Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Forced Perspective

The more things change the more they stay the same.

“In Paris four out of every five plays produced succeed. In New York only two out of every five produced succeed. In Paris play production is an art and is done by professionals who regard their work seriously, as a legitimate enterprise. In New York play production is regarded on all sides and is spoken of by managers, authors, actors and the public, as a “gamble.”
It is, in its effect, and the attitude borne toward it by the chief players surely a gambling proposition. The manager, author or actor who engages in it enters precisely as does a player at Monte Carlo or any other systemized gambling institution- with the full knowledge that the chances are against his winning. The “house” has an even chance, so far as luck is concerned but a percentage is invariably demanded which makes the chances slightly against the individual gambler.”

From a New York Times article,
“Stealing Plays Nowadays Not So Easy As It Sounds”
December 8, 1912
By Richard Berry

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Little Ray Of Sunshine

Carajoy over at Full Force Theater Musings provides a very clear headed analysis of the recent past and present state of labor affairs on Broadway. Recommended reading.

It's also heartwarming to receive the outpouring of support on the picket line. One of the quickest ways to a stagehands heart is through his or her stomach. The local merchants and other unions have kept us going. Not just the craft truck sent by Local 52, the IATSE film local, which was great but also the food sent over by Local 6 Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union. Food and coffee from deli's and restaurants keep us going day and night. Individuals bring boxes of pizzas. It's really just amazing. I'm sure it's happening on every street where there's a picket line so if I try to thank every one individually, I'm sure to miss someone.Thank you every one.

Also a big thank you to Father Baker from the Actor's Chapel. He's been terrific with our spiritual needs. In fact, according to rumor, his support of the theatre community has threatened some of his funding. Certain folks want their ministering left to Sundays, thank you very much. I would suggest that the loss of big checks could be replaced by a whole lot of small ones. Set up an auto draft of $10 a week to St. Malachys. It won't hurt a bit, I promise. There are a lot of good programs there, every day of the week.