Saturday, April 11, 2009

Why Do I Have a Blog Anyways?

Lately I've been feeling like I need to remind myself why it is that I have this theatre blog, so forgive me - this post is as much to define this blog for myself as it is for anyone who reads it.

I scan & read an average of 45 blog posts per day from my 115 subscriptions, and most of those are Theatre related; yes, Theatre with a capital T. Economics. Manifestos. Theory. Marketing practice. Script Development. Current events analysis. Philosophy. Projections for the future.

I enjoy reading what people are saying and wrestling with the ideas that they are discussing, but that's not what I want to write about, because it isn't what I am passionate about.

Don't get me wrong. I love theatre. I wouldn't be continuing to try to find work doing theatre if I didn't love it. But my passion for theatre comes from creating theatre and seeing the theatre that is being created by my peers, not arguing about theory. And this may be naiive of me, and I'm okay with that. When it comes right down to it, I still have a lot of time to become jaded with the industry or to learn about just how hard it is to get the necessary funding. I'm still relatively new to all of this.

For me, this blog is an outlet for my writing - something I've missed sorely since finishing university. While in school I was churning out about 3000 words a week and when I graduated and had no assigned writing to do, I missed it. A self-imposed assignment is as good as something a professor assigns as long as it makes me keep writing and thinking. And sometimes it's better because I'd far rather be writing about something I'm passionate about (theatre) than something I'm not (pre-confederation Canada).

So, what do I want to write about?

I want to write about all the crazy things that happen behind the scenes in the course of making theatre. I want to share my experiences as I take part in creating this thing we call theatre. I can't share everything interesting - that ends up breaking confidences - but I'll share what I can.

I also want to write about the theatre I see, but I'm still trying to figure out how to do that. When I started the blog I thought I might include reviews (you can find some among my early posts), but the reality is that at this point in my career doing peer reviews of shows will burn bridges I can't afford to burn. I've written about some theatrical trends that bother me and about shows I am looking forward to, but I'm not yet convinced that these are the best approaches to discussing the vast amount of work that is happening in Vancouver. But I'll keep looking for those ways.


Kate Foy said...

I hear you. I find that whilst I read quite a lot of blogs that deal with dramatic and theatrical theory that it comes too close to the other side of what I did (quite recently) as a theatre professor. Like you, I prefer to read and write and connect in other ways with theatre practitioners - this is as a corollary to my theatre professor ID.

So I tend in my blog to comment and reflect on my own practice as an actor/director/teacher/theatre advocate and enthusiast and find (I think) I'm at my best when commenting in this way on colleagues' work.

Sterling Lynch said...

Most theatre blogs I've encountered are by actors, writers, directors, and other wankers (of which I am a proud member... ugh bad pun).

I am sure if you write about what you want to write about and avoid the common themes you've identified, it will be a useful addition to the on-line conversation. Tho, I should say, good topical writing always demands the risk of a few smoking bridges.

bfg said...

I hear you, friend!

I love my blogs about Theatre. The theory, economics, future, etc. And I have a good brain wrestle with them and from time to time find meaningful things to contribute to the conversation. But I haven't been around long enough to make it my main focus, yet.

And I love the stories. I think we can learn a lot from the stories of others. Theatre is, after all, about telling stories. I think they have just as much educational value as anything else.

And I will gladly read them!

Also, I see where you're coming from on burning bridges. But I agree with Sterling, sometimes you have to risk it...And anyone worth working with shouldn't be so easily offended by your opinions. In fact, the voice of dissent is often the best one to have around--it forces you to reconsider and to rearticulate your ideas.

So write away, I can't wait!