I’ve had a modest theatre career, with some of it spent in the high school classroom teaching theatre arts, and some of it stage managing and running lights and directing. But I also spent a good long time in an office environment writing user manuals. I didn’t like it much at the time, but boy, did I learn about best business practices. At the time, I hated having to go to classes and meetings and seminars where these things were passed on to the unwashed and unwilling. But one day it hit me. These processes were ways to organize and focus your life, and not just while working in an office. What if they could apply to developing a career in the arts?
I’m finding out that you do need a business perspective when you enter show business or the arts I’ve watched my nephew Thomas Turner, artist (he designed the Theatre Owl logo) graduate art school and then have to figure out how to build a career. He’s doing fine. My niece Sara has also graduated and lives in New York where she walks dogs and goes to auditions. She has an agent. A very, very good business idea.
I have a healthy interest in best business practices, but there are other things I’d rather think about such as analyzing and finding themes and meanings in the written word. I read a lot. I like parsing things, and so have written my share of theatre criticism. I’ve studied theatre history and criticism, keep up with contemporary theatre. I have even written a contemporary site-specific play.
I especially like analyzing all kinds of literature to get pieces ready to be performed as oral interpretation of literature and readers theatre. Check out our Podcasts to see examples of oral interpretation.
Success comes to those who are prepared for it and who actively seek it. There is much talk about risk taking, but I believe when you get right down to it, taking risks isn’t the best way to get where you want to go. I believe success comes to those who reduce the risks, who do what is necessary to make success a reasonable thing. These are people who don’t sit around twiddling their thumbs waiting for the Big Break. Successful people get the training, the support, whatever they need to make that happy dreaming come to a realistic conclusion. They don’t take risks, they plan and do what is necessary to get where they are going.
Athletes have coaches to point them in the right direction. You have a coach in your drama teacher. Now you have me, too. Use us well.
I want this blog to be in support of what you are doing already, not in place of it. There’ll be conflicts between what you are learning and teaching, which I welcome. What would be ideal would be to hear about them and anything else you want to talk about and to discuss them among ourselves.
Luke: All right, I’ll give it a try.
Yoda: No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.
―The Empire Strikes Back
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