The Stage Newspaper: Better Late than Never
I admit that I have always seen myself as pretty ‘in the know’ about the industry I work in. And particularly that of theatre. I’m a geek; I read reviews, I go to A LOT of theatre, I have lengthy chats with fellow actors and artists and consider myself ‘in the scene’… . However, something has happened in the last month that has given me the most enormous boost, sense of belonging, greater understanding and deeper sense of community and camaraderie! This sounds like I landed the most gorgeous part in a large company about to tour for 6 months, but no.
Drum roll… I subscribed to The Stage Newspaper.
Now this might seem like a trivial thing and not a big deal but I will have you know that it has been life changing… OK, maybe that is taking it a little far, BUT it has made a huge difference to me.
First, call me analog but I love reading paper. Actual printed paper that you hold in your hand. I am in the ‘in-between’ generation that had to make the shift from analog to digital in every sense. In most areas I have moved with the times but reading for enjoyment I prefer to do from the comfort of a comfy chair and with a physical thing that I can hold. I think I like the knowledge of the whole product. I like knowing it is so long, so thick and what kind of commitment I am making when I start. I feel with the reading I do online I am so often tempted on and on deeper into the void and can find hours have passed where I have journeyed through many different topics and lost my way. But with a finite paper, I can begin and finish within a time frame I will have gauged when I began, a psychological commitment has been made. It’s visceral.
Second, reading weekly about everything there is to read about the industry has reminded me how much I LOVE the world I work in. I love it. Reading The Stage isn’t a chore or a bind, it is a real pleasure and reminds me that however much I see the business side of the industry as a ‘business’ I must always remember the very real joy I feel toward my chosen profession.
Third, reading it has highlighted how vast and varied the world of theatre is and at the same time how small and focused on a few voices, venues and topics. I guess it makes me want to own my place in the conversation. It is easy to sometimes feel overwhelmed by the messy politics surrounding the arts and all the issues that are rife and relevant, but to really commit and see where I want my voice to be heard or what areas of conversation I am finding I am being drawn into is a joy.
Fourth, I am, and have always been, a proud Equity member (see my Blog on The Art of the Pencil!) and it has always made me feel part of a greater whole and reading the Stage has only deepened that understanding. I am a part, a cog in a great machine. Sometimes, after a spate of not getting jobs and wondering when I will ever work again, it can feel lonely and as though I am the only actor in the world struggling. But being reminded that there are loads of us all striving away is exciting. And seeing all the project s happening quickly makes me forget the one I just didn’t get but instead to focus on the potential out there!
I guess it feels like I have made a bigger commitment to my place in the industry. We are stronger together and I believe that the arts are the backbone of a society. Making the time to settle down once a week and be kept up to date is a treat. Thanks ‘The Stage Newspaper’ for waiting for me to see the light. What next? What else am I missing?