As a new company member, everything is new all the time. Meetings to attend, a fundraiser to plan here, a season to plan there, oh and we make art too, right? All the business of REALLY making theater is new to me. What’s more I joined Savage Umbrella in July and shortly thereafter we restructured: swapping roles and reconfiguring how we work together. Wonderful timing, actually, because common to my experience in working with Savage Umbrella they were supportive of each other while being deliberate in their collaboration strategy. I also came into the company one month after a pretty traumatic bike accident. I received one hell of a concussion and recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury is no joke. Part of healing from something that dulls and changes your mental capacity takes HELLA patience, diligence and hope. As a product of my injury I made poor choices at times, I forgot things quite a bit, struggled with vocabulary and social anxiety. All this is to say is that I became a student in my own life again.
The situation required me to start over. To recreate not replicate. That meant relearning how to be an artist, administrator, editor, performer and collaborator all anew. Each challenge for which I had been previously suited required me to re-negotiate all of that style I had been honing over the last decade. This was a unique opportunity for me to give myself compassion. I had to let go of the behaviors and judgements that no longer served me because my old solutions were no longer soluble in my new condition and environment.
I believe that risk is a cornerstone of true creation. If I’m not risking something, I’m probably not going to gain anything either. And to me ARTshare is that risk. It is that re-learning how to do a thing we think we already know how to do. It is an opportunity to go crazy and put ourselves out there. It is the business of choosing to redefine ourselves and in doing so surprise ourselves. Theater goers have changed with the advent of Netflix and Hulu. That is not a question. People want variety, when they want it and usually on the cheap and easy. What I love about ARTshare is that memberships are Netflix for theater. It offers audience members a unique way to see a bunch of great art and create a community that I’d love to see create buzz around local theatre the way viewers do around Breaking Bad. It’s possible. See the same stuff as your friends, talk about it and GET OUT OF THE FUCKING HOUSE for crying out loud.
Frankly, we can’t grow in the ways we want and need to unless we make some changes, take some risks and are ARTful about how we do business. The compassion to risk some of our cherished and comfortable traditions in order to gain results both quantifiable such as ticket sales and not, such as buzz. Being compassionately ARTful is part of growing up and into ourselves individually, in our companies and community.