This made me laugh a lot.
We all know this happens. But we pretend it doesn't. We all do this sort of dance of denial. They say that it takes 1-3 months to get back to you. They don't mean that each submission gets its own personal meeting. They mean the stack of paper is very high and getting higher. Don't expect a phone call in the next week, just because you finished a play. So... now I shall tell you about my experience on other side of the envelope. For six months, I was a script reader for Unnamed New Play Theater. UNPT had an open submission policy. Anyone could submit a full length play(not an excerpt). The end result of this policy was a wire shelving unit filled with plays. Plays were spilling onto the floor, and sticking out at weird angles, wagging off the shelves like tongues chastising you for your inadequate commitment to your job, playwrights and the American Theatre.
It's just that words like 'careful consideration' should have meaning. And if they don't, they should carry the illusion of meaning. All I ask (this is where my standards are) is that I am allowed to pretend that my submissions are not an empty exercise. I ask literary departments to support my illusion. When I got that e-mail, my first instinct was laughter. Were they serious? Did they really just say "after careful consideration?"
And so I did. I read scripts looking for the reasons why they shouldn't be done instead of why they should. If a script was bad, it was bad. If it was good it was the wrong kind of play for the theater.
We all know this happens. But we pretend it doesn't. We all do this sort of dance of denial. They say that it takes 1-3 months to get back to you. They don't mean that each submission gets its own personal meeting. They mean the stack of paper is very high and getting higher. Don't expect a phone call in the next week, just because you finished a play.
So... now I shall tell you about my experience on other side of the envelope. For six months, I was a script reader for Unnamed New Play Theater. UNPT had an open submission policy. Anyone could submit a full length play(not an excerpt). The end result of this policy was a wire shelving unit filled with plays. Plays were spilling onto the floor, and sticking out at weird angles, wagging off the shelves like tongues chastising you for your inadequate commitment to your job, playwrights and the American Theatre.
We interrupt this blog of wildly misinterpreting geico commercials to bring you this personal message...
Thinking about these issues some more, it seems the age that we've entered isn't post-racial, or post-homophobic or post-sexist. It is, rather, post-PC where we get a little thrill out of saying things that are somewhat transgressive and that is in its own way, humorous.
Later at the White House, Mrs. Obama addressed guests that included executives from Google, Target and the Bravo TVnetwork, among many others, lunching on White House china from the Bush, Truman and Eisenhower administrations. She returned to an oft-stated theme: Kids need more than just a good education, they need exposure to the arts — and early.
"An educational foundation is only part of the equation," the first lady said. "In order for creativity to flourish and imagination to take hold, we also need to expose our children to the arts from a very young age."
She said Albert Einstein had it right when he said imagination is more important than knowledge. "We need to ensure that our children have both — knowledge and imagination. I know I want that for my girls. They deserve to have access to a good education and access to ideas and images that will spark their creativity."
I think the Right's extreme (and openly racist) reactions to Obama's Presidency and Sotomayor's nomination for the Court have put to bed a lot of the "post-racial" talk going on in American Politics. And thank goodness for that. It's certainly a sign of positive change that a black man can get elected President in America; the idea that it somehow moved us beyond race was ridiculous on its face. The story of race in America is the story of America. And many chapters of American history that seem non-racial have race lurking just below the surface, waiting to be discovered.
The scientists at Duke came up with a clever paradigm for isolating this more indirect rewarding pathway: they studied mice without a functional TRPM5 channel, which is essential for detecting sweetness. As a result, these mutant mice showed no immediate preference for sugar water.
But here comes the cool part of the experiment. The scientists then allowed the mice to spend some time with the sugar water and normal water. After a few hours, it became clear that the mutant mice greatly preferred the sugar water, even though they couldn't taste the sugar. (A control experiment with sucralose, an artificial sweetener, demonstrated that the rats were responding to the caloric intake, not the sweet taste.)
