Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Odds Are ...

Odds are, a play produced in Los Angeles will have far more lean nights than it will sold-out nights.  Odds are, the reviews will be mixed.  At best.  If you can get the press to turn out.  Odds are you'll find yourself playing to the same friends and family who show up for everything.
In other words, your chance of winning is so vanishingly small it's as if, from an investment point of view, there are no winners.
Which means that you should play the game for the thrill of playing it, for the benefits of playing it to a normal conclusion, not because you think you have any shot at all of winning the grand prize.
(from Seth Godin's blog.)

You can try to feather the season with "sure things," or you can go bold.  If you're making theatre on the margins, why the hell wouldn't you go bold?
Why do we sacrifice so much energy to our art? Not in order to teach others but to learn with them what our existence, our organism, our personal and unrepeatable experience have to give us; to learn to break down the barriers which surround us and to free ourselves from the breaks which hold us back, from the lies about ourselves which we manufacture daily for ourselves and for others; to destroy the limitations caused by our ignorance and lack of courage; in short, to fill the emptiness in us: to fulfill ourselves. Art is neither a state of the soul (in the sense of some extraordinary, unpredictable moment of inspiration) nor a state of man (in the sense of a profession or social function). Art is a ripening, an evolution, an uplifting which enables us to emerge from darkness into a blaze of light.
(from Jerzy Grotowski.)

A ripening, an evolution, an uplifting which enables us to emerge from darkness into a blaze of light.

I'm not sure you can do that with stunt casting or producing the red-hot play of the moment.  I could be wrong, and I did not always feel this way.  But as the final curtain falls and the boulder rolls back down the hill will you feel challenged or insulated?  Either answer may be fine; at least know the answer!

Graphic by fuoroSome rights reserved.

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