Making new art is a lot like getting a tattoo. Stay with me.
I want a tattoo. I’ve wanted one for years, but it’s a big decision that takes planning, time, money, some pain and blood and will end with me having a piece of art or statement forever tethered to my person. No backsies.
Really, that’s what making new theatre is: it’s a whole lot of work and worry and culminates into a final product that reveals something about you. It’s about commitment. It’s about your stamp of approval. It’s about bringing something into the world that, in most cases, was never asked for and saying, “Hey, this thing matters. You should all take some time to witness it.” You are responsible for its existence.
Wow. Scary, right? A little exhilarating? We think so. Tattoo metaphor aside, making new work takes a level of commitment that most sane, well-adjusted people avoid. In Savage Umbrella’s case, it means months of financial and artistic planning, people-wrangling, and logistical back-flips. It means long, passionate discussions about message and aesthetic. It means weeks of late nights filled with writing, moving, singing and playing. It’s exhausting, but we love it.
What if we’re not happy with the final product? What if we’re forever marked with an embarrassing tattoo? There’s always a chance. No doubt we’ll all get a few, but there will be just as many, if not more, triumphs - and those triumphs reveal something true about us. I can’t help but feel that we (all artists) are more than a little brave for committing to that truth.
That’s why we put in the time. That’s why we sweat it out. Even if we make one or two things we may regret - even if someone disagrees with what we do or how we do it - we’ll have been true. We’ll have made something from nothing. We’ll have taken one more step in discovering who we are and what we believe has value.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of the many wonderful creators we have had the pleasure to collaborate with, whether you have gifted us with your time and talent on stage, or behind the scenes designing and embellishing the worlds we play in. If you were there from the very beginning, discussing themes and story and character at one of our workshops, you are one of the brave souls who have left their mark in our story-telling. You probably already know why you make or support new work.
So Savage Umbrella wants to enlist you, once more with feeling, to talk to your friends and family about ArtShare at the Southern Theatre. Let them know how much hope and hard work go into creating new work and why it needs to be supported. More importantly, let them know that just $18 will get them three different shows from three different performance companies each month. And if you refer a friend you get one month free. It’s enough to make any Minnesota art-lover say, “Now that’s a heck-of-a deal!”