Words to live by...
"This above all: to thine own self be true."
-William Shakespeare, HAMLET
"Anything less than extraordinary is a waste of time."
-Tiffanie DeBartolo, 'Dream for an Insomniac'
"No day but today."
-Jonathan Larson, RENT
"It's alright it's ok
Welcome to this life
Don't worry sweet baby
Cuz it's over before you know"
-Leah Andreone, 'It's Alright It's OK'
"Nothing in the world is weaker than water,
But it has no better in overcoming the hard."
"Name me the final number."
-Yevgeny Zamyatin, We
Some beautiful people...
"In the quest for knowledge through experiences, the soul becomes fragile."
"Funny how hard it is to convey satire to crackwhores."
-The Tubby Parcel
"I'm going to be one of those hermits who talks to her cat and lives in huge paranoia and doesn't sleep."
"There is no true Right or Wrong.
No absolute Good or Evil.
No Truth... No Lies.
No Black or White.
Everything is relative, perceived.
There are Just Shades of Grey."
"...the only stupid or unreasonable mindset is one that is prematurely closed."
"There was a point to this story, but the narrator lost it somewhere along the way."
"The hues that color the myriad worlds of the imagination are so vivid, so compelling that all too often mere 'reality' can't compete."
"Soon enough, my armies of flying monkeys, toasters, and the undead will march upon an unsuspecting world. Well, I suppose the monkeys will fly. No use in having flying monkeys and having them march like the rest of the cannon fodder."
"sometimes i think that it's the noise stars make that keeps me awake at night."
"for the desperate attempts i have made to feel content, i must now stop. i can not live, blurred."
"Why did I get a tattoo on my wrist? So I won't slash them! I'd hate to ruin the tattoo."
"There's a lot of silence I want to say."
"A desire runs in your blood, while a need causes that blood to run."
But I'd rather support your smile."
"I like guacamole, too. But not as much as Gandalf."
"as you trace the outline of your feet on the ground, it suddenly occurs to you how bloody human you are. you look at yourself as though you haven't done so before. and then you begin a thorough exploration of self"
"Interesting fact: Most tropical marine fish could survive in a tank of wild urban-jungle monkey blood.
But I personally wouldn't recommend trying it."
"i'm an equal opportunity insulter."
All works and material on this blog are © ME 2005 unless otherwise specified.
Bringing Art Back to Theatre
So, for the last few years I've been involved with a semi-professional (as in, trying to be professional but not quite there yet) theatre, as well as a couple community theatres. I have noticed several interesting phenomena in my experience with the Theatre World (starting in my high-school "Drama" days).
One observation I've made is that there is almost always more drama than necessary. Someone is always having a crisis, or one or several cast members aren't getting along (and make this fact known loud and clear in front of or to the rest of the cast/crew/world), or a cast member has a problem with the director's "vision," etc. This is aside from the inevitable technical difficulties that go along with making a show happen. My theory is this is most likely due to putting several attention-hungry, egocentric exhibitionists together to try and work toward a common goal. Not to mention the rediculous hours a theatre person has to work to do a show and still survive the "real world".
Further, I've noticed that the most professional, most talented actors are also wonderful, intelligent people (who also recognize the hard work the technicians go through, or have worked as technicians themselves, which I always appreciate). I think they make the best actors and the best people to work with because they are willing to set their ego aside for the greater good. They are also, for the most part, willing and able to adjust to the unexpected (because this is live theatre, folks).
It seems the more professional the theatre, the more drama. This may be due to the larger egos that occur when one is cast in many shows. However, this is unprofessional. It should be the opposite way.
