A few of years ago I started to attend the various regional arts presenter conferences to sell my wares: um, that would be selling me. After touring a bit of the fringe circuit and self-producing my one-man shows I wanted to take the next step in my professional development and network with the gatekeepers of the performing arts industry. What I was about to embark on was incredibly strange, fulfilling, exhausting and necessary.
Let’s get one thing straight. Trying to make money as a performing artist can suck the life out of you. I’ve talked about the trial and error of self-producing at length. I got very quickly that donning on every administrative hat plus trying to write, rehearse and memorize my work was completely unsustainable. Shit, it still is. I’m actually doing the same amount of work after attending these conference for the past three years but I learned a deeply value lesson: Face time is everything. Continue reading →
All roads lead to “Where is the funding coming from?”
It seems that every two weeks the last couple months I’ve been hitting the same exact wall around being a theater artist. It’s the common “Why do I do this?” existential crisis. At least that’s what it seems like. However, there’s nothing existential about it. There’s nothing philosophical about the economic reality of theater. Continue reading →
There’s this song by Youth of Today called Potential Friends that’s somewhat ridiculous in it’s hardcore frustration but it has a good point. When you don’t put yourself out there to meet new people you pass up the opportunity to make new friends. A simple concept but as anyone who has ever suffered social anxiety, not so easy to implement. I seem like a total extrovert myself, but when I’m in a mood or feeling really raw, eye contact can feel overwhelming.
When it comes to figuring out the market for your work the same kind of pattern can develop. Continue reading →
May 8, 2051 Theater (Theatre) was officially pronounced dead today after being found in an abandoned parking lot behind a once popular Broadway venue on 42nd St. in Manhattan. There are conflicting reports as to the cause of death but at press time it is believed to have been an over usage of computerized contact lenses by the greater population, making access to “The Eye”, once know as the internet, inexpensive enough to forgo real world experiences. Continue reading →
While riding the bus back to MA from NYC last spring I noticed a bird had shit on my backpack. The metaphor was apt for a conversation I had just been having in a wide-open conference room about how arts-focused non-profits (who all seem to be providing similar stellar services for the benefit of artists) are fearfully grasping their data through proprietary measures. Not that it doesn’t make sense. People don’t like to be shit on. Continue reading →
“So what do you do?” When I tell people that I work full time as a performing artist I always put it in air quotes. I spend 90% of my time doing admin work and 10% on the creative aspects. I also work other part time and freelance jobs because my admin time can sometimes add up to about $1 p/hour. I’m not kidding about that. Continue reading →
Remember when people used to write letters? All Griffin and Sabine and shit?
It’s not your fault really. There’s so much schlock that promotes itself as theater that it justifies your casting off any potential enjoyment of the form. Unfortunately I’m getting majorly screwed by that way of thinking in the process. Some have said that theater is a form with two feet in the grave just waiting for the rest of the body to fall in. It’s pretty accurate. With the major component of the audience being over the age of 50, white and upper middle class, it’s only a matter of time (say 30 years) before that audience is literally dead. Continue reading →