I’ve so far had 31 survey takers, which is fabulous. I’d love to make it to a hundred so I’m probably going to bother those who took the survey to send it on to more people. It’s a really interesting to see what people are saying. Some things match exactly what I would think, some things are unexpected. Expected – everyone wants more money and more time. Unexpected – it’s about evenly split between people who think they don’t have opportunities to create new work and people who do. That surprised me. I think it calls for a little further analysis of who those folks are and what their relationship to their art is (full time, part time, etc). Some of the surprise comes from the realization that not everyone has the same vision for theater that I do. We all want different things out of our art. Which is obviously totally fine. I realize if I am going to make something come of this little beginning of an idea that I need to be open to others visions of a sucessful life in theater as well as being clear and staying true to what it is I want. I realize that it’s important for me to be more exact and clearer in explaining what I want. That my ‘mission statement’ needs to be precise.
I want my idea, how ever it finalizes itself to be a service to theater artists in order to help them create richer deeper more finalized projects, that can then go out into the world. But I know that a lot of what artists need most of all is ‘productions’ and freedom from needing to make money outside the world of art. Those are two things I don’t know if I can help with. I’m just not interested in running, at this point anyway, a fully producing theater. There are so many great producing organizations and audience is split between them. The problem of producing theater in the current model is that so many pieces go up before they are fully ready. I want my idea to provide artists with the ability to make their work fully ready. Yes, that would probably entail sometime in front of an audience, but not a production. The money thing is more difficult. I wish I could just give money to artists, but I don’t have any and I need to make some too. Second and third jobs are sadly necessities, as are grants, loans, and the kindness of others. But if you’re spending time making money then you don’t have time for that art and that can be frustrating. I need to figure out if there is any way my project could morph to help answer this problem, or at least alleviate some of that frustration.
Anyway, lots of questions. It’s exciting to think about though, to play with in my mind. More exciting than the paper on Chekhov I have to write today. Though, that too may be interesting once I get a little deeper into it. Chekhov was hot, did you all know that? I learned yesterday as my teacher, who obviously has her own Chekhov love affair, showed us slide after slide of his attractive face. She’s been talking all semester of her love for Chekhov, I has assumed it was the words and the story telling but I find it goes a little deeper than that, which is actually rather sweet and thrilling. Both words I would use to describe her as well.
Anyway, that’s to those who took the survey all ready. Please please forward it on to other theater folks you know. I would love to make it to 100 respondants so I can get a really deep understanding about what people need and how they respond to the questions. And if you haven’t taken it yet (and you work in theater) please do: http://www.polldaddy.com/s/314D775174EE570A/