At what point do we, as creatives, stop? At what point do we decide enough free or “donate here” content is enough? We are giving the general public (god love you) everything we own and what point do we say enough is enough and make the world see how dark it is without our skill?— Michael Fraser (@mfrazz)
At what point do we, as creatives, stop? At what point do we decide enough free or “donate here” content is enough? We are giving the general public (god love you) everything we own and what point do we say enough is enough and make the world see how dark it is without our skill?— Michael Fraser (@mfrazz) May 24, 2020
A very good question. In fact I will award it 99 out of 100. Bravo dear (I think everyone should be congratulated at the moment – for anything. My partner even congratulated me for getting out of bed yesterday. And quite right too. I’ve been finding it far too easy to just stay in bed with my Jean Valjean teddy bear recently, dear).
At present, the industry is providing much-needed entertainment and relief to people all around the world. With streamed productions, play readings, songs and fully blown company musical numbers (my favourite being You Can’t Stop the Beat from Hairspray – so wonderful seeing Michael and his jolly balls bouncing up and down), the work out there really is wonderful. And not only does it provide joy to all of those watching, but also creative output for the performers involved.
However, with no definite support package being offered by the government yet, why should the theatre industry keep giving our work away for free?
Maybe we should stop entertaining until the government pledge their help
Yes, it is good to get out there and celebrate the brilliance of talent we have here in the United Kingdom, but because all this content is being offered for free (mostly), it is providing no financial gain for either the production companies or the people involved. Maybe, as a way of showing how vital the industry is, we should stop entertaining until the government pledge their help?
I understand that our industry is not the only one suffering – but in terms of how long the entertainment business may be out of action it is more vulnerable than most. I think, if we are being optimistic and realistic, our theatres are now going to stay closed until early 2021.
Of course, I hope we find some kind of method or innovative way that they can open sooner – especially because so many theatres rely on the income produced from their pantomimes. Perhaps a solution would be to shift all Christmas pantomimes to Easter? I don’t know whether it would work, but at least that may be a way of recouping some of the lost funds.
I know that for many people, putting content out there isn’t just for financial gain – it’s a way of surviving and feeding that creative urge. Also, these projects help keep the theatre community alive – and that is not only good for the business, but also for people’s mental health.
So what is the solution? Maybe we should not put as much content out there, or make sure that before each broadcast there is some literature about how badly our industry has been affected (rather like National Theatre at Home has been doing). Or maybe we should stop putting content out there, just for a week or so, and use that time to write to our local members of parliament? Voices together and united are always the strongest.
Your question is a vital one. Thank you. And it has made me consider many things. I wonder if it is now getting to the stage where we need to do something to make people take note. Often people only realise how much they miss something when it has gone.
I pray our industry is not gone for too long, dear.
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