Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ok, I'll bite...but with a question?

Why do we do it then?

There has been some chatter out there about artists and money and funding and what not. How I feel about these issues usually depends upon how much I currently have in my bank account (from a dayjob thank you), which side of the bed I get up from, and how I perceive the people currently mentioning that they don't get enough money for what they do as artists.

I have no answers, but at the same time I sort of retch a bit psychically every time I hear someone speak about how things have to change but don't have any concrete answers as to why or how...other than I "deserve" it.

What we do as artists is hard...all artists are the ones I think of most because well...isn't it obvious. So why....why do "they" put so little weight on what we do?

I'm not talking about artists who stand up for their value and then either get something closer to their value or stop "working" as artists...I'm talking about the non-theater maker.

Why do they continue to perceive what theater artists do as play(s) even if they can see how much blood, sweat, and tears goes into it?

How have "they" formed their perceptions. Why is it that when you go to job interview for a 40 hour a week desk jockey, you are told to downplay the theatre thing?

How is it that theatre is "work" rather a addictive hobby avocation that only a select few are able to turn into anything resembling money making?

A friend of mine was coming to be part of a production (this is fairly recent) his "work" told him that after nearly a decade of his 9-5 job, he was going to be on the road 50-75% of the time starting almost immediately.

When he mentioned that he was given no notice, and that he had committed to a non work project (aka a show), his boss looked at him like he was retarded. The idea that someone would suggest that one's hobby should take any priority over "work" was ludicrous, and to be blunt obviously and not worth talking about.

I propose that the majority of those who work "day jobs" look at theatre even LORT stuff as a glorified hobby, an extra-curricular addiction.

I don't, but I think "they" do. If you agree with me about "them"...can you tell me why?

I do want responses, but please no mention of the "netflix"

1 comment:

Paul said...

I propose that the majority of those who work "day jobs" look at theatre even LORT stuff as a glorified hobby, an extra-curricular addiction.

I propose that water is wet.


They look at us like freaks because in their worldview, we are. We're doing these projects, for no money and at great cost, in a world that fetishizes money. They see the opportunity cost and laugh. They let someone else do that whole "art" thing and concentrate on putting food on their children and making the pie higher.

And you're told to downplay the art thing in interviews because managers see it and dismiss it as fluff. Sure, you're a production manager, but the product that you produced just barely crossed into the black... and you consider that a massive success?!? Not in their world.