Tuesday, December 24, 2013

An Open Letter: When you take out the "Unity" in "Community"....

...You're left with "Comm" and that doesn't make sense. 
But unfortunately, someone took the "unity" out of community, and it's left me upset, hurt, and fearful. This post could get me into trouble, but to be honest, if I don't write it, I could say these things out loud and it would be far worse. So this is my open letter. (Disclaimer: Please don't consider this a direct call-out. Consider it an observation from the most observational person you know.) 

Dear...well, everyone,
Happy Tuesday and Merry Christmas! I hope your shopping is "wrapping" up and you're getting ready to spend time with family! The last week has been a good one for me. I got to see someone I love portray a very hard role onstage! My boyfriend was cast as George Bailey in "It's A Wonderful Life" and it was so amazing to see him in his first lead! We all know he's talented but this brought it to a whole new level. I'm so proud of him, and the rest of the cast was also really good. But to be fair, I'm a little biased.

What also impressed me about this production was the lack of people who I know love my boyfriend who weren't at the show. I know I shouldn't take it personally, but I'm taking it personally. Guilt trip: You missed a fantastic show, and I sincerely hope you're sad about that. In my clearly non-professional opinion, nothing about this show was unbalanced, or lacking, which is highly impressive.

A Few Questions: #1-Did you not see the show because you HATE feel-good plays? If yes, then you're excused. I don't understand it, but you're excused just the same. #2-Did you not see the show because someone did you dirty? If your answer is yes keep reading. If it's no, I'm giving you the chance to jump ship now.

Over the last few months, I've noticed a considerable amount of tension between adults. I'm just a kid, but nothing gets by kids very easily. There's been disrespect among people in the same profession who claim to be working towards the same goal: bringing people together in the name of theatre. Which, I personally think is an AMAZING thing. Now, I know there are a lot of things I don't know, or won't understand, and frankly, I don't care to know them or understand them. But I do care about people, and that's something that, to me, is far more valuable then ticket sales.
Theatre can't exist without people. But people won't come to the theatre if their expectations aren't met and superseded pre-production, during production, and as the cast is giving their final bow. I know of people who have quit theatre altogether because someone who was in a position of power said something that rubbed them the wrong way. As someone who wants to make a career out of theatre, I say, not cool, man. Not cool.

There's nothing more discouraging to me, a petite kid with big dreams, than hearing and seeing that there is no support or respect for fellow theatre practitioners.
I'm not suggesting that we all have to sit around a campfire, hold hands and sing "You'll Never Walk Alone," but as much as I LOATHE that song, I think the reminder in there is vital. We are never alone, and in theatre, there should be a whole different realm of support. If you love theatre, and truly want to bring it to the masses, causing dissonance within your company should NEVER be an option.

I honestly don't want to live or work in a world of theatre where I will someday have to tell my children that I ended my career because sometimes people don't play nice with others. I want to lead a life that my kids can look at and say, "Wow..she used everything for God's glory, and didn't have to sell out to be happy."
I want to promote the performing arts for all kids of younger generations, and I have a hard time doing that if I know deep down that there are issues that make me uncomfortable.

So this year, my Christmas prayer is that all issues get sorted out in a professional and friendly manner in this new year. I want my friends and I to feel free to travel between venues and companies without feeling like we're betraying one another. I pray that we can all put the "unity" back into "Community Theatre."

God Bless, and Merry Christmas!