September 16, 2008

Response to Laura

Laura left in the comments section of my previous post:
I have one of those open-ended questions for you, my friend... perhaps a writing prompt, if you will. As someone who jumped herself into the theatrosphere about the same time I did: Why? A)What did/do you want out of blogging? and B)What did/do you want out of joining up your blog with the rest of this rambunctious "community"?
Her question is so good I had to follow up in an actual post.

This won't be long, but I think it can open up discussion in new ways. I know that in my very first post, I mentioned generating conversation with and between other theater folks. But if I'm honest with myself, it goes deeper than that.

The first word that came up when I read your question was: gateway.

Too often IRL, when I met other Theater People, they functioned more as gatekeepers. Instead of finding fellow artists to talk to, I felt sort of brushed off. Virtually none of the people I met locally acted like I was important enough to listen to or ask questions to. If I'm blunt with myself, I know they have no reason to care. I also know that I'm not gregarious or charismatic or immediately likeable. But it still stung.

I'd hoped blogging would be a way to get the more aesthetic conversations I crave. I literally had nobody to do this with. It's not that I don't care about politics and arts funding. I do (or I wouldn't want to make money doing it). But there are other things worth thinking and talking about. There are things beyond the topic of the day that I'm interested in. Things like experimentations in form and content, problem-solving for shoestring budgets, balancing theater with "real life" responsibilities, deepening and expanding our theatre vocabulary, giving ourselves more tools to understand and evaluate avant-garde work, etc.

It sometimes feels like I want to play ball, but I always have to warm the bench.


  1. It is perhaps unfair, but I think perhaps people start to respect (and seek out) your thoughts and ideas only after they have seen or heard about your years of experience in the trenches. While I do recognize that my being out there working regularly with companies of all shapes and sizes over the last decade has most definitely given me some much-needed perspective, I think there should always be a place for new voices in every field. And those new voices will always have to struggle to be taken seriously, but they're what keep us from dying off. So what I'm saying is "Keep speaking up!"

    On the other hand, aesthetic conversations are challenging in a virtual world where we're not all sharing a simultaneous aesthetic experience. I'm wondering how to foster discussion in that area...

  2. I'll respond to your question on your blog.

  3. Who says what gate you have to go through?

  4. Bard, I posted some thoughts about this in my blog.
    Traveling companions