Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Isaac Butler - The Crossroads

For every story of a wildly successful theatre artist, who must now choose between staying in theatre or going off to chase Hollywood money, there are probably ten thousand stories just like this: (Read the whole thing - he outlines his specific circumstances - but here are some main points and questions.)

The year stretching roughly from March 2009-March 2010 will be amongst the busiest and most successful times for me as a theatre director thus far. It will including the following:

-- Being the SDCF observer on one off-broadway show

-- Quite possibly assistant directing another off-broadway show
-- Taking a show to the DC Fringe festival
-- Staging a showcase of a song cycle in anticipation of a summer 2010 tour
-- Directing a play regionally
-- Directing multiple readings and short plays at various venues
-- Guest teaching once or twice
-- Scouting plays for a regional theatre


So let's talk turkey. Or should I say, money:
- My total compensation for all of the above will most likely top out at $2500.


If I want to hedge my bets, I should probably start looking for a day-job now(ish). But doing so may very well mean that I will never make my living from directing. Now obviously, most people who call themselves directors don't make a living from directing, again I'm not complaining. But it would mean giving up on a particular dream-- the dream of being a full-time artist. (Not to mention the other thing: Taking a day job that I find meaningful and fulfilling would also probably mean taking one that leaves little time for trying to be an artist period).

Is it time for me to reconcile myself to that? Am I looking at taking a multi-year break for pursuing a full-time directing career only to try again when I'm in my late 30s?

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