Monday, February 1, 2016

Why ~ Community?

So often I'm asked by friends with puzzled looks on their face/s ..."WHY do you put all this effort in when you get so little or nothing out of it?"  And it's not easy to articulate an answer when we live in a world where there is an expectation of what's in it for me?
Yup!  I'm back in the middle of a big theatre production where surplus profits are being donated to a local NFP - the Merewether Community Kitchen.   And that means, as writer/director/producer I'm overwhelmed with rehearsals, costumes, props, sets, sound, lights, promotion, - those myriad details that go in to putting on a production.
And I do that willingly because
a)  this is one of my creative 'voices'
b) I get to mentor, challenge, and develop others in their craft (with the satisfaction involved in seeing them achieve)
c) I get to bring laughter and happiness to so many people, participants/audience/recipients
d) I get to make a difference in individuals lives and in my community
e) ...and a dozen other reasons including the sheer joy and fun of seeing it all come together.
....BUT don't give me too many accolades .....
do you have any idea of how MANY members of the community get involved?
Let's hear a big round of applause for;
  • the performers who give up their Sunday afternoons for @ 3 months plus an evening through the week to get to rehearsals.....not to mention the hours they put in learning lines, moves, choreography, lyrics ..... for no tangible reward
  • the technical crew ...a Set Director who spends hours of time creating and building a set to fit each production ....a Sound Director who comes to every rehearsal to plan his strategy and technical requirements for the show.....a Lighting Director who utilises extensive skills to create the atmosphere to fit the show 
  • the musicians who give up their Sunday's too for rehearsals and an occasional mid-week evening as well
  • the volunteers ...ladies who manage the door, help distribute promotional material, the helping hands who assist with moving, building, making, the various bits to showcase the production.... and the helpers who lend a hand to set up and pack up the chairs .....these folks don't even get a round of applause to say thanks !
.....all of these people - and me - must be nuts!  But we are part of our community.  And so are YOU

.....So next time you're sitting at home alone with your telly and tech gadgets, wondering if life is going by at a probably is.   Engage with your community ..... get along to a local performance of something, celebrate the members of your community doing SOMETHING in, and for, your community.  That's the stuff that connects and builds a community  
You never know, you just might enjoy being an active part of that community.