Stages & Choices

I spent a wonderful 3 hours last night coaching a young Richmond theater artist named Chris Hester. I know him from Capital One, but I was excited and intrigued by his current project. He, along with some fine collaborators, has assembled a one man show entitled "Stages".  This musical is a review of his life, his stages, and presents a unique opportunity for the audience to think and learn about the stages of life, through an autobiographical musical review.  

We talked a lot about choices, about less as more, the standard directing/coaching clich├ęs. I worked with him on his tools, and his execution.  I was inspired by his desire to use his art to speak to his community. I was inspired by his willingness to share his soul so personally with an audience.  Funny, this is what we as artists do so regularly.  

We lay it out, only to have our thoughts and ideas so regularly trashed by the public, the critics, the list goes on. Young artists are evaluated and valued against an objective standard of perfection instead of an evaluation of their courage, spirit and heart. I'd sure like to see more of what I witnessed in Chris in every day life. People willing to take risks, and be authentic as artists. Instead our culture and the "production machine" forces our artists into cookie cutter molds who will appeal to the largest audience, sell the most records/dvds/tickets. 

Entertainment tonight versus ART can change the world.  Story isn't new. Which do you choose?

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