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Why We Do What We Do

by Chris Lose • in
  • July 2018
  • LD at Large
• Created: July 13, 2018

The power of inclusivity is strong within the theater world. The tie-line that bonds us together cannot be broken by color, race, religion, region or gender. We are united in our common goal and will not let any unnecessary divisions separate us. We judge people based on their ability to complete a task in an efficient manor, not their chosen doctrine. We segregate people based on their abilities and knowledge, not their color or creed. We don’t choose our co-workers by gender; we choose them by how much we enjoy their company. We don’t divide people by their political affiliation; we only divide into stage left and stage right. If Martin Luther King Jr. had become a production manager, he would say “I have dreamt of this job for 54 years.”

After the regular formalities of politeness have concluded and the conversations become more genuine in my daily businesses, I get asked the question “How did you get into concert touring?” more and more often. I have a few canned answers that I can repeat to the people that are asking so that they can follow the same path but after asking my self that question, I have come up with a far more in-depth answer. I would like to share that answer with my readers in this candid moment.

I got into show biz, and I continue to stay in rock ‘n’ roll, because we are willing to prioritize inclusivity over politics.

‡‡         No Biz Like It!

Show biz, and more specifically rock ‘n roll, is made up of people from all over the world, all walks of life, all backgrounds, genres, creeds, colors, politics, orientations and mental states. We all have a job to do, and we need each other to complete the task. We don’t always get to choose who we have to help us complete that task. We have a show to do tonight, these are the people to get it done, let’s get it done. To be brief, show biz people are more inclusive because we have to be. We accept those who are willing to work hard and celebrate the unique talent that anyone and everyone can bring to the props table. We have been afforded the luxury of working in a business that lets us get away with making art for a living and presenting it to the masses every day. We are on full display for the world to see, and we can present our message in full color. The audience actually pays us to present our message to them. We rely on each other to accept our message, embrace our vision and work towards a common goal.

‡‡         Theater is Imaginary, but So Real

We put on shows. By definition, a show is a spectacle or display of something, typically an impressive one.

It is our job to display something impressive. We take little truths in life and celebrate them by making a spectacle out of songs, lyrics, poetry and human interactions. We present these small miracles in a way that reaches far and wide. We remind our audiences to rejoice in the things that we love. In order to get our message across, we have to magnify the scope of our message. We have to make our impact as large as financially possible. For example, instead of doing a drum solo on stage, it would be so much more impactful if that drum solo took place on a roller coaster that came all the way out into the audience. No drum solo requires a roller coaster, but audiences all over the world would really appreciate the time, effort and manpower that was required to put the drum solo on a roller coaster. In that regard, the spectacle of the drum solo is not real, but the logistics of affording, setting up, rigging, operating, executing, tearing down, packing and transporting a drum roller coaster are real. These logistics require like-minded and motivated people to work together in a seemingly impossible timeframe. There is little time for squabbling over whether it is necessary or not. We present a fantasy world to the fans that need a hint of fantasy. We put on a fabricated performance in the most sincere fashion.

‡‡         Circus Freaks!

I’m kind of a freak. If you look close enough, you might just find that you are, too. We are freaks because of our abnormal motivation to live outside the norm. Few of our parents aspired for us to become vagabond artists. Some of our families would much rather that we were home for kid’s birthdays, holidays and soccer games. We would love to be able to do both, but we have chosen, for one reason or another, that we need to be away during those precious moments. We don’t fit into the norm. We don’t work well in a cubicle. The nine-to-five grind doesn’t suit us. We work longer hours and rarely consider any other option. We are different. We choose to spend extended periods of time in dark rooms with loud music, concrete floors and dangerous amounts of weight hung temporarily over our heads. We do this for the freakish love of the show. We are all different from each other, but we share the common fabric of showmanship. I like to think that our jobs place us in the upper echelon of freakdom.

‡‡         Put the Freaks to Work

As freakish as that sounds, we have found an entire industry of people who want to do that with us. We have found people in every country that want to join in our cause. We are so fortunate to have found people who want to help us out. We rarely have the luxury of taking time to question their motives. They are here and they want to help. Let’s put them to work. Since we are already willing to accept our freakitude we should also be willing to embrace our need for money. Let’s use our freakish abilities to provide food and shelter for those we love.

‡‡         Safe Haven

We are all accepted in our little niche network. We don’t get offended, scared or jolted like the normal world. We can swear at one another without revolting. We can prank one another without fear of getting reported to HR. We can treat women as the equals that they are. We can lift cases without criticizing each other’s worldview. This makes us feel safe to express ourselves. This provides us the sanctuary to be our true selves within our community.

It is the diversity of our coworkers’ skills and cultural experiences that enable us to tackle everyday challenges innovatively. We believe passionately that every roadie, techie and stagehand can contribute equally, and should be treated equally regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, sexual orientation or religion. We make the world a better place.

 

Illustration by Andy Au

 

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