First of all, I have to start off this blog by noting that I've had my first snow day. In Florida. That's right: school was cancelled in Florida due to snow so I have an unexpected day off. Life is funny sometimes.
I wanted to write a quick little something about what I've been noticing throughout the tour about the treatment of actors, particularly by the venues we perform in that are actual theatrical spaces versus the venues that are non-theatre spaces.
I know there are a lot of people out there who don't understand how difficult this profession is. Even my own family, who has always been unbelievably supportive of my artistic endeavors, didn't fully get it. My father wanted learn more about the theatre world, so about 8 years ago, he played a walk-on role in The House of Blue Leaves, which I was also in. Act II is one long, mad-cap, farcical scene that had to be carefully choreographed and rehearsed repeatedly in order to get the timing right. After we opened, my father said to me that he couldn't believe how difficult rehearsing that scene was. I said in response, "What--did you think we would just get up there, run around, and have fun?". And my dad said, "Actually, yes." He never realized, until he experienced it first-hand, how much dedication, specificity, and hard work it takes to put up a show.
I can see the same misinterpretation in every non-theatre venue we've performed in thus far. They seem to think that for us, this is just for fun, and unconsciously end up talking down to us, because they don't see us as professionals. Now, don't get me wrong: this show is a blast and if we didn't love what we do, we wouldn't have signed on for a 6 month tour. But just because we're a traveling troupe of artists in their 20s who are clearly enjoying their job doesn't mean we're incompetent. There is a common misconception that somehow young artists are less motivated, less reliable, and less qualified than those who have administrative, business-based, or what it is deemed a more intellectual career. And this couldn't be farther from the truth: some of the most driven, self-sufficient people I have ever met have been artists. We work incredibly hard in this business, and it bothers me to think that there are many individuals out there who automatically assume that we are going to be flaky or unreliable or "overly artistic".
I don't know how we can reverse this presumption about artists. Maybe just by going in and working with the highest level of professionalism possible is enough to change those people's minds. I certainly hope so. And if it doesn't, well, at least I know that I am an awesome professional in this field, which is something I can remain very proud of.
Enough about that. I'm off to enjoy the snowy madness. In Florida. Florida. I still can't believe it.
Until next time!
Please note that the views on this blog are my personal opinion, and not those of Theatreworks USA, any of the theaters I will be performing at, or the Internet at large.