Exlporing the Fine Art of Theatre

Is there such a thing as a fine art of theatre?
Theatre people walk a lonely road sometimes. I can often spend hours alone, building, painting, digging for props and getting ready for rehearsals, not to mention going blind staring at a computer screen trying to flog the next play on Facebook to anyone who cares to notice.You might think it would be exciting, producing plays for a living. While it does have its moments, there are also periods of interminable boredom, and plenty of moments when you just wish you could go away. Lots of times you wish you could just start over, and, knowing what you know now, avoid whatever pitfall is producing inexorable amounts of stress.

Despite the lonely times, people do abound in my life, and I’m forever wondering who it was that I just waved back at across the street. And I never have to seek out advice about what I should be doing both onstage and off: nearly every day I’m handed free advice about what shows to do, who is a “good” or “bad” actor, and just what I should be doing with all the free time I supposedly have (usually it’s “Get a real job!” or some other words to that effect). It seems that no matter the source, everyone in the theatre industry has the cure for whatever ails everyone else except themselves.

Fortunately I’ve managed to figure out that you can’t please everyone, and now I’ve stopped trying, which has decreased my stress levels considerably. I still listen to all the advice I get – much of it is quite valid and well-considered, given by people who genuinely have my best interests at heart – but now I’ve learned to take it all with a smile and a grain of salt.

Time Management is another prickly area, and one that I’ve struggled with. Do you work a 40-hour week, a 60-hour week, an 80-hour week, or do you simply work until the job is done? And how does one keep six to ten projects in prep, production, rehearsal or performance at any one time and manage to keep track of it all and ensure everything is done on time?

Yes, there comes a point where I do stop working, however briefly. I try to take it easier on the weekends now, though there are still often things to do. I’ve tried a few times to take some sort of a vacation, but so far I haven’t gotten much farther than the back forty. As time goes on, of course, I’ll want to have some more time for my other loves (one in particular, of course – she’s got my ring on her finger), but theatre remains in my blood – it is my addiction and my passion – and I will always be looking for new ways that I can grow, both personally and professionally, to become something more than just your friendly neighbourhood impressario, forever exploring the fine art of theatre.