio Capricon plays around 40 hours of programming on one big watt of power. And next year he will be the music coordinator at Demicon in Des Moines.
Last year he decided that he was going to follow the décolletage (and tell me boys, wouldn't you?) and play music at a bunch of cons, mostly as an excuse to attend a bunch of cons. He went to 12 cons in 12 months ... and he will be paying off the credit card bill for the rest of time. He met a lot of people, played in a lot of circles, stood up at one end of a room at most of them and played his songs and further cemented his love for the Filk community.
So that’s settled, what about that Dementia thing? Dr. Demento has played his songs a few times, which has led to an appearance in the Festival Of Dementia at Marscon in Minneapolis as well as a bunch of appearances with some big names in Demented Music (The Great Lukeski, Worm Quartet, Sudden Death, Raymond & Scum and Tony Goldmark) at a bunch of conventions in the Midwest. Someday he hopes to have more airplay from Dr D so he feels like he deserves it (seeing the theme here?).
One of the things that he loves is that no matter how he may try, he can never out-reference a fannish audience. That is a big part of the reason he doesn't play much of anywhere else anymore. So, come hear him play, look for him in the hall, he's the big guy with the long hair and the beard, (another one of his jokes that goes flat with a non-fannish audience … he really did tell an old friend who had not seen him in years to look for him that way at a con a couple years ago, the friend was just a little annoyed) because one thing that is certain about Eric is that he loves to talk about pretty much anything.
So yeah, he considers himself a filker, who has written very little filk, but has a great love for the community. He is a Dementia artist who also writes a lot of serious songs. Oh, and he is flattered beyond all belief at the idea of being a GOH. Now if he can feel he can live up to it (there he goes again).