Friday, July 25, 2008

Anonymous Comment on Making a Living

Playgoer has an excellent post entitled "Broadway: Meaningless?" about David Cote's article "The Great White...Wait!" concerning whether Broadway is still the gold standard for theatre. In Playgoer's comments box was this anonymous comment that I'd like to draw more attention to:

I don't think everyone is dying to get to Broadway because it's Broadway (although some are). People are dying to get to Broadway because of the money and the emotional satisfaction of being able to support oneself doing what one is trained to do. The cache of Broadway is not merely production values (which, in my opinion are often quite poor compared with the mega regionals). It about seeing people for whom theater no longer a "hobby" but a "career." If people could have a career (in the financial sense) in small theaters, those theaters would have the same respect as Broadway (as is the case in Europe).

Like this commenter, I am mostly in agreement, and in fact that has been my focus as I have worked toward a new theatre model for small and rural areas. I believe that, given a choice between spending one's time auditioning or worrying about your next gig and having a reasonable living doing what you love no matter where that place is, I believe that many theatre artists will opt for the latter over the former.

The key is to create the alternative possibility in the imagination, and to demonstrate a workable model. As Playgoer says about reminding those who think only in terms of a Broadway transfer that there are other options, so we must remind those who would portray American theatre solely in terms of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles that there are other alternatives.
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1 comment:

petrenkov said...

Rather nice place you've got here. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I would like to read a bit more soon.

Sincerely yours
Steave Markson