eBay University happens Saturday Sept. 11, Oregon Convention Center, $39
Andrew Dickson has done what many only dream of doing: he became his own boss. About three years ago, the creator of comedies such as Good Grief and Hunter Dawson assumed the username AC Dickson and transformed into an eBay entrepreneur. As the new millennium's version of the traditional antiques dealer, Dickson is free to further devote himself to creative pursuits, including his first full-length performance, AC Dickson: eBay Powerseller, which premiers at PICA's TBA Festival this weekend. The performance is an oddly inspiring and utilitarian guide to using eBay as a source of sustainable income, hosted by Andrew's dorkily enthusiastic alter ego, AC Dickson. When I asked Dickson how much of AC is a character and how much was really him, he replied "Well, it's me on a couple cups of coffee." I met with Dickson, and sure enough, after a few cups of coffee, I was no longer visiting with Andrew the performance artist, but with AC Dickson, eBay Powerseller.
By some remarkable coincidence, eBay announced this week that eBay University was coming to town--directly opposite Dickson's seminar. Both gatherings promise the same thing: to give audiences the tools to unlock their eBay potential. I asked AC how he viewed his competition.
"I know people from the Mercury would never go to eBay University," he said. "My course is only one hour (eBayU lasts six). It's only fifteen bucks (versus $39). I sincerely believe if you give this thing a try, you can make a really good living selling on eBay."
How did he get that way, I wondered. Had Dickson ever gone to anything like eBayU?
"I think eBayU is really great for people who aren't computer savvy," AC said with an all-too-sincere wink. "But I think younger people work at a faster pace, and six hours is a long time to sit through anything. So I'm going to cover all that in about 15 minutes. This is going to be fun. We have a lot of serious stuff to discuss, but that doesn't mean we can't have a good time."