Dec 6, 2009
commented on The Empty Spaces
Thanks for this POV Rob. Your anger and pain have been a part of theatre from its very beginning. Clearly the Bard had to toady up to the Crown to keep his theatre solvent. And ancient Greek and Roman theatre centered around religious festivals and plays exclusively financed by wealthy patrons. The ancients paid actors but *gave* the theatre to the people. So public theatre performed in front of 17 thousand people - cost audiences nothing.
And women were never allowed onstage until the renaissance - and death scenes in Rome were performed by condemned convicts who were actually killed! (rather alarming for Equity actors today)
What the history suggests is perhaps it is time to try an old model. Perhaps theatre angels who have access to enormous wealth should focus on developing free theatre that speaks to new audiences. These are the audiences that will become the paying audiences going forward - because they have learned to love the theatre through free performance. We simply cannot expect theatre with $50-60 ticket prices to compete with internet, TV and video games. Like it or not theatre is still entertainment (occasionally enlightened entertainment) and it must enthuse kids the way movies, TV, vid games and music do. Hopefully, once they've been to the "city" they'll keep coming back.
But there are so few "angels" willing or able to finance such an undertaking. True, apparently. Unless we view our corporations as uneducated angels. In great need of instruction on corporate responsibility, community outreach, and profit contribution of good will. In that case, the corporation, currently viewed as the pinnacle of evil, CAN become far more active in supporting the arts.
None of this helps your woman friend who at 40, retires from the struggle to survive. There is little to be done for those who have served the arts well for twenty, thirty years and choose to be comfortable for once in life. It has to be enough to have served well. And we should all be grateful for those who do so. Acting will always be a profession at the edge of life. There will always be thousands for each single opening. But for those who burn with the art and desire and fever of performance - there will be work. Not compensated well or at all - but work. And the history of art tells us that is the sacrifice that comes with being an artist. It sucks, yeah. But it is also not the debilitating struggle to find food that millions of dirt poor face daily.
Dec 6, 2009
joined My Stranger Face
Dec 6, 2009
commented on The End of Poverty?: Humans Are Assholes
Of course the rantings of racist misanthropes such as Charles, makes the issue no better. Charles believes that people should be divided into two groups - those who are with him and those against. This way he can keep his world view in lock step with his definition of good and evil.