There's the job you have, the job you want, and the job that's waiting to be created.
By Brett (B.T.) Ryback (Actor-Writer)
I was struck recently by an article about Tony Kushner.
I was about to say "fellow playwright" Tony Kushner, but felt that would imply we are in the same league, which we obviously are NOT. I wouldn't be caught dead at the bars he goes to. But then, in the spirit of this post, I suppose I should say "fellow playwright Tony Kushner." There I said it. Are you happy now?
In it, the author of Angels in America reveals a truth I know all too well: "I don’t think I can support myself as a playwright at this point. I don’t think anybody does." The only difference between Mr. Kushner's statement and my own is that when I say it, I'm not dusting off my pulitzer prize.
So sure, back the in the day, Eugene O'Neill didn't have to teach in order to make ends meet. He just had to drink, be dying, and then write about it. (4 Pulitzers later. But who's counting?)
I find all this discouraging of course - as anybody who boldly puts Actor-Writer after his name would - but then I think about Will Ferrell. Whatever your thoughts about Will Ferrell aside, I think it's safe to assume there aren't any Pulitzers in his future. But the guy works like gangbusters, and here's why - a lot of the films that have shot him to super prominence (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers) were written by him. Self-generated work.
I often write about my unending search for community because as artists, it's easy to feel isolated and alone. But art - ART, people - is not created in a vacuumm. The point is - so maybe Kushner has to write an oscar-nominated screen play from time to time about Jewish identity and have it directed by Spielberg. Sure, it's not what he wants to do. Who DOES want to do that? But you go where the work is and make it your own.
You write. You act. You do whatever. And then you find someone who does the other thing. And then just do it. Get together and get down.
Be your own job creator.
B.T. (BRETT) RYBACK wrote the music for Liberty Inn (Ovation Nominee, Best Music/Lyrics), the book music and lyrics for The Tavern Keeper’s Daughter, and the book for Darling. He also acts on stage and TV. www.btryback.wordpress.com
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