Monday, May 31, 2010

Living the Dream

Charles Dickens said it best - "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

We're now well into rehearsals for our summer season, with several shows on the go right now, and many more just on the verge of getting started. As the world's greatest wife has been reminding me, we're doing much better at this point this year than we were last year, and she's right - I'm very pleased to see how well a show like Chaucer Uncensored is coming along, and how we're already mostly cast for shows later in the season like Wild Angels and The 18 Carat Boob.

But of course it can't all be roses - we have our challenges, just like every other year. It seems the Grinder "casting curse" is still alive and well - getting and retaining actors remains our largest stumbling block this season, and it's been the cause of more hair-pulling and sleepless nights on my part than anything else. Particularly frustrating to me is losing someone for a role once rehearsals have already begun, something that the folks at Chaucer have had to face not once, but twice - for the exact same role!

Now don't get me wrong, I don't blame anyone who is forced to drop out of a show - people have their reasons, and who am I to judge. But even so, most people have exceptionally good reasons for not continuing, usually work or family commitments, and I agree those have to come first.

But it's still frustrating.

It's frustrating to feel like everyone else's well-being takes priority over your own. It's frustrating to feel like your passion, your livelihood, your raison d'etre depend on the whims of others. It's frustrating to be turned down time and time and time again by people with better things to do. It's frustrating to feel like you're that hobby people have that they can just never seem to find the time to get around to.

So that's my venting for today - yesterday was a particularly busy day at Grinder, hence my feelings this morning. I really do love what I do - I get up every morning living the dream. I get to put on plays while everyone else is stuck in an office, a classroom or a shop and I'm very, very grateful for it. As I embark on another week I'd like to put the difficulties of the weekend behind me, and look forward to the wonderful adventures that lay before me, the world's greatest wife and the many, many people who love to make magic with us here at Grinder Productions.


Anonymous said...

Okay, honestly. The fact that you can't retain actors is a clear sign. YOU ARE A HORRIBLE COMPANY. I did one show with you and it was enough to make me never want to come back. Everyone I know that acts hates working for you because of your lack of organization and all around lack of care toward your casts. I know my rehearsal experience was dreadful, and I heard from someone in the Hans Brinker cast from a while back that YOU REHEARSED OUTSIDE IN THE FREEZING COLD WINTER WEATHER. This is not acceptable. In my opinion, you need to get your act together and stop complaining about your lack of actors and do something to fix your company. And I would suggest doing it before all of the actors you do have start going to real theatre companies.

Anonymous said...

To the below poster: You clearly had a different experience than I did. Eric is not disorganized, he does care about his cast, and best of all, he is passionate about what he does. This rubs off on the people working with him, and improves them as human beings.

Most of my theatrical career has been done with Grinder. Why? Because they do a lot of shows, attract a lot of great people, and are are generally a great bunch of people. I admit, there are some problems in the winter due to the fact that Eric is a struggling artist - most are. But generally these are more of a minor nuisance than a serious problem. There may have been one incident where proper judgment was not exercised. But can one falter not be forgiven?

The only reason I am not currently doing theater with Grinder is due to a medical condition that has been causing a great deal of pain for more than a year and a half now. If not for that, I would still be doing shows, and loving it.