[Tl;dr version: Skip to the center graphic below and click to show support for local Ohio jobs. “Tl;dr” means “too long, didn’t read”. It lets you skip commentary and quickly get to what is important in this article.]
Monday, May 6, 2019
Hello. It’s not often our site gets into political issues, but this is one that’s near and dear to my heart in a sense in that it tends to support our young and old in pursuit of their dreams and in pursuit of their art. Ever since I was a young kid I always had a desire to be adored and take center stage and make people laugh, entertain them and be seen as a funny and cool guy. The first taste of acting and musical theater came when we had to do some play for music class and I got to airbend an big purple plastic inflatable guitar. My classmates loved it and my friends got a big kick and laugh out of it. It was exhilarating to play someone cool and funny when I was normally a shy kind of guy. Later I got to have another taste of stage life with orchestra and a bit of stage fright, stage exhilaration when performing in our local high school music productions. Whether it was cross-orchestra exchanges, going on field trips to Canada, serenading parents over meatballs, or playing a nostalgic ballad of Star Trek it was a memory burnt forever and indelibly into my mind and if I had my druthers I would do it all over again. Nothing beat dressing up in a tux and the girls in the black dresses so I could see the stage light, the electricity, the anticipation of curtain up and the enthusiastic views and applause generated from our family and mainly our parents. Fast forward again to college where I had my first taste of beginning acting classes putting on a play of Charlie Brown or getting laughs blurring the lines between patient and psychiatrist in Beyond Therapy. I remember my first movement and dancing classes and script interpretation classes as well as my life altering, life changing moment when I spliced my first audio and music for a theater montage. I knew theater was something that needed to be in my life. And finally I produced my first student play for a class, with leather binder as my proudest achievement, photos of my castmates and crew members, and received an A from my directing instructor and it sealed my destiny that I would forever have a place in my heart for the fine arts. It has been years since graduation but I’ve taken miscellaneous gigs, crew positions, and helped out in theaters in positions ranging from usher to helping out on camera crew or even spotlight and sound. When you’re involved in art you feel like you’re connecting to a higher calling at times. Don’t get me wrong though. When you are involved as extras or background talent, you may feel like just another person in the mix, but without the leaves, and the branches, a tree would not very well be made.
I’m calling to arms my fellow art lovers and people that have ever seen a film, a movie, heard a record or album or seen a musical and been personally touched either by the message or the arrangement of stories. For the kid that’s sitting there with my going agape going wow over the splash of colors looking at Disney, The Incredibles or Pixar to the old gentleman brought to tears by a song from Cabaret, to the lady wanting to be a fearless inspiring warrior full of courage and leadership after watching a production of Merida the Brave. Films, television, music, art are all hear to inspire us and whether we are 10, 15, 40 or 85 or any other age we all have something that drives us, that motivates us, that inspires us and keeps us going in the day and makes us roll out of bed. Whether that is for our kids, or for our parents, inside we have another voice that says what would Batman do or what how could I be more inspiring and be like Sigourney Weaver or be as funny as my favorite comedian. It is art and music and movies that inspire us all since we were young. It is the stories that make us move and dance propel us forward in life to achieve what we didn’t think or believe we could achieve. And it is for that very reason alone that I hope you will join me in supporting the cause below.
Ohio has proposed ending the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit which incentivizes movie makers to come to over to come to make movies in our area. In other words, it’s cheaper for them to make movies in our region and brings over talent, actors, filmmakers and other people. Basically it’s jobs, people. Jobs are on the line and dreams. People that either are local caterers get helped. Cleaners, historical sites. Restaurants. Remember the restaurant that was in Rain Man? That was local. People come to our area and it attracts amazing talent pool and a wealth of networking and ideas. It has brought stories, tourism, and also interest into our area and our commerce system. People worry sometimes about Hollywood being out of touch, but the people that make movies, art, and jobs are people like you and me and they recycle it back into our system and that in turn means that our community thrives, gets better, is smarter about things. It makes the area have a better quality and better quality of life. Remember when our region was going to host the World Choir Games? Our city started putting in signs, cleaning up the area, putting in ambassadors to greet people. It was a whole town coming together to show the best of our region. Whether it’s local sports or festivals when we get together we can do great things to show support for our state. And this is truly one of them. Please check the site below and see what you can do to help bring awareness and knowledge of the need for jobs in our region.
Many local friends and actors I know pay their dues by going to a local acting class every few weeks to hone their craft. They go to theater and they go to college to be able to hopefully get a job in the industry to do something they’ve loved and dreamed about since they were a kid, and that is to be able to communicate and express themselves through their only medium of art. It is an outlet for some people that are bullied, an outlet for some people that have no voice, or outlet for people that don’t yet know themselves. Without art life would be boring, uninspiring, and without motivation. We need to give the aspiring ballet dancer, the elderly retiree, or stuttering dreamer the ability to make their vision come true and bring the vision, characters to life and give them a new lease on being. They need a chance to be able to work and not have to be forced to move to Hollywood or Broadway to make their life aspirations come true. Whether it is an actress looking to be Esmeralda or Elphaba, be a YouTube sensation, or simply give funny commentary, all our actors, camera, crew, voice talent, dancers, choreographers, and musicians, etc are affected because we are all in the competition for good jobs in the area. Let’s make it easier for our future talent by keeping the job pool in Ohio and the Midwest so that they can continue to pursue their craft and stick close to friends and family, make money and bread to support their kids and provide rent and a roof over their heads. Most people in the art world hustle and hold multiple jobs and pursue their passion on the side or late into the night or on weekends. This I know, that some of these people are the hardest working out there and that’s not to discount all the other people out there. But many have worked in other industries that also include a diverse skillset ranging in math and sciences also. And some may have been dentists or teachers, but seen the ads or local news broadcasters talk about how they might get to see big actors on set, and so they try out. But then the bug bites them and they realize that this acting or theater gig may be a second career and innately it connects them to something the loved as a kid. It was a way to feel connected to the Muse, to the inspiration, to the fountain of dreams that the daily eight-to-five grind had clotted their arteries and deadened them inside. They were only going through the motions and finally awoken.
I’m going to leave you with a final image. In Hook, Robin William’s character, Peter Pan discovers his arty dream inspired self again, the part that he always wanted to come out but had been repressed for so long. And he throws away his cellphone, a connection to the business world and piece of himself that was stiff and uncreative. Never forget your creativity and what inspires you every day. What gets you going out of bed. You never lost it. It was always there.