A couple of months ago, at the suggestion of Jessica Robinson, I went to the “New Generations” conference co-sponsored by Theater Bay Area and TCG.
It was surprisingly a very enjoyable experience, and a very useful one–validating and illuminating.
1) So you know how I’ve been talking about how the funding streams of American regional theater leads to mediocre theater? Now the regional theaters are starting to acknowledge that fact. Of course, it will take their boards another 10 years before they acknowledge it, but still.
2) I would say that most folks present were “ahead” of me, w/r/t a “career.” And you know what? They’re all broke and discontented. When Emilya Cachapero of TCG asked the room, “who here thinks about leaving the profession?” 80% of the room stood up.
3) I never knew that part of winning a Creative Capital grant was becoming all empowered and a motivational speaker and shit. Daniel Alexander Jones, who won a CC grant in the first year, gave basically the artist’s version of a self-help talk, with worksheets, with facilitated dialogue around tables. and you know what? It was totally empowering and invigorating.
So what did I learn?
A) As D.A. Jones told us, “No one cares more about your work than you. And no one’s coming.”
B) At least I really love my work.
C) There are some fabulous folks out there who I’ve got to keep in touch with.
D) I’m going to keep making art, but I think I’m going to stop thinking about theater. I kind of even, well, think I’m done with theater.