So I’ve been talking to a couple of people about the state of the arts recently; about the fragility of local government funding and venues within larger organisations with differing agendas none of which bodes well for the future of regional arts.
People have also been talking to me about the ethics of public money paying our wages when the public don’t want most of what we do. Especially when it is being held up by the government as an either/or option. I mean really, who is going to choose art over hospitals or emergency services? I wouldn’t.
And now I feel… Pretty depressed. No, not just depressed, scared. I’m afraid that after waiting so long to do this I have left it too late – by about a decade. The moment has passed. The optimism is gone. The money pot has dried up.
OK, so funding is not a right. I accept this. I don’t need to make buckets of money. And in fact I never really wanted to. I would be happy to just cover my bills and have a little spending money (which, let’s face it, I would mostly spend on going to the theatre and socialising with my theatre mates). And the lack of it shouldn’t stop me from making work. I hope it won’t but with no funding to support making the work and fewer and fewer venues it’s starting to look pretty bleak.
Because the thing is I am alone. This isn’t just a device for the show. Unlike many who make theatre I do not have a supportive partner at home bringing in a second wage, rich parents, my own home or any kind of external financial support structure… And I begin to wonder if I am a fool to even think about trying to do this at this time. It’s a pretty terrifying thought, if I am honest.
Will this show be my one and only?