I was probably spoiled by my experience in college theatre. In my community college, I had the privilage of attending a program that changed my entire perspective not only on theatre, but of the world. Ever since, I have viewed people differently, I've viewed myself differently, and everything I go through I now connect in some way or another to theatre. I won't go too far into detail (as this post is already extremely long), but there were a few things I think made the program work very well. In it, we students were not allowed to spread rumors. We were also taught to help eachother in any way we could (as opposed to bringing eachother down in light of our own success). The teachers were allowed to keep everyone "in-check," as in they could tell us when and why we sucked and suggest ways to fix ourselves, or they could tell us when our behavior was creating problems with the rest of our fellow students, and so on and so forth. In the real world, one often has to be tactful and find indirect ways of dealing with issues. However, I think the direct, constructive-criticism approach is, more often than not, the most effective. My college theatre was the way theatre should be, and the program is where many of my ideas for the following concept originated.
Now, here is my wet-dream. I want to start a theatre company. I don't know where, I don't know when; I just have some ideas I think may save this beautiful, slow-fading art and bring a new spark into the World of Theatre. It would actually be part company, part class/workshop in which we would experiment with excersizes or activities that force the actor to set his/her ego aside. I would also like to cast actors into roles they may not be comfortable with (for example, I'd put the girl who usually plays an ingenue into a character role, or the man who's usually the villain in the hero role). I am so sick of type-casting, and I think with some work, any good actor can play any role. In fact, they may play a part so differently than the "usual way" that the audience discovers something they never realized in a role they've seen a billion times before. This would also teach the actors not only about the characters, but about themselves. I would also like people to spend more time in areas they aren't really comfortable with, such as singing, dancing, comedy, etc. I've seen actors thrown into situations such as these, and there's simply not enough time to get them actually performance-ready for these potentially frightening experiences.
Furthermore, I want to create a company that is also like a community. I would, for the most part, keep the same people while occasionally cycling out when needed. In the audition process, I would interview people and try to choose those I think would mesh well together, who also seem willing to go along with my crazy vision. We would also participate in activities that create a bond between us, that would instill trust in one another and teach us to care about one another.
Okay, so here's the really crazy idea I have for this company (as if the rest of my ideas aren't insane enough). I want this company to somehow not be about money. I want to be able to cast in a way that may not sell well, but teaches the audience and actor something. I don't want to have to worry about whether or not the house is packed. I know there's no point in playing to an empty house, but I don't want this to be a concern. Perhaps I'll find some sort of advertising genius who will get people to come whether or not the show sucks. I'll need to find a space that will rent to us for cheap or free, and people who are willing/able to work for cheap/free. I do not want to ask my actors for money, even though this is technically a workshop. I also want to be able to make the tickets cheap or free. In short, I want to create theatre that is not about money, but about the art and the passion of theatre, and about the audience.
I want to work with other artists, too. I want to involve playwrights and songwriters who will experiment with us (and who's only charge will be the opportunity to have their works put on-stage). I want the chance to evolve theatre beyond this elitist world it's unfortunately become.
Last but not least, I want to figure out a way to work around individuals' scheduals, to reduce the stress as much as possible. I know first-hand how hard it is to maintain a regular job and put a show together in the same, limited time. Because hey, we all need to eat.
I know I have a long way to go, and I know I will need to tweak my vision and figure out possiblilities for it along the way. Perhaps someday, though, I will make my impossible dream a reality.
Posted at 08:34 pm by FNInsomniac
December 25, 2005 05:34 PM PST
I'd love to talk to her! Maybe she can help me start my Revolution!
December 17, 2005 10:06 AM PST
Insie, you should speak to Lexie/Jerri, my sister. She's spent most of her life in theatre (acting/directing/production). She started her own theatrical group in Seattle--Fool's Cathedral--several years ago and they produced some fine Shakespearean and modern works. She's presently in SF at CSII working for a degree in art therapy, possibly working with children, but still keeps her hand in theatre. I know she'd love to talk with you about your ideas, and am sure she could give you some good pointers. If you're interested, drop me a tag and I'll send you her email address. You can also check out the company at: http://www.drizzle.com/~fools
October 21, 2005 06:00 PM PDT
Thank you so much, Monkey! That really is encouraging :)
October 21, 2005 06:02 AM PDT
The first step is recognizing your dream. My friend owns a theater company and I'll tell you what... it can be done! Keep your head high and know that we'll be behind you all the way. Good luck! :)