WARNING: The opinions expressed below are DEFINITELY those of The CoLab Theatre Company! Learn more at www.colabtheatre.org!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

You say artist, I say person, let's call the whole thing off.

I have been silently watching the debate happening on the blog at the moment, interested to read the different points of view and formulating my own addition, which is as follows:

1.) I sometimes identify myself as artist.
2.) I sometimes identify myself as a theatre person.
3.) I sometimes identify myself as an actor. A director. An Administrator.
4.) I always identify myself as Mary-Liz.

I guess all this amounts to is that I identify and agree with the line in Kenny's second post "I'm really saying that we should always be people first and all other things secondary." I agree that there is sometimes a negative connotation associated with the term "theatre person" it can be derogatory or belittling. But it doesn't make it untrue. I also think there is a serious danger in being identified as an "artist". The "arts" and "artists" in our culture are often viewed as completely unrelatable to the general audience. They are seen as pretentious and elitist. Out of touch. (Exhibit A; http://artsdispatch.blogspot.com/2010/09/we-take-swing-at-idea-that-arts-are.html#more) And I don't think it's any of our goals to alienate people by describing what we do. Not that we shouldn't be proud to create work and identify it as art but we are also SO much more than that. We are entertainers. We are designers. We are technicians. We are performers. We are "talent". We are hired monkeys. We are perpetual students. We are professionals.

In different contexts, any one of these labels would describe exactly what we do. And that's awesome. That we can have one "job" or one "career" and be ALL of these different things. That's why I love being in theatre. That's what makes me Mary-Liz. Not being referred to by one moniker or other. Those things describe what I do. Not who I am.

In OTHER Theatre news...
These things are playing in Boston this week

Poe: A Fever Dream, 11:11 Theatre Company, The Factory Theatre
Interview, Heart and Dagger Productions, The Plaza Theatre @ Boston Center for the Arts
In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, Speakeasy Stage, Roberts Theatre @Boston Center for the Arts
Circle Mirror Transformation, Huntington Theatre Company, Wimberly Theatre @ Boston Center for the Arts
The Neofuturists Project, Independent Drama Society, this week @ The Democracy Center Cambridge
Enron, Zeitgeist Stage, The Plaza Black Box @ Boston Center for the Arts

Check it out and support our local entertainer.performer.artist.hired monkey.technician.people

Always - Mary-Liz

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