Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Unstable Molecules

So the irony is that not being buried under other projects right now is what's giving me the time to write in this space -- and that's the very reason why I don't have all that much to report. Or rather, there's plenty to talk about, but nothing I'm comfortable going public with yet.

There's a period at the beginning of every year that I spend trying to set up performances for the rest of the year. This always starts out being just crazy ambitious -- I've got a ludicrous number of shows lined up -- and, one by one, they all get knocked down. In fact, the only one I *do* have nailed in place right now is the Minnesota Fringe in August -- everything else involves me getting in touch with someone or somebody else getting back to me or them waiting to hear back from somebody else or this guy being out of the office this month or his higher-ups needing to talk to their higher-ups or EEEAGH.

This is what drives me crazy about this profession -- and usually I'm not one to complain, I'm doing what I love and how many people get to say that about their lives -- but it's the total lack of stability -- it's that basic inability to know what you're doing from month to month. And, sure, that's fine now because I'm in my twenties, but what about in ten years? Twenty years? When I'm supporting my parents? My children?

One of the hardest things for me to watch on the cabaret circuit is older artists struggling. It's one thing to watch young folk bomb a performance because, y'know, it's possible to reinvent yourself when you're thirty. But when you're sixty? Should you really be having to try so hard to connect with yet *another* generation?

It's one of the things that I admire so much about Groucho Marx -- that he was able to re-invent himself for the vaudeville stage, then the broadway stage, then film, then television -- to go from sketch comedian to comic actor to talk-show host. It's almost impossible to achieve that kind of success in *one* iteration -- to do so repeatedly? That's a rare talent. And even he died in relative ignonimy, a lonely old man being essentially beaten and drugged by a woman who was after his money.

Is that what we have to look forward to?