I don't have a story, I have a plea to the arts community, based on hundreds of stories told by the artists who come to us for help. My plea is simple, and not very original. I am urging each of you to realize that, whether or not you like it, you are in business.
Running a theatre ensemble can be a contentious, aggravating and, ultimately, fruitful experience for all concerned if the right combination of personalities and talents come together. A lot depends on the sort of work the ensemble is interested in pursuing.
You have spent months in preparation. You have fine-tuned
the script and show concept, agreed to pay five times your apartment rent for a
venue, rehearsed with your cast. Opening night approaches and suddenly it
occurs to you that you have to actually work to get an audience that is
comprised of more than just your friends and family.
In our limited experience at Theatre Seven, I think I've found the most difficult challenge is achieving a balance between planning for growth and success and realizing that you've never done this before, and haven't the faintest idea of how things are going to go. We created Theatre Seven believing, as I still do, that the reason so many companies fail is that they look at their first production as the finish line, gearing all their operation around just "getting the first one off the ground." Then, once that's over, they seem to come to a dead stop for a while. I have no idea how true that is, but operating under that assumption has helped us incorporate a vision for the future in everything we do, even with the awareness that we're not quite sure where we're headed.
Erica Daniels, casting director of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, offers valuable advice on succeeding at auditions, when to turn down an opportunity, and the benefits of being an understudy.
Every artist has to remember that, first and foremost, art is a business. If you don't want to face that fact, then do not try to survive off of your talent. Find something else to do. With that being said, I have learned early on that artists need to protect themselves.
Items for Sale at the Resource Center: The Resource Center is a Chicago-based nonprofit environmental education organization focused on demonstrating innovative techniques for recycling and reusing urban materials.
Writing isn't anyone's favorite pastime. Not even for writers. As sports columnist "Red" Smith once explained, "There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." The blank screen is a formidable opponent for everyone.
Writing an Artist's Statement can be an important exercise in developing your work as well as providing key insights for curators, gallerists, funders and others. Find out the types of statements commonly requested, and whats, whys and hows of successful Artist's Statements.