Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No Matter What

An extension of "The Show Must Go On" is that while all actors act, professional actors act no matter what. No matter what else is going on in the actor's life or in the world, the actor is expected, like any other job, to do their job. This can mean that even if you've had a bad day, even lost a loved one or something else terrible and tragic, the job is to act anyway. I'm not saying it will be pleasant, or even possible to give the focus and performance one would like to, but by and large an actor is charged with doing the job well even in less than ideal circumstances.

Hopefully future sudden losses, wars or other extremes may not make it into your career, or mine, but no matter what, we live one life only. Without being too dramatic: if something was worth doing on your last day alive, than it is worth doing today. If the project you are performing in or auditioning for is worth your time and attention, than it still is worth your time and attention on the worst day of your life.

You may be devastated and unable to work. That's ok. But the work is still worth doing, and if you can't do it due to extraordinary hardship or tragedy, it being left undone by you simply underscores the badness of the hardship or tragedy. We do what we can when we can, and being overwhelmed or hurt to the point of incapacity is understandable, sometimes unavoidable. Still great to soldier on, to entertain, create, collaborate even when the world is falling apart.

Acting is just as noble an undertaking as any other. One can even argue in some ways it may be more noble than many. The United States now spends more money on entertainment than it does on food. Our country has voted with their money and agrees: acting is worth doing no matter what.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Data Mining Shakespeare

Folger Shakespeare Library director Michael Witmore is using 21st-century tools to analyze the Bard's work. When data-mining techniques borrowed from the sciences and business research were applied to classic Shakespearean plays, surprising discoveries were made

(from Fast Company via Brian Smith). I'm not sure all the conclusions mentioned are very useful: machines don't need to tell us what is funny and what is serious.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wikipedia May Go Dark to Protest Piracy Law

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales blogs that he is considering a blackout of pages on the popular site to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt says it [the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act] amounts to a license for corporate censorship

(from Deadline.com).

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Friday, December 09, 2011

AFTRA Negotiates Network TV Contract

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO... today announced that AFTRA members have reached a tentative agreement with the four major television broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) and other producers on terms for a successor agreement to the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, aka, the "Front of the Book."

(from Deadline.com). Note that the 2% wage increase for each year amounts to a 1.5% pay cut per year since it does not keep up with the inflation rate in United States [which] was last reported at 3.5 percent in October of 2011 (inflation data from Trading Economics who got their data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics).

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Theaters Designate Seats for Twitter Users

A tweet seat is a seat in a theater that has been approved by the theater for use by someone who would like to tweet a performance. Whip out your cellphone and start tweeting at a rock show and nobody will notice -- the rest of audience is probably shooting cellphone pictures anyway. But try that at the opera and you'll be glared at, unless you are in a tweet seat

(from Los Angeles Times).

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