Contributed by guest blogger of the week, Jeffrey Keenan.
Today is my last post and this has been an incredibly fun week of Guest Blogging for y’all here at the New York Innovative Theater Awards blog.
If advertising slogans are correct, producing live theater is sort of like joining the army: It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love. No, it’s not feeding displaced refugees from Afghanistan, and it’s not serving the poverty and disease stricken of Haiti, and it’s not digging a well for the thirsty children of Sudan, but it’s a way of keeping your humanity intact. It’s a way of checking in with the collective unconscious while hanging out with your friends and exploring the whys and wherefores of being human. It allows you to stretch your creative muscles and begs of you deeper compassion and communication skills. It opens up worlds that you might never be able to travel to otherwise, and if you’re really, really lucky, people applaud when you’re done.
Allow yourselves to make mistakes but ALWAYS be sure to learn from them. Don’t be afraid to make your friends and families get involved, but ALWAYS make sure they know how much responsibility you’re giving them. See everything everyone does. Read every single Shakespeare play (except Timon of Athens and King John—those are real stinkers).
Surround yourself with incredibly talented and smart and beautiful and motivated people. If you, yourself, are none of those things, become them. You really only have to believe it to make it so.
Money is the worst excuse possible to deny yourself ANYTHING—certainly throwing a show together. Can’t afford a theater? Find a bar who wants the business. Can’t find a bar? Use the largest apartment you can cajole out of your friends. Invite the most talented people you know to sit down and read a play together. WRITE SOMETHING.
Perhaps I’m not as strong with encouraging action as I am at taking it, but I hope for those of you who’ve produced something theatrical, this emboldens your resolve. For those of you considering producing something, I hope this pushes closer to your goals. For those of you who wonder how the hell I got this gig, I’m right there with ya! Let’s go have a drink and talk about something else!
2010 is still in its infancy after the horrible gestation period that was 2008 and 2009. Don’t let that fresh “new year’s smell” go to waste! Make up your mind to get involved. You have nothing at all to lose.
Thanks again to the New York Innovative Theater Awards Foundation and their amazing Executive Producers: Shay Gines, Nick Micozzi and Jason Bowcutt, and Morgan Tachco for all their help, support and thoughtfulness, and Christopher Borg for allowing me to shamelessly use him as blog fodder.
Here’s to a very productive year ahead!