Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dead Theatre Bug?

Those who are in theatre tend to say, "I was bit by the theatre bug at an early age"...or something to do with being bitten by that bug...that bug that makes you think, "Hey, as long as I'm pursuing my art it's okay if I live paycheck to paycheck. I'm doing what I love...right?"

Writing isn't much different. The "Writing Bug" has that same after effect as previously mentioned. BUT...something interesting that I'm "Writing Bug" may have killed ("squashed" maybe is a better term?) my "Theatre Bug".

Can I do more than ONE artistic thing at a time and give them both 100% as well as do my full time job that pays me? I can. I have. For years I've written on the side and pursued theatre hard core when not dealing with healthcare. But today I discovered "Theatre Bug" feels dead.

**Insert a metaphorical scream and running about the room in fear**


Maybe it's because I know that my book is good enough to be published and things are moving along (I have found and editor that believes in me and my work for starters) in that area of my life while my theatre work, though good, feels like it is going nowhere fast and to be honest, I'm not feeling the pull right now to change that.


For those of you NOT in NYC doing Off Off Bway stuff...let me enlighten you a bit. TONS of actors/directors/designers/etc. bust their ass for not a penny in this market here in NYC. I have a 2 page resume of work here in NYC in 8 years and I've been paid for 1 out of 10. Hell, I did one show last summer that I STILL have yet to be paid for!!! But that's not the point and I don't want to digress. We bust our asses and what do I have to show for it? A nice resume, a lot of knowledge that makes me a valuable person to have on your production team, and a lot of great friends or aquaintences in the biz...but it's the same thing day in and day out. There has been no changes except now, with the economy as it stands, my theatre company makes even LESS money! (Yee Gad! I'd have thought that wasn't even possible!). We have been pulling in 1/2 of what we were pulling. That's because people, including me, have been scaling back on spending money. I can't go see all my friends shows anymore. #1. It gets expensive to shell out $18 each time. #2. I used to use my business card to get in free (as I am considered industry in this genre) but they too need every dollar they can get and aren't comping anyone anynmore that's not an agent or a reviewer). So...does this mean I go pay and see the show? No. It means I stay home and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and watch the TV I'm already paying for no matter if I do or do not go to the theatre. Mind you...if they are one of my closest friends I do try to find the money. Supporting them is very important. But it hurts my heart to see SUPER talented people doing one Off Off Broadway show after another without getting representation. And lets face it...hardly ANY agents drag their ass to an OOB play. Only, if by some miracle, they know someone in the show or who is directing/producing it do they come and even then...picking an actor to represent happens almost never.

It's sad. I know that. Maybe I'm burned out. I did go literally from show to show to show either as a director, producer, stage manager, choreographer or writer for about 3 years. What do I have to show for it? As previously said...a nice resume and some great skills...etc. But I'm no closer to having a self standing company. I'm just not. The chances that my theatre company will make enough money to let me just do what I love for a living is a long shot. A long shot in the sense of hitting a golf ball from Japan to NYC...THAT long a long shot.'s not. I have that "feeling". It is going to take me somewhere...and I just don't know where yet...or when...but it is. And as I try and fail there aren't a bunch of people looking to me going, "Where's the money?". It's just me looking at myself and to let myself down is one thing, but to let down all those people I cherish and see as uber talented souls who I love? I breaks my heart more than they know.

A friend of mine and I have this dream to build an amazing theatre company that is both theatre and music with two theater's in it and rooms for rehearsal and classes. It's amazing! He and his father even have the schematics of it all drawn up. It would be the talk of NYC if we could start it. I'd LOVE to run the theatre side of love of theatre isn't's just, my dreams seem to have changed. The Off Off Bway platform for me now feels like community theatre...though, trust me, the work my friends do is WAY above that talent wise! Maybe it's cause I'm going to turn 40 this year...but, I need to up the anty people...I just need to.

If I want that company I need to get the money. To get the money I need to do something other than what I'm doing now, OOB theatre. It's sad...but I feel it's true.

I'm rambling. I'm sorry. If you're able to follow these trains of thought CUDOS to YOU my friend!

The long and short of it is this...I have NO drive to do theatre right now and that scares me. I've been a theatre kid since I was 10 years old when the bug bit me and now I'm almost 40...that's a LONG time to be in the biz and I've gone farther than most. I just feel like my theatrical career is a hampster on that little wheel in his cage. It saddens me. It discourages me. I watch SO many do what I do and stay in the same spot and one might ask yourself why. Why not take my degree and apply to be the Artistic Director of a theatre company anywhere else in the country? Why not go to Grad school in England (cause that's my dream)? Why stay in NYC?

Simply put. I don't know. I feel in limbo. My friends are all married (or getting married or in long term relationships) and I...well...I have a dog (Not that he's not the best dog ever though!)...and I have a LOT of GREAT friends that I ADORE. But I'll be honest. I'm starting to wonder if my time here in NYC is going to end soon. Not because I don't love it here...not that I don't love my friends or what I do...but because I feel there is MORE out there for me than what I do now. If this book thing doesn't pan out (but it will so I'm just theorizing here) will I stay in NYC?

I hate to say this...cause it will SHOCK the shit out of my friends (if they even read this)...but the answer

I said I'd give NYC 10 has until then, at the max. At that point if I'm not doing anything different than I am today (single, working at a hospital, trying to sell my books, doing theatre on the side...)I think it'll be time for me to move forward. I have NO idea what that will entail...but, as of today I admit it fully. have 2 years to woo me, so to show you wanna keep me. I dare you to do it. Find a way...or trust me, I'll find the next adventure to make me grow as a person somewhere else. I refuse to settle in this life.

Those are my lengthy thoughts today. If you made it all the way though...congrats! You are probably the only one! LOL!

Tamsin :)

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