I was hanging around a group of actors the other day (an often unfortunate byproduct of being a theater person) and I overheard conversations about what people were doing with their weekend. Suffice it to say, not a one of them was going to see live theater.

This coming weekend is a bit of a stretch for us. Friday we’re going to see “Days of Wine and Roses” directed by a good freind. (I apologize for the royal “we”, Jordana and I will be doing all this stuff together. There tends to be two plurals in my life, me and Jordi and Gideon. This is just me and Jordi). Then on Saturday we are watching modern dance in Brooklyn in the afternoon and seeing week 3 of the Estrogenius Festival at night.

Our weekends aren’t always like this, but we do try to at least support theater made by our friends. If they bother to make shows, we’ll go see them.

And I guess that’s my question, what I really want to ask with this blog. What are you doing? It’s a huge question, because you kind of have to boil it down before you get to the meat of the thing. Also, it’s more than the one question. What are you doing, and then, why?

If you say, “I work as a receptionist”, that’s obviously not what you’re doing, you’re making money for some other reason. If that reason is, “I have kids and a wife or husband and I love them,” then, awesome. You’re done.

But if you answer “I’m an actor” then I have to ask “why’? If you say, “because I love the theater, I love to act, I am an artist and this is how I communicate” then great. You’re done.

However, if

1. You don’t go see any other live theater, ever, unless you are hassled into going.

2. You are always trying to figure out how to turn the work you are doing now into a more commercial venture.

3. You are impressed as much or more by celebrity than you are by ability.

4. You hate rehearsal, and complain about the amount of time you have to spend making a show.

5. You complain about the space in which you are allowed to rehearse and/or perform.

6. You want to die when you tell a joke onstage and no-one laughs or you get done with a play and everyone describes it as “interesting”.

7. You spend more time trying to get an agent than you do onstage or in class.

8. You are more excited about the prospect of getting a national Coke commercial than you are about working on a large role in a musty theater by an unknown but incredibly talented playwright.

9. You joined any of the unions the first chance you got…

Okay, okay, I’m ranting. But seriously, if that describes you, then don’t tell me you love acting. You want to be famous, and that’s fine, but there is a way of going about it.

I’m sure my dad always wanted to be famous. But he wanted to be a conductor even more than that. He took a job with the Cedar Rapids Symphony and worked with them for seven years, becoming a better and better conductor.

And y’know, he was never famous, never more so than locally. But he’s a goddam great conductor. When he gets shoved up on the podium, which he has from time to time, in front of the world’s best orchestras, he knows his shit.

And that’s because there is always, and has always been, music in his house. He loves music. He’ll be in the middle of something and music will be chugging away in the background and he’ll stop and point at the speakers, frozen, with a big smile on his face. Three minutes will pass and you listen to what he’s hearing and you recognize that on top of being an artist, he’s a fan.

So, don’t tell me there’s no good theater going on. Don’t tell me there’s too much of it, there’s no way of knowing what to see. Go to

and start looking through the lists. Read the synopsis. Find shows that are five dollars. You’re never going to be famous, nothing you do will ever make a difference, your agent is never going to get you that national spot. *All* of our lives are interconnected, we are *all* working for five dollars a person, and all that can be counted, all that can be judged, is the exchange of ideas, the stories we tell.

So, for god’s sake, go see a damn play.