I recently had a chance to perform for another theater – which creates great cross promotion, pollination and continues to solidify the community – all things that I support and do everything I can to foster.
As each new show/ opportunity/ company arrives on the scene i begin to see something else wain. It’s the yin and yang of community. As people find a home, they get settled. They settle. They stop. Where there once was a bunch of smaller groups scrapping their way around town and starting shows everywhere they could, have now gotten…. lost.
A wise man told me a while ago, if you’re not growing, you’re dying.
So that leads to the menu of items needed to foster a healthy and vibrant community that can be self supporting:
- space: there HAS to be a performance venue to be in front of people. If you don’t have opportunity to perform, and readily available space, then the dream starts to fade. That can be anything – a bar, a black box, a street corner.
- leadership: someone must take the reigns and say ‘hey, let’s do this!!!’ We all need a push now and again, and a support system to help make that idea a reality.
- resources: you have to have the ability to be financially solvent. You have to have affordable housing, and a job that can afford your performing habits. Something to get things rolling till you can create new revenue streams on just your performances. you have to have a starting place that makes it possible to launch yourself into the abyss.
- staying power / vision: you have to KNOW what you want. You don’t have to know how you will get it, you just have to know that it is possible. And be willing to do what you must to get there.
I am sure there are 900 other items. Read Daniel Pink’s book on the Rise of the Creative Class and I am sure there can be a million more things I have forgotten. But for my corner of the world, this is the list I have.
So far. Of course, I will never stop refining it.