Finally, the scientists measured dopamine levels (via in vivo microdialysis) in the nucleus accumbens (a brain area that processes rewards) in the mutant mice and normal mice.* While normal mice exhibited an increase in dopamine in response to both fake sugar and real sugar - the reward was the sweet taste - the mutant mice only demonstrated a dopaminergic spike when consuming genuine sugar water. What they enjoyed were the calories.
If you could only recommend one piece of theatre to see this weekend, what would it be?
Andy Serwer on TAPped reports:
Now it appears that Lucia Whalen, the woman who made the 9/11 call, not only didn't mention race, she told the dispatcher that she thought this might have been Gates' home. "I don't know what's happening. ... I don't know if they live there and they just had a hard time with their key, but I did notice they had to use their shoulders to try to barge in," Whalen said,according to the Boston Globe.
Simple right? The problem is that the police report written by Sgt. James Crowley states that "[Whalen] observed what appeared to be to black males with backpacks on the porch of Ware Street." Except Whalen said no such thing. Furthermore, the tapes are notable for what they don't contain--any audio that indicates Gates was shouting as Crowley claimed in his police report. The tapes do contain audio of Crowley saying Gates was being uncooperative and asking for more backup, reportedly saying "keep the cars coming."
Here's the thing: This is the second discrepancy from the police report, the first being that Gates claims he showed Crowley Harvard ID and his Driver's License, while the report says that he only showed Harvard ID. The reason I find this odd is that Crowley seems to have believed it was Gates' residence--but how could he be sure if he hadn't seen Gates' Driver's License as he claims? Now, we also know that the claim that it was Whalen who identified Gates and his driver by their race was completely false.
This is what I don't get... regardless of the race angle, people defending Crowley are essentially defending a cop for doing really sloppy police work and then arresting someone for being rude to him in his own home. Is that really something that people on any side of this issue want to be defending? Again, I can understand debating how much impact race had on the Gates arrest, or town-gown relations or anything else about it, but ultimately people defending Crowley are defending the idea that police can arrest you for being rude to them. That's completely whack.
The following graphic is an un-retouched screen capture courtesy Media Matters:
Why is Joan Marcus used as the photographer for basically every show above a certain level in New York Theatre? It seems an odd monopoly for someone to have.
The government’s office of compliance defines an intern as an individual performing services in an office as a part of an educational plan whose temporary work will not exceed a total of 12 months.
The first problem arises when there is no “educational plan” set, and students are expected to work as a normal employee, receiving credits for their work instead of monetary compensation. Students are then left paying for the credits, and essentially paying for their work as an intern, presenting a second problem and an option which is not financially feasible for students like Birch.
According to InternBridge.com, a management consulting company that conducts the largest internship research in the country, 18 percent of over 12,000 student interns surveyed were both unpaid and received no credit. Of the students that received college credit for their internship, 71 percent had to pay for those credits.
Theaters should probably take note of the Department of Labor's criteria for unpaid interns:
1. The training, even though it includes actual operations of the facilities of the employers, is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school.2. The training is for the benefit of the student.3. The student does not displace a regular employee, but works under the close observation of a regular employee or supervisor.4. The employer provides the training and derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student; and on occasion, the operations may actually be impeded by the training.5. The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.6. The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.
I think quite a few theatre internships would flunk those first two tests. But this is also because i'm pretty sure a lot of internships in general would flunk those first two tests.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw Toxic Avenger for a forthcoming article for TDF. The play has several actors who play multiple parts. Two of these characters are named "White Dude" and "Black Dude" and are played by a white actor and black actor respectively.
I'm almost done reading Drew Westen's excellent The Political Brain. Short version: The enlightenment ideal of a rational mind (and, hence, a rational voter) is complete poppycock. Republicans know this and use it to beat the stuffing out of Democrats, who are distrustful of emotional appeals. There is nothing wrong, however, with making an emotional appeal. Republicans tend to make unprincipled emotional appeals (i.e. lying about their opponents record to getcha all riled up), Democrats need to make principled emotional appeals.