Jun 16, 2009

Pro-Am Open

I've been following Isaac's self-revealing soul-searching blogs about how the heck he will ever make a living doing theater--if you haven't read them, they're here and here (with related posts here and here)--and I can't imagine a better commentary on them than Ian David Moss' brilliant post on the arts and sustainability. After a detailed preamble , Moss gets to the nub of it: While the arts have always had well-defended clubhouses, if not quite closed shops, the massive leveling and democratization of media crystallized by the Internet has had the painfully ironic effect not of increasing opportunity for careers in the arts but of increasing competition to the point that only the toughest and/or well-funded can survive. This should strike a chord with anyone who's tried, failed, or half-tried and half-failed, at an actual career in the arts. Nut graf:
There's nothing new about this - income inequality is a big issue throughout society, not just in the arts. However, the cash-starved nature of the arts makes the problem more acute. If the only way to earn money is through exposure, and the only way to get exposure is to spend thousands of hours making (and marketing) art that you could otherwise spend earning money, the people who need to earn money now are at a major, perhaps definitive, disadvantage. As a result, over time, you would expect to see more and more people who were lucky enough to have a cushion early in their careers (if not on an ongoing basis) persist to become professional artists, and fewer and fewer who have had to do it completely on their own.

Seriously, Doug McLennan should bring this guy on, posthaste.

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