I promise this post will be a bit off topic. Not about Shakespeare exactly, but theatre in general.
For those of you theatre students and other theatre practitioners out there: do you do theatre to do theatre? Or to go into film? Teachers: Do you teach students to act theatre so that they can do TV?
I’m often asked “What do you do?” or “What have you studied in school?” I will of course mention that I do theatre, and often that I am an actor. 99% of the time, the following response is “Oh, so I’ll be seeing you on TV sometime then! Not that I don’t want to do TV or film at some point, but it’s not my goal. I study theatre so that I can do theatre! My shelf is littered with books about theatre. Not film or TV – for now. It makes me wonder: Do people think that there’s no such thing as a life in the theatre? Or no money in theatre? Or do they think theatre is a dying art? If so I believe they’re wrong on all three accounts. There’s plenty to do in theatre. A life as an actor on the other hand IS harder and financial success solely performing is less likely. But who says that’s all I do?
Now for the iota of relevance to Shakespeare. You work with Shakespeare much if you do film or TV. Few seems to want to watch the Bard on a screen. But theatre companies around the world are constantly doing Shakespeare’s plays.
I’m allowed to go slightly off topic once in a while. It’s my blog darnit, I’ll yerk you if you tell me otherwise. Does anyone else have any sort of similar experience? Discuss!