May 5, 2014

What's in my Scarcity Matrix?

I keep coming back to this HowlRound piece about the Scarcity Matrix, and it's got me in an introspective mood. I'm thinking a lot about the things that I can offer that are not money which may not only be of value but of meaning and significance.

And, in so many ways, the Scarcity Matrix I inhabit is not really about material resources. Those are simply a symptom. The deeper message, the one that I don't want to face, is simply that nobody cares about what I have to offer.

I used to talk about community organizing and power analysis a great deal on this blog. I don't do it so much anymore. Not because I no longer think it's needed, but because I just got tired of talking to myself. Why bother? Why bash my brains against a brick wall? Why throw my diamonds in the mud?

Sure, there are people who agree with me or at least kinda see where I'm coming from, and that's nicer than people who just want to debate or pick things apart because it's intellectually stimulating. Yet despite this, something feels missing. It's not caring or concern. It's not awareness. I'm not in touch with anyone who is apathetic about gender parity, racial parity, and accessibility in theatre.

However, when I talk about a need for a power analysis, when I talk about the need to examine the deeper levels of an institution, no one wants to do that. It's not as exciting as creating programs and initiatives that show off how aware and innovative we are, but it's work that needs to be done for any true progress to happen. The things I'm talking about are not just moving the numbers a little bit. It's a tectonic shift in the culture that dominates the theatrical landscape. That kind of thing doesn't happen by accident. It doesn't happen by just throwing more Brown and Black people, more women, more LGBTQ people, more accessibility technology at it.

I used to talk a great deal more about this, and I've always expressed a willingness to really do this, but I notice that I just stopped trying. It has nothing to do with me caring about this stuff any less.

But the Scarcity Matrix says, "Nobody wants this. Nobody needs this. Nobody cares. So just go away and let the people who are smarter and more marketable do the real work."