Contributed by Chisa B. Hutchinson
The thing I love about Off-Off-Broadway--did I put enough off's?-- is how real and generous the love is. People sure ain't in it for the money. I'm in the middle of self-producing an Off-Off...-Off-Broadway piece right now. Maaaaaan, we had our first production meeting and I came in feeling all nervous and apologetic because I can't pay my collaborators anywhere near what they deserve--like it's embarrassing how little-- but when we started talking next steps and potential challenges, all of that fell away. Apparently, they weren't thinking about stipends; they were more concerned with how we can put a streetlight on stage with relatively low clearance and whether or not the ventilation system in the space is good enough to handle all the spray paint we have to use during the show. They just want to figure out how to make stuff happen. And they have ideas about how they can do that because they're creative and innovative and they've actually spent time thinking about it.
I left that meeting feeling completely reinforced and determined to do whatever I can do to earn the loyalty and support that I'm getting. So yeah. Off-off. It's a house of cards, but it's buttressed like a mutha.