Do not ever visit my blog for strong, unwavering opinions on any given issue. I am always of two minds. It’s just how my brain works. And so today, on I Look at Life from Both Sides, Now: The ongoing debate over actor compensation for 99 seat theaters in LA.
Basically, actors in LA (and also, kind of everywhere) are not getting compensated for doing plays. At CTG, the Geffen, the larger spaces, they most certainly are — but in most cases, with the 99 seat or smaller theaters — actors are receiving 7 to 15 dollars a performance, and no $ for rehearsal whatsoever. Equity is trying to mandate minimum wage payment for actors, for rehearsal and performance. Case closed, right? Of course people should be paid. Of course, of course, of course. I see that side of it. Absolutely. Theater artists are sometimes parents and have mortgages and student loans and should be paid.
These smaller theaters companies have no money.
Theater. Has. Barely. Any. Money.
If these smaller companies were to pay their actors as mandated, they would go from doing, say, five shows a year, to one show a year. Gone would be the days of doing a kickstarter and putting a show up for 3K. On the one hand — maybe this would improve the QUALITY of theater in LA. Less is more. I hear that.
But on the other hand — there go hundreds of opportunities for actors, playwrights and directors. There’s also the fact that actors are currently PROTESTING this movement. They are PROTESTING a movement that would get them paid — because they want the opportunities. They’d rather do the play and not get paid. That’s how badly they want to do the work. And this incredible. I’ve thought it many times, and perhaps even said it here — if you start a career in the theater, and expect to make a living, you are looney tunes. Few people actually do make a living making plays. Gone are those days. Theater is not a career, it is a passion, a mode of self-expression. I have occasionally made a living, but I never expected it, as it is inconsistent. It is up to the theater artist to supplement their passion, their mode of self expression, with teaching / tv / film / marrying a lawyer / perhaps being a lawyer / dog walking / accounting / foot fetish parties. We know this.
In summation, I see both the good and the harm that the new rule could do. But ultimately — I’m just really inspired. In what other industry would the workers protest getting compensated? We are crazy. We like to play dress up and play-fight with each other and write out scenes in which we scream the things that we wish we had the bravery to scream in real life. We love plays, and we will make them, we will continue to make them, paid or not.
Why do I do this to myself? A plane crashed in the French Alps earlier today, flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. So far, it seems to have crashed for no reason. It reaches its cruising altitude, then just — sank. The fact that I was just there made me instantly internalize and personalize it. The fact that little brother Dan is currently in Spain, traveling to various parts of Europe, made me do so even MORE. (Note: Dan just texted me back. Not on the plane. Thank God.) WHY do I do this to myself? Why, whenever there’s a plane crash, do I feel like I must know everything about it? Even now, when actually flying, I feel like I’m on other side of whatever irrational worry I got so wrapped up in? I still obsess. I read. I put myself on the plane, and wonder and feel and crash with it. Is it to remind myself that I can? That I still could? Why do I feel like I MUST remember this?
My mom left real early this morning, and I learned something new (?) about myself. Things I can’t handle before I’ve had coffee:
- questions that contain feelings
- feelings that contain questions
- Other people
LOVE YOU MOM! SORRY ABOUT THAT TIME I YELLED AT YOU! IT WASN’T MEEEEEEEEEEE!
Took Mom on down to Disneyland for her bday! She went when she was five years old and hadn’t been back since ,but it CERTAINLY came back to her.
- A day-long Mary Poppins sing along that we initiated that no one joined in
-When Mickey Mouse HIMSELF told her Happy Birthday and she dern near cried
-Space Mountain Scaredfaces
- That time I invented Carouselfie
My mom is visiting! I never have to worry about how to entertain her. She’s real easy to please. Just find the fleurs, put her near all of the fleurs, and let her decide what each of them are, and where they came from. FUN FOR HEURS!
Dan sent me this picture from a bathroom in Copenhagen, Bek you should put this on your blog, AND I AM NOTHING IF NOT OBEDIENT. Thanks for lookin’ out, Brostetter!
My beautiful cousin Ella, who in fact just popped out another kid — welcome to the world, Carson! It’s gonna be great! — posted this picture of her daughter, Layla, hiding her head in shame after drawing on the wall, and it is just the greatest thing. Grown ups: let’s bring back burrowing our heads in corners after we do bad things, yes?
For those moments when you really really need iced coffee but you’re on a deadline and you can’t so much leave your house: THIS STUFF!
It’s awesome. But note, it’s a CONCENTRATE, and should be mixed with water, not like, chugged straight from the bottle, which I in fact at first accidentally did. LABELS, WHO READS ‘EM? Also note that it should never, I repeat never be consumed after 4 pm, lest you end up in bed at midnight singing the coffee song, which in fact goes like
WHY DID YOU DRINK THAT COFFEEEEEEE
YOU SHOULDNTA DRANK THAT COFFEEEEE
BUT YOU DRANK THAT COFFEE
YOU DRANK THAT COFFEE
YOU SHOULDNTA DRANK THAT COFFEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Which I have never sung in bed aloud at all especially not the other night after accidentally chugging this iced coffee concentrate after 4pm.
Today, on what artists are for: Greg Kloehn, an artist in Oakland, CA, is building tiny houses for the homeless from salvaged materials, and I basically can’t stop looking at pictures of them. Sure, the owner can’t so much stand inside of their new home, but it provides a greater sense of structure, stability, coziness, dignity. He says: “There is a spontaneity and playfulness in making small homes that traditional houses do not offer. It reminds me of making forts as a kid, no city planners, no architects, no crews, no bank loans, just my ideas and my hands.” FORTS!
Honestly, Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing a person living on the streets. Nothing breaks my heart even MORE than the fact that you kind of become numb to it, get wrapped up in your own life, and get used to seeing it. But HUMAN BEINGS SHOULD NOT LIVE ON THE STREET. THEY SHOULD AT LEAST LIVE IN THESE, INSTEAD.