Monday, February 8, 2010


Well, apparently we've entered that time of year (which we've entered 3 times before) when my posts get really sporadic because I'm hunkering down to do this Awards show.

For the casual/new reader:  Hi.  I'm a lawyer by day and theatre critic by night.  Rarely the two meet.  (OK, once, I was working on a case where an actress fell into the orchestra pit, and my boss let me get away with quoting from the play.  But that's about it.)

A number of years ago, I was thrilled to be voted into an association of local critics, who give annual awards.  At an awards show.  Which nobody wants to produce.

Long story short:  This is the fourth year I've been co-producing the Awards show with a fellow critic/partner-in-crime.  I rarely blog about it for two really important reasons:  (1)  When we're busy producing, I don't have much time to blog; and (2)  This is the sort of stuff I don't want to make public.  (And, after three years of co-producing, let me just say:  damn, I got some stories.)  But I don't blog to anonymously dish dirt on the local theatre scene -- in fact, doing so would be totally antithetical to why I put in the effort to put on a good Awards show in the first place.  (Being:  I genuinely love theatre and want like hell to support the good stuff.)

Turns out that my co-producer and I are, uh, risk-takers.  The first year that we did the show, we didn't know what we were doing, but we muddled through and put together a sort-of system and (to our great surprise) it actually worked pretty well.  Every year since we've aimed higher -- or, at least, aimed differently.  We keep trying to change it up, make a better show, or find better ways to get money to fund the show.  And because we're not just sticking with what we know, mistakes are made.  (We have the good sense to learn from our mistakes -- but it is, actually, the fact that we made mistakes last year that made us want to co-produce again this year.  We really felt like we could do better and wanted to take another shot at it.)

Tonight was one of our risks.  We decided to add to the process of the Awards show a whole second event -- a reception for our nominees.  And, over the past few weeks, a lot of stuff went wrong in planning the reception.  (First bartender wanted too much money.  Second bartender had a better price but was "between insurers" at the moment.  Third bartender wasn't getting my e-mails for some reason....)  Indeed, things were threatening to go wrong as late as this afternoon.

But it worked!  (Nobody was more surprised about this than we were.)  We achieved our goal of an informal gathering of critics and nominees (where we could give something back to them) -- on a shoestring budget.  (It took a lot of people being very generous with their time and their businesses -- but they all believed in the same goal we did.)

OK, sure, part of me is just basking in the glow of putting on an event that worked.  (And part of me is "basking in the glow" of drinking wine on an empty stomach.)  But, mostly, I feel like we actually succeeded in encouraging a bit of that feeling of theatrical community, and that fills me with all sorts of warm fuzzies.

And now ... six weeks until the Awards show itself.  Back to work!

1 comment:

Wil said...

Congratulations for a job well done. They really couldn't do it as well and for as little capital outlay as you have, I'm sure.

Onwards and upwards...