FlyOver: February 2008 Archives

About a month ago, Orange County Register blogger Paul Hodgins wrote a post about his conversations with various theater professionals around the Los Angeles area.

His findings are no real surprise:

Those who bemoan the state of American theater should consider this sobering fact: even for its most successful playwrights and directors, it's a world without money or security.

Of course, Hodgins bases what he says on the anecdotal evidence he sees around Orange County and L.A.

Which makes me wonder: Is it better, or worse, in smaller cities around the country? My gut tells me worse; there's certainly no-one in my town of Missoula making a living as a freelance theater professional. In fact, even here -- more than 1,000 miles from Los Angeles -- the only folks I know making a living by writing scripts or acting do pretty much all their business in Hollywood.

But I also know that life in Missoula is a lot less expensive than in L.A. (just ask the scads of transplants who come here every year to get away from the big city, pushing up local housing prices....Not that I'm BITTER or anything...grrrr).

And as a journalist, I had an eye-opening conversation with a senior Chicago Tribune reporter a year ago in which it became clear that my standard of living here is actually no worse and in some ways infinitely better than his.

Journalists aren't theatricals, of course. But I do wonder, can people make a decent living acting, directing, and/or writing plays outside the major metro hubs in America?

February 27, 2008 10:18 AM | | Comments (0)

I'm standing in a crease between two towering folds of brushed stainless steel, looking up. A wall of glass fills the seam, partially reflecting the cold glint of metal and city lights outside, simultaneously revealing the warm glow of welcoming light and blond wood inside the building. Rooted in my tracks, gawking, I know I look like a tourist, and I just don't care.

I'm supposed to do this, of course - supposed to be overwhelmed with awe as I walk through the doors of Walt Disney Concert Hall, the most audacious work of architecture in the extravagant history of Los Angeles and the most paradigm-busting concert hall built anywhere in the world during the past generation. A few minutes later, standing inside the lobby, I watch through the glass as a well-dressed couple stops outside the front door and repeats my heavenward gaze.


WDCH-view_from_courthouse_hiCan you see what I see, feel what I feel? No, of course; you can't. To twist a familiar truism, writing about architecture is like dancing about music. Words can't create the experience itself - especially when the experience involves Disney Hall. Great architecture, like a great concert performance, demands first-hand engagement for real appreciation.

February 20, 2008 2:38 PM | | Comments (5)

How to rebuild an economically languishing community's identity around the arts? Well, here's one solution: Build a place for artists to live and work.

The city of Ventura, Calif. has apparently sunk millions into the project, which will combine "54 affordable housing units for artists and their families, 15 'supportive' apartments for people facing severe poverty and trying to end their homelessness, and 13 ocean-facing, market-rate condominiums likely to fetch upwards of $850,000," plus "a gallery-theater, park and arts-related commercial space."

Reminds me of the old joke....

Q: What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend?
A: Homeless...

...unless, of course, he lives in Ventura!

February 15, 2008 6:43 AM | | Comments (0)

Yes, it's contest season for us daily newspaper reporters, the time of year when we break out the glue-sticks and tape to assemble our personal best-of work from the past year, in hopes that someone, somewhere, will give us the thanks and recognition that we so rarely get from our own employers.

Do I sound cynical? Well, I guess I am a bit cranky about the whole thing. After all, as an arts journalist, my chances of winning an award are slim to none. While some might assert that that's a function of my lousy writing, I find myself stuck at the starting line.

February 14, 2008 11:48 AM | | Comments (1)

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by FlyOver in February 2008.

FlyOver: January 2008 is the previous archive.

FlyOver: March 2009 is the next archive.

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culture
About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Dewey21C
Richard Kessler on arts education
diacritical
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Flyover
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

dance
Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

jazz
Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
ListenGood
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Rifftides
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

media
Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Overflow
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
PianoMorphosis
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
PostClassic
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Sandow
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

publishing
book/daddy
Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

theatre
Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

visual
Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
Artopia
John Perreault's art diary
CultureGrrl
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
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