May 23, 2010

Viva le revolution! Travis sez, "Fuggedabout 'em!"

Travis Bedard says something at 2am Theatre ("Revolution") that I've been thinking for a while, but more politely than I would.

 . . . a modest proposal: Forget about them.

I don’t mean the Arena Stages and David Dowers, or the A.C.T. and Portland Center Stages… Every Theatre Bay Area, League of Chicago Theatres, and Austin Creative Alliance that buys in to the conversation is better for us|them|we.  But if the big boys and girls don’t want to play? Forget about them.

We can’t make revolution simply about resources. Most of the folks taking part in the conversation have few. It has to be about ideas. It has to be about creation. We have to eliminate the culture of ownership that drives business and foster a culture of shared ideas.

. . . . . . . . . .

Give it away. Publish your thoughts. Your ideas. Hell, even your scripts if you don’t intend to publish them traditionally. Look into Creative Commons and what it means (Lucas Krech has a great post here to get you started).

See, I'm all for this shit. I must be crazy since I look at an empty space and get paralyzed by the possibilities. I look at what can happen and wonder, "What's stopping it?"

Part of me believes it's the Somebody Oughta Do Something Syndrome. You know - where people know good and goddamned well something that could work, something they could actually do, and then they don't because . . . who knows?

SOMEBODY: I can't stand the way things are going on today! Somebody oughta do something!
ME: Like what?
SOMEBODY: What if XYZ happened? That would change things so much, and it doesn't cost anything! Anybody could do it!
ME: What's stopping you?
SOMEBODY: (Blank stare)

Or perhaps another scenario . . .

SOMEBODY: There's gotta be a way to make this more interesting, more interactive, more . . . something.
ME: Why don't you do something simple yet effective that helps you and others?
SOMEBODY: Yeah, that could work!
ME: Can I try it out with you?
SOMEBODY: (Blank stare)

Or this one that gets kicked around all the time . . .

SOMEBODY: We need more diversity in theatre! Where are all the women and people of color?
ME: (Raises hand)
SOMEBODY: How can we get more women and people of color actor on the theatre blogosphere?
ME: (Points to my blog)
SOMEBODY: Where are all the women and people of color?
ME: (Blank stare)
(Six months later . . .)
SOMEBODY: Where's all the diversity in theatre? All I see are a bunch of White guys!
ME: (Makes a sign that reads, "Woman of Color over here" with an arrow pointing to myself and a link to my blog)
SOMEBODY: Why don't we hear more from women and people of color?
ME: (Showing somebody the sign)
SOMEBODY: What do we do? What do we do?
ME: (Blank stare)
(Six months later . . . )
SOMEBODY: Why don't we hear more about works by women and people of color?
ME: (Sets off fireworks that reads, "RVCBard [arrow pointing at me] is a woman of color. You can reach her at [url, e-mail, address, phone number])
SOMEBODY: Seriously, that's fucked up. We really should be more inclusive of women and people of color.
ME: (Has aneurysm and dies)
(Six months later . . .)

SOMEBODY: RVCBard's been quiet lately.
SOMEBODY: You know, that one with the No Face icon.
SOMEBODY ELSE: Oh, yeah. I thought maybe she quit. Couldn't hack it, y'know?
SOMEBODY: Yeah, she was pretty hypersensitive about the racial shit.
SOMEBODY ELSE: Mm-hm. Gotta be tough to play with the big boys.
SOMEBODY ELSE: I've been thinking. We could use more diversity in theatre. Especially with writers.
SOMEBODY: Yeah, but where are all the women and people of color?


  1. I'd laugh if this shit hadn't already happened:

  2. this scenario plays out in my field as well

    White people: why aren't there more minorities in this industry?
    Highly qualified Brown person is hired. Brown person is treated like shit, their career advancement is sabotaged and their ability to do their job is undermined at every turn. White people at the workplace feel comfortable making homophobic and xenophobic comments in front of them. Brown person leaves ASAP.
    White people: why aren't there more minorities in this industry? We try to hire them but they never stay. Next time lets hire someone who won't leave in under 2 years*

    *This is code for lets only hire white middle aged heterosexual married women that are not better looking or more intelligent than us because that would be too threatening. These types never leave.

    Seriously, I've served on a hiring committees, this is exactly what happens at my place of employment. One person even brags that she can predict who will leave. What she doesn't mention is that she goes out of her way to drive them out of the workplace. She does it to me, she did it to my predecessor and to the person before that. All so she can be in charge of the department for the 6 months it takes to hire someone new. Then the cycle repeats. She told me to my face that she didn't expect me to be here in 2 years, I'm trying my damnedest to make her prediction come true.

    The hiring committee was the most biased thing I ever experience in my life. Their were no Brown candidates but the people on the committee with me went out of their way to trash the 2 young attractive White women that interviewed. They also swore they had "bad feelings that they couldn't put their finger on" about the Gay White male who interviewed. They then proceeded to advocate for the middle aged married White Women of average looks to be hired even though her interview went horribly.