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Performing arts were one of the first areas of public life to shut down because of the pandemic. In all likelihood, they will be one of the last to return. If they return, in anything resembling their old forms, the pressure will be on from the financiers to make everything worse: to force people to work longer hours, and for less pay. The argument from the financiers in the industry will likely be that they too have been losing money due to the coronavirus, and sacrifices will have to be made all around. Everyone working in the performing arts right now can feel the “austerity” coming to the industry. It won’t come out of the looks of the CGI goblins onscreen—after all, the illusion still has to sell. It’ll come out of the hides of the people who make those goblins so lifelike: who voice them, animate them, edit them, score and perform music for them, write their dialog, and design the worlds they stomp around in.
Performing arts were one of the first areas of public life to shut down because of the pandemic. In all likelihood, they will be one of the last to return. If they return, in anything resembling their old forms, the pressure will be on from the financiers to make everything worse: to force people to work longer hours, and for less pay. The argument from the financiers in the industry will likely be that they too have been losing money due to the coronavirus, and sacrifices will have to be made all around. Everyone working in the performing arts right now can feel the “austerity” coming to the industry. It won’t come out of the looks of the CGI goblins onscreen—after all, the illusion still has to sell. It’ll come out of the hides of the people who make those goblins so lifelike: who voice them, animate them, edit them, score and perform music for them, write their dialog, and design the worlds they stomp around in.
From Hollywood to the music industry, theater to video games, the people who make your entertainment do physically grueling work for exceedingly long hours, and the rate of burnout is high.
From Hollywood to the music industry, theater to video games, the people who make your entertainment do physically grueling work for exceedingly long hours, and the rate of burnout is high.
The state of affairs in the performing arts seems pretty much like the state of affairs in a lot of areas of our late-capitalist hellscape: inequitable, exclusionary, overworked, underpaid, and careening out of control.
The state of affairs in the performing arts seems pretty much like the state of affairs in a lot of areas of our late-capitalist hellscape: inequitable, exclusionary, overworked, underpaid, and careening out of control.
“There’s an attitude from outside of the industry, which [says] well, ‘What you do is something you love, so you should just not complain about it’,” says Terri Kohler, AEA (Actor’s Equity Association) stage manager, who recently worked on Broadway’s What the Constitution Means to Me. “There is a devaluation of our work, and we internalize that [as an industry]. It’s systemic at this point.”
“There’s an attitude from outside of the industry, which [says] well, ‘What you do is something you love, so you should just not complain about it’,” says Terri Kohler, AEA (Actor’s Equity Association) stage manager, who recently worked on Broadway’s What the Constitution Means to Me. “There is a devaluation of our work, and we internalize that [as an industry]. It’s systemic at this point.”
Film production is also notorious for running its casts and crews ragged, with 6-day weeks and 14- to 20-hour days. “I often get asked what we can do to improve the industry so that more women can become film directors,” says director Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood).
Film production is also notorious for running its casts and crews ragged, with 6-day weeks and 14- to 20-hour days. “I often get asked what we can do to improve the industry so that more women can become film directors,” says director Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood).
It takes a lot of time and effort to create a masterpiece. Only a persistent person can achieve the desired result.
It takes a lot of time and effort to create a masterpiece. Only a persistent person can achieve the desired result.
>"With performing arts still mostly shut down due to the pandemic, it’s time to plan a better industry for when they return."
>"With performing arts still mostly shut down due to the pandemic, it’s time to plan a better industry for when they return."
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