Thursday, July 7, 2011

Art and Promotion

Ahh... the ageless balance between art and the marketplace. It plagues me, mostly when I am in Marketeer Mode for Art of the Song, but it does raise its head around my work as actor, teacher and all around "professional trying to make a living doing what I trained to do."

So often, when the subject of marketing and fundraising comes up, someone will roll their eyes and say, "Yes, if we could only just get paid to do what we love to do..." and with a heavy sigh, changes the subject.

I am fortunate that I trained a lot to do what I love well. As did all the scientists at Sandia Labs, and Intel. The difference is in the application that I have chosen. I did not go the academic route with my Masters degree, or into management. I trained to perform. What I am wrestling with is that the life plan for a management position or an academic is quite different than that of an indie performer/producer. So how does one create a model that becomes sustainable?

Three things come to mind:
  • Honor that my creative work has an important role in the world, people's lives and my own
  • Show up for the work as one would a nine - five job in the marketplace (it just may be 12 midnight to 3 am and another shift from 11 am - 6 pm)!
  • Create a strategic plan, and an operating plan, and let them be as creative an expression as the writing or the performing.
okay actually six things:
  • Rewards - my friend Deonne used to give herself french toast when she finished a particularly hideous, non creative job in service to her favorite is Annapurna Chai... 
  • Meditate & workout -  it really helps
  • Gratitude list - again, a life saver. I have this low grade grumble that occurs in the back of my conscious thought that soaks up good memory like those pesky apps that launch and use up all the RAM on your desktop, slowing down your computer... Gratitude eliminates them pretty fast... 
So today, I am in full on markeeter mode, finishing our Not for Profit application, promoting our Indie Go Go campaign and by and large showing up in everyone's mailbox like that penny... but I choose to believe that its a penny you can save, spend and enjoy!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

First Rehearsal

It's such a great thing. That first table read. A bit terrifying as we all do the getting to know you thing. Finding each other in this new space. Building this new world. But then, the scripts come out and the words start to flow. The characters begin to emerge as the rhythms and senses start to kick in to gear.

I am honored to be joining Camino Real Productions production of Rancho Pancho under the direction of Diane Malone. The play is a beautiful insight into the life of Tennessee Williams as seen through the eyes of his long time companion Pancho Rodriguez. Carson McCullers pays a steamy visit, and Margo Jones appears as well. Tennessee is played by Santiago Candelaria, Pancho by Benny Briseno, Carson is played by Tina Puglisi and I have the great pleasure of portraying Margo Jones.

Margo was the brains and much of the time the brawn behind the early development of regional theater as we know it today. What a thrill to dig into her life and thought process. There's a great video about her if you are interested, dear reader, called Sweet Tornado. I can't wait to see it.

Her directing credits included Summer and Smoke premier, Inherit the Wind's premier and the unveiling of Dark at the Top of the Stairs. What an ear for really good scripts. I hope some of her abilities rub off on me!