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
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
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
A Caveat: I know a lot of organizers of Fringe festivals personally through a variety of circumstances. These opinions are my own and are no reflection on the huge amount of respect I have for the dedication, perseverance and aptitude they demonstrate to bring alternative and small scale theater to their communities.
Also, I’m up to anyone disputing this but I want the math to back it up, not just general numbers. How do out-of -towners payouts differ from local producers?
Last year published a post called To Fringe or Not to Fringe in which I broke down what the circuit was like. I have only toured fringes in the U.S., and only if I’ve done extensive research on them so that I’m not walking away in the red (although I have anyway). In my previous post I spoke briefly about how some fringes can have a local focus where out-of-towners such as myself get lost in the shuffle. I realized something however… Continue reading