Thursday, May 18, 2006

crazy talk

We can cut a deal with realtors to renovate properties and revitalize neighborhoods that benefits both sides.

We can argue with the city about the vital need for recognition and protection of the young, unknown artists and the environment they work in, and we can win that argument.

We can work with the unions to create more work and a much more rewarding work environment.

We can tour our work across the country and host the work of like-minded small theater companies and artists here in New York.

We can build a new, strong, engaged audience by focusing on younger people and working together.

We can write the history books. Literally. We can write them. We're living them, we just need to write it down now while it's fresh.

We can do a lot of things, friends. Only real problem I see is that there is no we.

Every generation recognizes the same problem. Every generation comes to the same wall.

Most generations divide into two camps. One camp recognizes the wall, measures it, and begins to climb it. Some may actually get over to the other side, who knows? Most of the first camp, however, settle on finding a position somewhere on the wall and begin to jealously guard it.

The other camp, standing at the wall, not climbing, divides as well. Half spend their lives standing at the foot of the wall, shaking their fists and shouting. The other half grows bored and walks away.

That's what most generations do, upon finding themselves at the wall.

The exceptional generations, the historical generations, tear down the fucking wall.

We all know the situation. We can all talk about the same problems and tell the same sad stories. The answers may not be easy, but they certainly aren't complex. We can change things. We're the only ones who can.

Only problem is, there is no we.

In the meantime, let's all pursue our individual agendas and work on our individual shows and publicize our individual endeavors and hope that it all works out.

See you on the wall.

4 comments:

Lucas Krech said...

I like this a lot.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is sad but true.
How the Group Theatre came to be or I guess...how any company stays together ?

The General said...

Hi. I'm a little late to the party. I read through the varioius thoughts and diatribes about the Equity issue and thought about responding to that, but since my overall reaction was going to be something very similar to a gradeschool kid spitting a spitwad at a substitute teacher, I thought I'd refrain and start at the top.

John, nice words. But talk a little bit about this 'wall'. Talk a little bit about this 'we'. My worry with all this stuff...these various groups -- splintered or not -- and all this activism...is that it gets us away from the work. And, simply put, as far as I can tell there's just not enough good work going on in New York City for everybody to get all up in arms about. I see a lot of shit (I mean volume, here I don't refer to quality) and while nearly all of it is well-intentioned and much of it has a kernel of something really interesting a lot of it could use A LOT more work, depth, etc. etc. etc. I lump my own work in with this generalization.

The cultural landscape of New York City is vast and varied, and includes a lot more than just theater. I just feel like theatrical types are so inward looking and so busy trying to convince everybody that what they're doing is valid that they don't have the time to actually make something that IS valid. Undeniably valid. For my money if there should be any banding together (and there probably should be) we should be looking to brethren and sistren in the other arts: visual, film, dance, music, literary, etc. etc. etc. I'm not talking about something as distasteful-sounding as a 'consortium' or anything. I'm speaking more spiritually than that.

This is my diatribe.

Oops. Did I just hit that pesky sub with my spitwad?

Congrats, again, on that Obie.

(jake)

John said...

Thanks, Jake. More wall talk on the recent post. Give me a metaphor and enough time and I'll beat that bastard right into the ground.

And you're right about the need for a larger artistic consciousness in this city. Theater and dance people don't even talk, let alone theater and visual art folks. And I'm as guilty as anyone out there.