Monday, March 04, 2013

Vote for Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders:

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Upright Citizens Brigade Grows by Not Paying Perfo...":

Before we start utterly ripping UCB apart, let's remember that there is actual codified precedent for performers in other industries to render their efforts for free. The Actors' Equity Showcase Code is a specific set of production guidelines within which union members can work for free, with the potential that they get seen by industry professionals (as indicated by free AEA member and industry "comps"), and if their work is successful, they may continue with it. In this frame of mind, UCB's arguments that providing stage time is valuable enough to improv comedians to justify the labor. However, two issues stand out as the reasons why this shouldn't be ok - the fact that auditions for the mainstage are set from students in the classes, creating a "pay to play" culture, and the fact that the theatre is receiving revenue (however small) from ticket sales night after night after night. The stopping point of the Showcase Code is 12 performances - they're intended for short term opportunities, not to take up a performer's entire life in rehearsals and performances for free. UCB is first of all requiring contributions of over $1000 just to be seen for auditions, and then are collecting ticket revenue 4 times a night most days of the week. Even to consider this fun instead of work, the fact remains that performers are paying for the opportunity to be exploited for company gain - that's just plain wrong. 
Student #2  has left a new comment on your post "Twitter Interviews Are Now a Thing, Or Another Rea...":
I am not a fan of twitter for anything else other than simple publicity/to get a short message out to people who actually have twitters. Other than that I do NOT understand twitter. "twitter-views" are not a thing because these are not real interviews!!! Who knows who is on the other end of the conversation. also isn't twitter just a bunch of status postings? how does that become an interview? God help the world that encourages this crap. 
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "What made 'Wicked' a classic of 'Phantom' proporti...":
Not going to lie, Wicked is sort of the reason I wanted to pursue theater. It was the first show that I ever knew by heart, and before i realized how much I like being back stage, I sang it at a talent show in the fifth grade. I also find it very surprising when shows or movies that do so well never impressed critics. I sort of wonder if that's because as theater artists, we each have our own idea of what "good theater" is as opposed to just an entertaining show. However, I think that Wicked is successful because of the quirkiness of the world in which it was created. Everyone knows of OZ as the place somewhere over the rainbow that, while beautiful, can be a very awful place. It's still like that in Wicked, but it somehow seems closer and more believable as a world because the story about the witches' relationship is very real to many of the audience members. I also find it interesting that the original story made a better musical than a movie. Of course it had to be heavily adapted to be come what it is now, which makes me wonder if Hollywood will turn Wicked into the next movie-musical. 
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "SeaWorld Orlando announces grand opening for Antar...":
I remember once I went to the Central Park zoo and gazed for a while at the penguin encounter. Fascinated by the whimsical creatures before me, I was transported to the continent at the bottom of the world and completely engulfed in the environment.
All of a sudden I was snapped backed to reality when I saw a panel of the horizon swing open and a man with green overalls came out holding a hose. He proceeded to spray down the fake rocks the penguins were lounging on and wash their feces into the drains at the end of the exhibit. Occasionally, a penguin would get in his way and he would just nudge it to the side with his boot.
I sat there and observed this man for a while and then I realized that this person was standing in the middle of one of the world's greatest cities, inside of an enclosure with what appeared like 80 penguins of varying species(something a large majority of the population of the world will never see), and the only thing this guy cared about was spraying down poop.
I realized I never wanted to be that jaded. 
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "Watch how Blood & Chrome resurrected the Battlesta...":
I am conflicted about this trend. One of the things that has always bothered me about our industry is the waste involved. We go through great quantities of materials and energy to produce shows for the duration of a run or a shooting. Then we throw it all away. Virtual sets lower costs (well ok not always), decrease production time (because the set can be "built" by literally thousands of people at a time because it doesn't physically exist anywhere, the ultimate portable labor), and eliminates physical waste. Some would say it also increases the range of possibilities for a design, and can provide a more detailed and rich environment than traditional practices. But has anyone ever seen "Cleopatra?" The one with Liz Taylor? There is something about the scene when she rides into the Roman Forum on an enormous Sphynx. The whole thing was built on a sound stage, by people with hammers and nails. There is something so epic about that scene, so monumental simply because we know it was built, that it did physically exist, that I don't think can be mimicked virtually. For that reason I can only hope there will always be a place for people like us to employ our skills this side of the computer screen.

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