Award shows like the Tony Awards celebrate the stars of our beloved Broadway. These people managed against all odds to act, dance and sing their way to the top, often while barely making a living. (All the big money seems to be reserved for the Hollywood stars that are cast for box office draw because tickets to see theatre have become outrageous, verging on elitist.)
Those creative types – we all know at least one – whether they’re a dancer, choreographer, director, composer, singer, set designer, costume designer, writer, makeup artist, hair stylist, painter, etc., they all have something in common, a need to create, to perform for an audience and a desperate longing to be appreciated for their talents. For them, it’s not just a “gig” it is an intrinsic part of who they are.
When your accountant goes home after a long day of crunching numbers, they leave their desk and return to the rest of their life, but for creatives there in no release. They do what they do because that is who they are. Their need to create and perform is intrinsic to their personality; it’s their identity. When they are not in the act of doing it they are thinking about it. Some have managed to thrive at their chosen profession. A blessing. For the rest, they are forever unfulfilled. An all-consuming yearning stays in their blood like an addict. When they are lucky, there is work, or hope of work that fills them with a fleeting high. When not in the process of doing what they were put on this earth to do, there is only despair, an emptiness accompanied by symptoms of withdrawal that eats away at their very soul. A demoralizing, slow and painful decline.
Often, when people speak of support for the arts, it’s in terms of education in the arts or obscure grants that few artists ever manage to gain access to. We need to embrace the creative disciplines as part of our culture. Without, color and music, performances that provoke us to think, laugh or cry, and visually stunning endeavors that move us, we would be in a totally bleak, uncivilized world, void of all the best parts of life. We need to value the arts and the creative forces who pursue them.
More outlets for our friends who need to make things beautiful, would mean a world filled with more vibrancy and happiness and less misery from your waitress, bartender or sales person because instead of dreaming of a chance to be doing something else, they would be doing it. In fact, that goes for all of us. We are all meant to do something in this life. The lucky ones find their path, it welcomes them, and they are the most fulfilled, happiest people you know. It is when we have a passion for doing things and our lives don’t contain any of what fulfills us that leads to antidepressants. We all need to find and chase our calling in life; we are as a whole much richer, more peaceful and happier that way. If we can say “yes” more often, instead of “no” and help each other pursue our dreams we would live in this very positive technicolor environment filled with taste, music and motion and words that have meaning. If the theory behind “Six Degrees of Separation” is true, than we should all be able to have the life we want while helping others to do the same.