Friday, July 11, 2008

Mike Daisey Has "Made It"

Adam Thurman has said that Mike Daisey and I have both made it. We're not Dead Money. We've developed "unique skills to thrive in" the current system. I have done so by being a tenured professor, and Mike has done so by having a 2-person theatre staffed by him and his wife.

Let's skip me, since discussing my having tenure seems to make the theatrosphere turn various shades of red. Let's focus on Mike (Mike, chime in if I get this really wrong).

Mike and his lovely wife, who I had the pleasure of meeting at NPAC and who serves as the director and collaborator for Mike's one-person shows, have created monologues such as How Theatre Failed America. The latter show toured America for several months before settling in for a limited run at Joe's Pub and then transferring for over a month at the Barrow Street Theatre. His other shows have followed a similar pathway: touring the country for several months, and then having a longer run in one place. It's good -- he has control over the material and can develop in whatever direction he chooses. He has a permanent creative relationship with his director, and as they have worked together they have gotten better at creating the material.

It sounds pretty good, huh?

Now do one thing: add a second grade child into the mix. How does that change the situation? Suddenly, Mommy and Daddy can't be spending several months on the road, because little Buffy has to be in school and can't be dragging all over the country. So what happens?

Now, if you were Mike, what do you do? Do you believe that he simply can't have children?
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Don Hall said...

I know that this is sort of nutty concept, Scott, but life is made up of choices and each one carries with it a set of limitations.

I would imagine that if the Daiseys decided to have a child, they would change their lifestyle somewhat regardless of the career path they have chosen (there I go again, with that choice thing - jeesh, how I bluster on...).

The funny thing is, life also holds no guarantees in almost any area. Thus, each lifestyle represents a gamble. Daisey gambles on his career and the artistic choices he makes either garner him money or they do not. Roll that dice and see what happens.

Oh. Shit. Back to that sticky little gambling thing again.

Now, how about you go and decide that what I really mean by this comment is that no artist should ever have a child and that what I'm really saying is that artists should just be stuck on the rung of the ladder that offers no hope of advancement or security...

RebeccaZ said...

To quote Tim Gunn, the Daiseys would "Make it work" to the best of their ability.

You can have everything you want if you're able to learn how to make room for it. I know several artists who have children who make it work.

Little Buffy can travel for a while on the road with Mom and Dad. Musicians do this all the time. Artists do this all the time. But once school starts, things will need to shift and maybe mom doesn't accompany dad to every show, but ... little sacrifices are made. This happens in all industries and all professions.

Life isn't all or nothing. There are many shades of grey.