I get oh-so-very tired of the ubiquitous “less is more” credo. It seems that we are being told constantly to accept or be happy with less: less stuff in our lives, less busy-ness, less carbs, less work, less technology, less soda blahdy blahdy blahdy blah and it is just so bo-ring to me! I do get the general theory behind simplifying it all, but I am not sure I like the practice of it–as generally applied to everything in our culture, and as the current consensus would have it. I will happily admit, there are certain things of which I will always unabashedly want MORE; many of them are chocolate and that goes without saying. However, in terms of Charlotte’s arts scene….I consistently find myself hoping for MORE of certain very specific things and I will continue to make it my mission to do everything in my power in my small portion of the world of Charlotte to facilitate these big ‘ole wants. I scoff at the idea that less is more–in my book only MORE is truly MORE!
And, to that end, here is my personal Charlotte Arts MORE is MORE list:
1. I want MORE Charlotte writers to get their voices heard.
We need more diversity in perspective, always. I especially encourage female writers because they are the least represented in all mediums. And since women are over 50% of the population, our stories ARE universal. Period.
If you are a writer of any type and I know it, I will tend to ask you everytime I see you if you are writing. I do this not to bug, but because I do genuinely want to know and because I believe encouragement of this typically solitary artistry is crucial. Whether it’s poetry, theatre, a novel, spoken word, music, a screenplay–we need more voices. Write MORE, CLT people!
2.I want MORE Charlotte artists to become self-producers.
As artists, even when we are currently involved in a project we are all typically clamoring after our next job. The only way around this is to take a grand leap and employ ourselves part of the time via producing our own projects. Although self-producing is not easy, it will afford you a modicum of control over your artistic life that you will not have otherwise. It is simply a way to ensure that you are always working on a project in which you believe and of which you absolutely want to be a part. It puts you in the proactive driver’s seat: ‘I am creating something!’ versus the reactive waiting game: ‘I sure hope someone chooses me.’ It is wonderfully empowering to be the Creator of a project. Self producing allows you to take back some finite control of your artistic life. That feeling of control is worth a whole lot in this business and as a result all of this is good for your career path, your psyche and ultimately your art.
So if you ever happen to ask me, even in passing, about producing or show an inkling of interest in this at all, I WILL sit you down and share everything I know to help you become the show runner of your artistic life. I happen to think that the more artists that we have that understand this business aspect of things, the faster and stronger we will grow as an artistic community. We’ll have more creative artist-driven projects being born right here, which will be fantastic. In addition, the knowledge of what happens on the other side of the process will ultimately add value to your presence within a project as a cast member/artist because you will better understand the bigger picture of the project as a whole. Wanna know more? Ask me, you’ll get an ear full.
3. I want MORE information sharing and arts crowdsourcing in our community.
I have seen recently something that warms the cockles of my heart here in Charlotte—arts orgs aiding other arts orgs here in town, helping to get the word out about projects and events. We are a small community and we need to do MORE of this. The adage ‘the high tide rises all the boats’ really does apply here; together as a larger group we are much stronger than if we choose to exist in our small company-oriented vacuums. So helping each other out in this way is good for the karma and the community.
This is the reason I ADORE twitter. Twitter contains infinite amounts of sharing and sourcing of great ideas all swapped freely in relation to theatre, independent film and the arts in general from all around the country and worldwide. If you aren’t on twitter yet you should be, even if it’s just to lurk around a read a bit, which is an easy way to start. Twitter is a medium based on engagement though, so get yourself a fun twitter handle and a funky avatar (remove that ugly egg please!) and hop on. I consistently re-tweet articles and links from around the web about arts life in Charlotte and other places, Charlotte cool stuff to do, interesting places to eat, drink, meet, etc. so follow me @donnachronicles and say hi, and I will follow back.
These are my primary MORE is MORE wants for this week for Charlotte; I find they change daily at my personal artsy whimsy and with my creative mood. Do tell–what would you like to see MORE of in the CLT arts scene?