Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jay Raskolnikov -- half hillbilly, Demi-Culture: Artists as Administrators:

We want the cheapest products we can get our hands on, no matter where they come from. What the person who makes them gets paid takes a back seat to us saving fifty cents on a can of tuna. Most unions have forgotten the roots of their formation. That solidarity among all workers was the only way to a better life. More and more jobs in union industries are moving overseas. And unions get blamed for it. But I only know of one union that would boast of a record breaking year that almost half of it's membership worked at least one week in the last year. I can't think of another "profession" that would brag about those numbers, and yet every year more and more students graduate from colleges to make it as an actor. Note, that means doing nothing except for getting paid to act.

Now, I know it is not the job of a union to create employment. A union's job is to create safe working conditions. But something has to change. The reality is that the work on stages is a fraction of the work it takes to get a show up, and accordingly those on stages get a fraction of the compensation. Until more artists take control of the mechanisms of production, take on more of the tasks required to produce theatre, things will only worsen.

12:18 PM