Ok so, honestly I had no idea what I was going to blog about today. In brutal fact I had totally forgotten I had an update today until about an hour ago. I've been racking my brain trying to come up with some witty anecdote, or new theatre news to post on this wintry Friday. It's been a busy week. I'm exhausted and coming up with blog material doesn't always come easily for me.
So in the true style of a tried and true procrastinator...I was trolling The Facebook (that's right THE Facebook). Reading status updates, looking through some friends' new photos, and checking in on those people we're only friends with to stalk and judge (don't act like you don't do it too.)
And then I came across a friend's status about the film Avatar, a revelation that it was a "Fern Gully" story for adults...which honestly had crossed my mind as well. I love love loved Avatar (and Fern Gully), I thought it was stunningly beautiful and truly entertaining, even if it wasn't compelling drama or food for critical thought. And then of course, I looked through the comments on this status and came to this link, using the one page studio proposal for Disney's Pocohontas as a comparison to Avatar, which admittedly had NOT crossed my mind. I read it. And I LAUGHED, I loved it, I hadn't even connected the dots (as I'm sure some of you have).
And then I began thinking about the critics of theatre and movies and literature alike who always say there are no more "original" stories. That nothing is new. We as a society are always telling the same love/war/family/childhood stories over and over again. It is all connected, contrived, and irrelevant now, they argue.
This opinion has always upset me. First of all I'm not sure I actually think it's valid, but for arguments sake, even if it is...SO WHAT?! These stories are how we record history, teach children, they create our social and cultural contexts, they are art, and they entertain us. For me just because something may not be 100% original doesn't devalue it, it strengthens it. It shows what is universal and relatable to all people. Avatar was a truly amazing piece of cinema. And the story we've seen/heard a million times.
We, as theatre people and entertainers are, at heart story tellers. I strive always to be an open and dedicated story teller. I want the stories I tell to touch people, make them laugh, show them something they relate to, and maybe teach them something new. That's why people created stories in the first place.
And in the end it's not how new and exciting and outlandish the story is that matters, but how it is told.