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January 27, 2010


Scott Walters

Great post. Can I add to it? It isn't enough to create it, you have to promote it. Starbucks had little effect on coffee until it started to get buzz, then it started to be identified with hip people and a hip lifestyle.

So often in the arts, we DO the work, but when it is over, it is over. We need to write articles, blogs, books about what we've done and how we've done it. Share with the world. It should be regarded as a requirement right after strike!


Well, that speaks to our last remaining phobia: Meaningful and available documentation.

Maybe watching the Method series on TCM brought this up, but before the Method produced actors who easily moved between film and stage, stage actors as Laurette Taylor had their performances exist only as memories -- powerful memories, but still transmissible only through hearsay.

We no longer have a meaningful system of play preservation through PBS Great Performances, or its successor HBO. A musical might come to film, but it's most likely so changed in cast and staging that it doesn't show what its audiences loved about it -- and knowing Broadway nowadays, the source content came from film/TV in the first place.

The mercenary system that demands actors and creative staff keep moving, auditioning to keep a steady flow of income is not going to encourage any self-documentary processes -- and if you're unemployed after that brilliant work you helped make, are you going to advertise that by posting extensive notes about it on your blog?

Until health insurance and basic human needs are delinked from constant searches for work, we won't have space for a culture that preserves or teaches the tacit knowledge of theatre craft. Until then, we'll have to depend on the charity of the underemployed, which is good enough, if consistent enough, to work out a test case for success.

Tony Adams

I think being willing to adapt is another necessity. Using the Starbucks example, I remember reading they didn't start out selling coffee. They had five stores selling coffee beans before they started just selling joe, if memory serves me right.


Your memory is accurate Tony, the actual selling of coffee didn't come until much later. Originally they sold the beans.

@ Cgeye

I don't see any correlation between the ability to share what you have learned while working and then having windows where you don't work. I'm with Scott, you really need to document our success and failures . . . and the lesson we learn. There is no reason not to do that, other then lack of interest.

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