Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Professional Theatre

Ok kids, I'll tell you: professional acting ain't like doing community theater. Now, I have high regard for community theater and tremendous respect for ardent amateurism, and in fact, hells bells, it's probably more often more fun. As a 'professional' gig, acting comes with all the baggage of any and all walks of life one leads for a paycheck. Maintaining professional standards, relationships with colleagues, the way one manages backstage drama (in community theater, it's half the fun; in professional theater, it gets you fired), good business practices, disciplined p.r., prioritizing consistency over mercurial genius--these are some of the plates one keeps spinning--and the pay SUCKS (for those of us not in film and tv). Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let your daughter go into theater. Except, of course, if she insists.

All that said: what I LIKE about theater: it's a spiritual journey that requires no recourse to metaphysical nonsense; it's fun; it's a last bastion of human communal contact; i t's a last rearguard action against the digitalization of experience; it's important.

It's often said that actors are like priests. Meh. I dunno know about that. But, they ARE like COYOTE, in the native American tradition of coyote stories. We go out there and shift the energy in the room by doing and saying what no one else allows themselves to do or say. Coyote usually gets burned. But, everyone else coyote encounters learns something important, and moves on to the next stage of things.

That's worth something.


I hope.

At least, it's often beautiful.

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