Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Is it really that hard to imagine? A world where artists have an easier time at Issac put it making art while making a living?

Perhaps it is possible. What is required? Is there any consensus about this? It seems that some of us are hell bent on convincing others that the dilemma is primarily a moral one...that it is unconscionable to ask individuals to give so much to a project with no sort of compensation or inadequate compensation.

It has been suggested that the resource necessary to support the people involved in making theatre exists, but that it has been misappropriated...funneled into vast architectural projects or being utilized by well intented machines of administration that require vast sums in order to keep the bathrooms clean and the bills paid.

It has been opined that to call the current situation a "problem" at all, indicates a lack of reason, an inability to acknowledge the market as it is and as it leans because down that road seems to lie no hope for economic sustenance via involvement in solely the live event.

We been told that hope lies in re-discovering what the theatre is all about...liveness...immediacy of presence. We have suggested that hope lies in serving the community with enough diligence and sincerity of purpose that they find artists as indispensable as their Churches.

Tonight...I think that those of us who are theatre artists need to expand a bit in many ways and that in parts almost all of us who've been brainstorming are keying in to a potential piece of the puzzle that might be a solution.

So, I'm not saying that anyone else is wrong or that what I'm proposing is the "key"...but I do think that some of the following is relevant and hopefully constructive towards the economic betterment and self realization of the storyteller.

First, I am using the term storyteller rather than theatre artist in this post to make a small point in that I don't believe that it is in the best interest of today's playmakers to think of themselves solely as thespians for the stage. I believe that we need a multi-medium approach (I didn't say multimedia because of the predominate associations most of us have...acting in front of tv screens, etc.etc...setting aside the good work of Wooster and others)...I believe that those who start thinking of themselves more as narrative storytellers who have the live event as one tool at their narrative disposal have a better chance at finding, holding and sustaining meaning dialogue with an audience. Specialization within the arts is something that is increasing unnecessary. Whether it be writing, directing, lighting design, graphic design, sculpture, etc...Every "actor" out there should be able to generate material in the event that no one casts them (lets not joke about why being a lack of talent). Even writers should be able to act. I have long since stopped walking the boards, but if I still did...perhaps I'd be better enabled to get monologues out there via Spalding Gray or Mike Daisey. Anyway, I think this first item is the sort of thing you either agree with and do, or that you resent because you want to commit your energies solely to one specialization and believe that a polymathic approach would distract you from your destiny...

I think the next issue is "Space" but I need another day or two to cull any thoughts about that.

Other notions I'm toying with in my head are...

and yes even Participation (kill me now Scott)

That's all for now...I apologize for not having all my thoughts on this thing mapped out...but I just wanted to start the ball rolling on my take...typing my thoughts out loud I guess.


Scott Walters said...

I agree with your idea that we should think of ourselves as storytellers, and broaden our willingness to consider other media. On reason playwrights have thrived in London, it seems to me, is that they can easily write for TV, film, and theatre. YouTube and iPods open up so many possibilities.

However, I agree with one caveat: the artist also needs to stop thinking like an employee and start thinking like an entrepreneur. They need to band together and control their own work, instead of applying for jobs to work for other people (aka auditioning).

Tony Adams said...

So wait, you're saying that the more skills an artist has, the easier it is to work? (Let alone create work for ourselves.)

That's like telling someone who's not an artist that the more skills they have the easier it is to find employment.

Crazyness ;)

RVCBard said...

So wait, you're saying that the more skills an artist has, the easier it is to work? ... That's like telling someone who's not an artist that the more skills they have the easier it is to find employment.

Crazyness ;)

I concur. What are you smokin', dv?


In other news, I'd like to use my writing skills to help market Off-Broadway/Independent theaters, but I haven't found any willing to take me up on my offer.