Thursday, April 5, 2012

Artist Bad Habits



I've noticed recently an interesting habit among theater artists. By theater artists I mean actors, directors, playwrights, sound/light technicians, etc. What I've noticed is people essentially paying people to see their work. Covering the ticket cost of their show for their friends and family. On the surface this could seem like just a nice gesture, but think about it. Do you know a lawyer who pays a client to take their case? A doctor who pays their patients to see them? A football player who pays people to come to their games? Theater artists have careers too, and it seems absurd to me to pay someone else for your work. Someone who can't afford to see a production is one thing, but having to coax someone into your audience by buying their ticket, especially someone who is supposed to support you, seems wrong to me. 

It all goes back to the value of the arts, which I wrote about here. For some reason it is often assumed that theater artists will offer their services for free. Adding to that this habit of paying for people's tickets is bad. These practices continue to devalue the arts. Audiences must understand that a lot of money and work go into putting up a production. Hollywood isn't paying people to go to the theaters and see their movies, and we shouldn't be paying for people to come see us. Until we work harder for people to hold real value in the live arts the art sector will continue to struggle. 

 

2 comments:

  1. I can't help but to feel like their are 2 sides. Firsly I agree with you, you don't see massage theripst giving away free massages and plummers fixing pipes for free.
    The Arts a trade or service and deserves to be treated as such. But on the other side, you do see samples handed out from companies, like some bloggers get to review products, some food critics eat for free ect. But in those situations the giver often gets something in return... Usually (hopefully) more bisness and publicity, and I should note it can backfire if the product is not up to par.
    Anyways, I think tickets should be given out in a manner that can hopfully help and not hinder a production.
    Another great & thought out article.

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  2. Bad habits, indeed!

    I totally agree with you LaNeshe. I read your post awhile back about "value in the arts", and thought your words were, once again, great & true.

    When artists don't recognize & understand their own value behind their talent/skill/service, they can't get others to see it either.

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