July 14, 2005 § 1 Comment
I had the opportunity to attend the theater the other day. Please understand that I use the term “theater” rather loosely in this context considering what I actually witnessed would be better described as “amateur rot on stage.” I am very quickly losing my patience with theater. I know, I know, theater is an incredibly powerful tool that speaks to the heart and has the potential to exhilarate, devastate, and educate, but… more often it is amateur rot on stage. Understand, I am being incredibly cynical, and I don’t think anyone could be more convinced of the merits of theater. But let’s face it… most theater is barely entertaining, much less high art. I don’t think this is necessarily the fault of the theater as an institution, but more a direct result of the involvement of talentless hacks.
I wish I could be more specific as to the particular event I witnessed, but so as not to offend and to maintain some modicum of Christian piety, I must refrain. Well, I’ll offer a hint: in one particular “rousing number” the cast spends an interminable amount of time simply spelling the title of the show. Why? Perhaps because our good friends R&H have run out of such lyrical gems as “the farmer and the cowman should be friends”, “the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye”, and “they’ve gone about as fer’ as they can go.” Suffice it to say that it was about as tolerable as, say… Teletubbies on Ice.
Now, let’s talk about theater people. Take a few dozen people who have little to no social skills, seriously confused personal identities, and magnified god complexes, make them the center of attention… and you get theater people. I realize I’m being harsh, but… I’m one of them. I’ve been in theater most of my life. I like to think I’m not exactly like them, but my lack of objectivity makes me wonder. What is it about theater that attracts the weird? And what is it about us, the audience, that supports the exacerbation of their neuroses?
Theater people are laughable in many ways, not the least of these being, their overwhelming sense of pride. These people seem so full of themselves, and I always find it curious why. They watch as people line up for the show, they peek out (in any way they can) to watch the house fill up, and afterwards they feign humilty as they gobble up the compliments… their ego swelling to monstrous proportions. I think, for some reason, theater people believe the audience is there to see them. It’s not true. Maybe their mom or dad or girlfriend, etc. is there for them, but the gross majority of the audience couldn’t care less. They want to see the show. Again, for those theater people reading this, they don’t care about you… they… want… to… see… the… show. Not you. The show. Seriously.
To continue the rant… what is it about theater that makes people dream crackpot dreams. I am all for dreaming, and I think that everyone should have a lofty goal, but… every single person in theater wants to be famous, and deep inside they believe they can do it. I don’t think this sort of wide-eyed optimism exists to such a colossal degree in any other profession in the world, as it does is in theater. You don’t go to you’re average medical convention and find each and every doctor touting their eventual and inevitable discovery of the cure for the common cold, AIDs, and cancer. No one reaches for the top like theater people do, God bless ’em. They each believe that their talent, tenacity, and good luck will get them there. Luck, see… that’s the problem. In no other line of work can you rely so heavily on luck. It’s like someone who’s addicted to gambling; the odds are always against them… but they’re gonna be the lucky one… you just watch.
Like I said… I am one of these people. I love the theater. Still, a little dose of reality is always good. Surely, the reality will get mixed up in all the magic, and maddness and come out the other end as lunacy, but…. that’s theater.
July 8, 2005 § 4 Comments
I feel like I’m missing everything. Do you ever get the feeling that something else is happening somewhere… something that is more fun or more important than the something you’re doing right now. And then, you find yourself wishing you were doing that thing rather than the something you’re doing?
I feel like I’m missing life. I’m doing the “things”, but I’m just not living. I went to visit my good friend Movie Matt the other day in Los Angeles, and we got to talking. Movie Matt and I have only been friends for a couple of years, but we’re as close as I imagine you can become in a couple years, considering the obstacle of geography.
Anyway, we got to talking about what life has looked like lately and where we’re headed, and I thought to myself, “What about where we’re at?” I remember having similar conversations a year ago about where we would go and the things we would do, and now that we’ve gone and we’ve done… we’re overlooking where we’re at.
I’m determined to stop racing through life looking for the next thing. I’m going to live. In part, that’s the point of this blog. I need to take the time to reflect on what I’ve done, seen, felt, and learned. So, writing this is to help me slow down a bit.
Now, I’m realistic in my understanding that I am probably the only person who will ever read this, save my wife (when I make her), so this is really a glorified method of talking to myself, but… whatever works!