Talking

July 21, 2014 § 1 Comment

I had a whole entry planned about my frustrations with my choice to live as an artist versus wanting a family and all that, but I never finished it, mainly because my microphone app on my iPhone wasn’t working very well and I haven’t had the time to actually sit down and write. Which was one of my major goals of this blog: to force myself to make time for the things that were important, like self reflection. So there’s that.

But tonight I went to my first night of the Capital Fringe Festival, which was not the first night of Fringe, just mine. I saw a show from the company of which I am a member, and it was truly lovely. And I got into a conversation about The Life and what it’s like to be a female artist in DC right now, and I realized as I talked just how jaded and bitter I have become. I didn’t mean for that to happen, it just suddenly seems to be the case as I am burning out. I just so often find myself in production meetings, looking around at each face of the assembled brilliant artists, who are wonderful at what they do and deserve to be where they are, but the fact is they’re mostly men and they’re almost exclusively white. And I got into this conversation tonight with a non-theater person friend, and I found myself having to explain that no, contrary to what one might assume, theatre is actually a very sexist, non-diverse place. And they said the things that you always hear like, “Well it isn’t that just the market?” And you have to explain how it’s not the market, it’s the culture. And I feel like lately all I do is get into these rants and these depressing monologues about how it is right now for women and minorities (although obviously I don’t know anything about being a minority working in the arts but I know a lot about being a woman and I know it ain’t easy.)

I just find it frustrating to be in the same conversation over and over, starting the conversation with fire and ultimately halfheartedly defending questions like, “Why is this important to you?”, “Isn’t that just the way it is?”, and “Why are you always so mad about this/why is this the only thing you ever talk about?”

I’m tired of having to explain that yes, absolutely, it is 2014 in the United States of America and if you have the passion and the drive and the thick skin to do something, by golly you can do it. But the whole point is why do women and minorities have to be *obsessed* with something in order to succeed at it, when almost across the board white men can be pretty interested and do even better? In the end I’m just tired, and I’m tired of seeing the same thing over and over again, but maybe I’m just not cut out to be a game changer.

But I’m the one who keeps baiting myself into these conversations so there must be something that keeps bringing me back. So I don’t know. It’s just exhausting to constantly be Fighting the Good Fight Because If You Don’t You’re Part of the Problem and I’m ready to sub out for awhile, if I can figure out how.

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§ One Response to Talking

  • nevie b. says:

    hi i’m just now reading this. i feel it so hard. not just in the world of theatre but let’s be real i’ve dabbled in a few places professionally – theatre, writing, non-profit work – all what people perceive to be pretty pink collar and it’s all the same. i also became/have become a person people get tired of talking to because i get fired up about it so often – someone makes an offhanded comment and a floodgate opens about the enormously heavy and frustrating conversation that whole comment can lead to. it’s nice to hear people admire us for “fighting the good fight” and “having the balls to speak up/stand up for ourselves” but i’d rather they join the fight.

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