Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vote for Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders.  Put your votes in the comments for this post:

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "Student sleep problems aren't just about individua...":

(I believe that) There is a cultural consensus in the school of drama--and people will likely disagree with me--that less sleep is better. That getting enough sleep means that you aren't working hard enough, that you don't care enough, that you aren't good enough. Because you can't possibly sleep enough and still excel, right? Wrong. I doubt there is anything--ok, maybe one project a semester--that actually requires, literally requires, pulling an all-nighter. Time management and productive use of time, and being able to take a small step back to see a slightly bigger picture, allow one to accomplish what needs to be done, and get enough sleep. (And yes, even have a social life).
Once school really gets underway, I remember almost half of the students in classes being asleep, and also half of classes being sick. Taking the time to take care of yourself--which includes sleep--is an excellent preventative measure for sickness, which incidentally sets you back further anyway. Also, the work you do while sleep-deprived is at a much slower rate anyway, and it could be argued you don't even accomplish more, taking quality and quantity into account, by forcing yourself to work past when your body is telling you it needs rest.
Do we have too much work? Probably. The 'normal' working world is 8 hours each weekday, and we typically do more than that, with additional time on weekends. Even the theatre world, or the medical world, where people work shifts up to 24 hours, have those shifts scheduled in a way that allows them to incorporate hobbies, a home life, and perhaps even children, into their life. People who DO work as long as we do *choose* to do that, it's not the norm and, importantly, it's not the expectation.
But that doesn't mean we can't work within the system, get shit done, and still not be sleep deprived (which does have some serious health consequences when sustained over a long period of time, like say, 4 years).
Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing":
A year ago, i would agree whole heartedly with this article, and still would to this day. I hadn't drafted before coming here, and I felt like autocad was not just an attack on everything I was learning. I also, like sonia, have this immense fear that computers are going to take over the world, and undermine all that artistic feets that have been created years before. I fear that art, with hands is dying (knock on wood!) Despite all of this though, I can't imagine a world that would totally dismiss an artform that has survived so long. There once was a time when artists painted with oil paint, and to this day so many people still use oils as a mediums of choice! There also was a time when no one made art with technology, classical drawing and painting was in the majority, and other forms of art practice were in the minority. In thinking this, I just hope that hand drafting will live on- even though it is not the most popular medium of choice. Even though autocad and computer programs seem so freaky- I think its important to not be afraid of a technology that can help us, we just have to pay some respect to the old artforms as time marches on. 

Comment #3: a new comment on your post "The Broadway Scorecard: Two Decades of Drama":
I hope that in the next decade, this lack of female playwrights begins to turn around, and I am optimistic that it will, but also am worried that if the cuts of government funding happen, it will make it much, much harder. This article is incredibly well written and organized, and I found it all incredibly interesting, especially the part about revivals vs. new works. It's true that there are a ton of revivals happening all over of classic theatre works. In the vast majority of cases, revivals make more money. If the name of the playwright and/or of the play is well-known, you're going to get more people to come beyond your normal subscribers. DOing new or unheard-of plays by not well-known playwrights is a risk and a gamble. I hope that theatre will take more of those risks, and recently, names like Sarah Ruhl and Caryl Churchhill are beginning to gain more recognition among non theatre-buffs. However, the fact is that most of the classics were not written by women. At the moment, the playwrights that are basically guaranteed to make some money (Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Neil Simon) are not women, and so in order for that to change, theatres need to be able to take some risks with less well-known, and if the political climate changes and Romney is elected, that will be much, much harder to do with a huge cut in funding.  

Comment #4: a new comment on your post "Allegheny County pulls plug on holiday lights at H...":
I am going to launch into a little bit of political and economic theory here. So, no one wants to see the Hartwood Acres lights display go away. I have been there a 7 or 8 times over the last 15 years. It was extra special when I took my 3 year old daughter. Nothing is more magical that a giant blue twinkle forest. Reading through the previous comments people often use the word “sad” or “shame” describing the eminent closing of it. And I agree.
However, we want the local budget to be balanced. We should not be spending money on twinkle lights that we do not have. It was great when UPMC was picking up the tab and perhaps an appeal to them would save the display but they are not required to do so. (Unless we pass a law.) Another concept would be just charge each of the 170,000 attendees $10.00 a piece for entrance to cover the cost. However, attendance I am sure would fall off and we may be in the same situation.
Here is the situation, we want a holiday light show, we want a ballet, we want public art pieces BUT we do not want local budgets busted. Therefore . . . I got nothing. A new tax to fund a holiday light shows?  

Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Truthiness in the Politics of Theater":
"But committing to honesty, to the values and ethics that originally motivated us to make a life in the arts and eschew more culturally acceptable means to success and wealth, must become the touchstone of nonprofit theaters and the artists who give it life." I think this is a great thesis statement for this article, or perhaps conclusion to reach. Recently someone made a point that if you are not happy in this profession, find a different one immediately because you are likely to get paid just as much or more to be less miserable. If we are lying in this profession similarly to the way politicians lie, we should realize that we hold ourselves to a higher standard as artists and should make a change. On a side note, it is increasingly unfortunate that we, as Americans, see the danger and negativity in the way our own government functions and use it as an example of what is wrong in our everyday lives if we become to like it. What does that say about our country's morals, standards, and example we give?  
Bonus: a new comment on your post "2013 Best Colleges Preview: Top 25 National Univer...":
For a quarter of a million dollars, CMU better be on that damn list.

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