Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 29 - Ballet BS

I am a fan of most kinds of legitimate live entertainment. Opera, plays, musicals, symphonies, stand up... anything! And yes I said Legitimate because there are some that just dont cut it. Your one man show where you express the pit falls of democracy and listen to the sound of car crashes while you wear a singlet and hurl paint and feces against the walls of the stage... didnt make the cut. So sorry. Maybe you should write a play about how this makes you feel.

One of the most popular forms of theatre is Ballet. I will be honest with you and say I just dont get it! I dont see why its popular! I dont know why people do it let alone go to see it. I have given ballet many many chances to impress me and it has painfully fallen short every time. Im not throwing in the towel just yet. I have never seen a ballet at a large ballet company yet. I will wait for that before I quit. I just cant fathom it. And there is money in it! A lot of ballet companies in the world get by on a shoe string budget and I think that taints the brand. Its the same as amateur shakespeare plays ruining the bard for everybody else. In regards to major companies its one of the least funded arts. The Metropolitan Opera operates on an annual budget of $200 Million, Stratford Festival which produces a fairly large 8 month seasons gets through will a budget of $60 Million, but Boston Ballet, which is considered one of the worlds top ten Ballet companies operates on a $24 million budget. In the grand scheme of things, thats not much money at all. It could be that I have only seen poor ballets that couldnt afford the costumes, sets, and dancers that would blow me away. I would like it to do that one day though.

Arts funding is such an odd existence. Most audience members seem to think that if a company has a $500,000 budget that they will see all of that money on the stage, and its just not true. So much of that money needs to go to the smallest things. I was budgeting for a 2012 tour the other day and it was surprising how much just the gas would be, but I think most audiences wouldn't even think of that when they see the show. Almost $6,000 for per diems so the SMALL group of actors and crew can eat and buy things they need. It adds up quickly even on a shoe string budget.

Long story short, I saw a ballet yesterday that just wasnt very good. I saw Beauty and the Beast and was just so unimpressed. I felt bad for the little girls in the audience who were obviously there to see Belle and her tea cup friends from the Disney movie. This was the traditional story of Beauty and the Beast, which is a lovely story, but it was so hard to understand. I knew the story and I was having a tough time, I cant imagine the families that thought it was the happy cartoon version, they must have left so confused. I was falling asleep by intermission and thats never a good sign. I once saw an opera that came in at about 2.5 hours with no intermission, which would be fine if it was a good opera, but it wasnt. I brought a lady friend with me and I was COMPLETELY falling asleep but I couldnt help it. I would have had to leave to wake up, and thats no good. So in order to not offend her during this opera that she was loving, when my eyes would start to close I would slowly nod my head as if i was taking in the wondrous music with all my soul. After the show she commented on how it seemed i was having a great time.... I was not. If I hadnt been so tired from the show I probably would have tried for a kiss good night, but I could barely get out a SEE YA LATER.

I once met this girl and was instantly into her. Normally I think, oh she is pretty, maybe I will try and get a date. When I asked my current girlfriend out it was a slow process, but she had seen me perform and thought I was cute and funny, so... BONUS. Anyways, this other girl, we kind of hit it off right away. I got up the nerve to ask her to see a movie. I was rehearsing a show at the time and so I said that once it was done, about 6:30, I would meet her and we would see the movie at around 7:30 downtown. WELL. Like a huge jerk my rehearsal went late, and while I was texting her, I barely made it there by the start of the movie. We walked in and the previews were over. That puts me at about 1 hour and 20 minutes late for a first date... and she still showed up. Once I sat in the movie I promptly spilled Root Beer on my crotch and got a migraine from exhaustion so it hurt to watch the movie. Good date. I even got a second! Im no longer dating her. Big surprise huh? At least she got out alive!

So I must be off. I cant find my work clothes anywhere. I think I might have left my bag at the theatre, but who knows. So I will pop down to the theatre, and then hope and pray its there. If not... I guess Im going shopping!

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