When last we met, I was extolling the virtues of summer stock theatre, that magical place where you build your skills as a performer, meet fascinating (and not-so fascinating) people, and try very hard not to embarrass yourself at the closing night party. But what if you’re not doing stock, what if you’re in the City (or elsewhere) for the summer, not necessarily performing? What should you do with yourself all summer?
So, the 70th Annual Tony Awards are in the books, and it was a great night! I spent the evening with about a dozen friends, and we had a viewing party. It was awesome! It was like we were in the Beacon Theatre, well, except that we had snacks and weren’t quite as dressed up as the Tony-goers were. And our ballots weren’t quite official.
What a feeling! You get that call on your cell phone, and you’ve got a job for the summer doing theatre. Someone is ACTUALLY PAYING you to do theatre! What a rush! What a high! What the hell do you do now? What is summer stock, really?
When you work as an artist, tax season blows. With a slough of 1099s and income that is often earned from various states, artist taxes are some of the most complex. Meanwhile, we earn gross incomes small enough that we often can’t afford accountants. Instead, artists are left to struggle through seas of forms, cross our fingers that we’ll avoid an audit, and hope against hope that we can eek out a refund. Before panic sets in, take a moment to relish in the fact that YOU MADE A LIVING AS AN ARTIST. Now, get smart, submit your paperwork, and get that refund!
“You are terrifying!” came the enthusiastic greeting as I stepped into the post show lobby. . I had grown used to it by then, and knew from the grins on the faces of this pleasant older couple that it meant they’d enjoyed the show. I smiled back sheepishly and offered a genuine, though bashful thank you, trying to distance myself somewhat from the character I had just played. Each night, I even made a point of dressing up more than usual when I went to the theatre. This was my first production in a new city, after all, and I wanted to be sure that everyone knew I wasn’t really a sociopath.