Friday, February 08, 2008

Required Reading: Mike Daisey

Mike Daisey writes about How Theatre Failed America.

He writes:

"I ended up at a friend's party...We settled down in the kitchen under the bright light, making 4:00 a.m. conversation and, as all theater artists do, I asked the traditional question: 'What are you working on?'

"My friend's face fell. ... She corrected a moment later, and told me carefully that she wasn't going out for anything now—that she was giving it up. ... After 15 years of working in theaters all over Seattle, she'd felt the fire go out of her from the relentless grind of two full-time jobs: one during the day in a cubicle, the other at night on a stage.

"She said what really finished it for her was getting cast in a big Equity show this fall and seeing how the other Equity actors lived—the man whose work had inspired her all her life, living in a dilapidated hovel he was lucky to afford; the woman who couldn't spare 10 dollars to eat lunch with colleagues without doing some quick math on a scrap of paper to check her weekly budget. These are the success stories, the very best actors in the Northwest, the ones you've seen onstage time and time again. Their reward is years of being paid as close to nothing as possible in a career with no job security whatsoever, performing for overwhelmingly wealthy audiences whose rounding errors exceed the weekly pittance that trickles down to them."

Mr. Daisey then explains in precise detail, how and why this has happened.

He's pretty spot on. Give it a read.

H/t Isaac Butler.

Raging against the machine,

James "Parading Bull" Comtois

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Blogger Goose said...

Wow. Read Mike's post. Heartbreaking, but true. I sometimes wonder how much longer I can do it. And, sometimes I wonder when I might be like his friend and just give up completely.

I hope it is a least not until I am 50. :)

Thanks for link!

11:46 AM  

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