Contributed by Guest Blogger of the Week, Shay Gines.
Kick Ass Parties
We all work so incredibly hard. We make miracles happen with every production. So when the pressure is off and we are able to party, look out! OOB knows how to throw an awesome party. Live bands, burlesque performances, free booze! Come on! Plus, let’s just admit it, we are the cool kids. We are the hip, free spirited NYC artists that the Wall Streeters wish they were.
When I first got to the city, there was no “community” in the OOB community. It was actually that fact that inspired the IT Awards. Everyone was working so hard and was so focused on their own things that they couldn’t see what an amazing network of artists were right there in the trenches with them. I am so very proud of our community that we are reaching out to one another. We are building strong ties and are becoming a force to be recognized. Organizations such as The Community Dish, LIT, TRU and ART/NY (and I’d like to think that the IT Foundation also played its part) have all contributed to helping us create these bonds. More importantly however, it is the individuals who made it a priority to get more involved. On top of day jobs, personal relationships and artistic endeavors, you have made time in your already ridiculously busy schedule to attend meetings, write letters, make donations, get informed and make a consorted effort to contribute to and strengthen this community. And that is truly inspiring.
Do you watch Project Runway? I do. I even DVR it just-in-case I am not available to catch an episode. My favorite challenges are when the designers are taken to the recycling center or the carpet remnants store or given a bin of used computer parts and expected to “create fashion.” Why? Why are these episodes so much more fun and interesting and exciting? Because the challenge is so much bigger. The designers have to be MORE creative, MORE ingenious and the risk of failure is so much more possible. However the end results are often the most amazing because they had to stretch their imaginations and be so much more creative with the resources that they were given. That is one of the most exciting elements of OOB to me. I love to see shows where the set is a series of huge flipcharts; where the costumer has created 6 distinct character looks using a reversible jacket, a hat and a pair of glasses; where the director has cleverly created a huge advancing army using shadow puppets. Our shoe-string budgets often force us to be more innovative and theatrical. I love that we accept that challenge with such enthusiasm and joy.
You don’t do OOB theatre for the money. You don’t do it for the prestige. You don’t do it for your parents. You don’t do it because it’s easy. If you are working Off-Off-Broadway, it is because you love theatre, because you want to have some control over your artistic endeavors and some ownership over the work you do. You do OOB theatre because that’s what you do.
There are some amazing people in the OOB community that selflessly give so much to our community. We all have our angles. Here are some of the people whose generosity I am profoundly grateful for and who I think are truly champions for our community: the ladies at FAB, Jonathan and Ian at United Stages, Paul Adams, Nick Micozzi, Akia, the entire IT Staff, Roman Feeser, David Pincus, Tim Errickson, Amanda Feldman, Abby Marcus, Katie Rosin, Jenn Darling, Judith Malina & Brad Burgess, David Anthony, Patrick Shearer, Erez Ziv, Ben Hodges, Robert Zuckerman, Martin Denton & Rochelle Denton. I could go on and on and on and there is a beauty in that too.