Exits and Entries

I was looking through some of the blogs I have listed here today in order to catch up with what people have been doing. I really hadn’t been reading since Thanksgiving so I got ready for a long session.

Much to my disappointment, some great blogs have disappeared.

My London Life hadn’t been updated in a long time, but now it is completely gone. I only discovered it a year ago on my search for just such a blog. It was a great, frequently updated accounting of a London director’s life in the theatre as well as discussing the process he engages in.

What was really a surprise was the disappearance of Spearbearer Down Left. According to George Hunka over at Superfluities, Spearbearer packed it in last week. George and Spearbearer frequently used their blogs as forums to debate similar topics with each other. It was often dense stuff and I had to really had to read what was being said.

I tried to see if the final pages were archived on the web somewhere by one of the search engines, but didn’t have any luck. It is a mystery to me why he stopped. It seemed he hardly lacked for intelligent things to say.

On happier notes, I found more of those blogs I had been searching for a year ago via Greg Beuthin over at Extension 311.

By the grace of his eagle eye, I was lead to California Shakespeare Theater’s actors blogs for Nicholas Nickleby and director’s blog for Othello.

The entries were a little thin in my opinion. The director’s blog only covered the tech week through opening so you don’t get to see how things evolved through the rehearsal process. The actors’ blogs, while informative and providing a behind the scenes look at challenges and insecurities, aren’t updates as frequent as I would like. (With the exception of Jim Carpenter’s who has a nice consistency.)

I think perhaps the entries by these folks were infrequent because they really didn’t view blogs as a potentially valuable tool for removing the veil of mystery for patrons. And that’s okay, these things take time to evolve for both practioners and readers alike.

But it is in contrast with the entries of a blog Kool-aid drinker like Greg Beuthin. His blog entries as alter-ego Palmito are both frequent and informative about the process. (His entry on why they are singing children’s songs in rehearsal for example.)

All his hard work may not have put any more butts in the seats though, sez he back on Ext 311

Interestingly, most conventional wisdom seems to indicate that having a blog would encourage people to come see the show. While that may be true, it’s unclear how much of an effect the blog has had on attendance (I haven’t been asking nor handing out surveys…). What I do know is that people who have seen the show are reading the blog afterwards. Hmmm – I’ll take it anyway. 😉

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


1 thought on “Exits and Entries”

  1. Thanks for the coverage. As you can guess, I’m running way behind in my blog-reading. Not sure if I’ve got the best system (i.e. there is not “system”) although I’m trying the Sage extension for Firefox now.


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