File puptcrit/puptcrit.0904, message 374


Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2009 09:54:26 -0400
To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] UNIMA-USA's 40 under 40


I think puppetry is unique in that our work improves with age.  For a
dancer, age is hard on the body.  Film and television prefer youth.
Popular music seems to prefer youth as part of the package.  (I think
the Susan Boyle thing had so much appeal because she looked frumpy and
sang beautifully.  If she had been young and beautiful her story
wouldn't have gone viral.) Visual art is probably imune to the age
question and age and experience does improve the work.  I guess at a
certain point lugging equipment around and the physical limitations of
our work will have their toll, but I have to say we improve with age.
80 over 80 might be a stretch but science is amazing so who knows!


On Sat, Apr 25, 2009 at 9:33 AM,  <puppetpro-AT-aol.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> "Youth" as an intrinsic value is no more to be idolized
> than virginity, ignorance, or shrink-wrap.
>
>
> Hey, I like shrink wrap. Made a costume out of it once.
>
>
>
> But really, what you are saying is true, and becomes truer as we look out into the world and understand all of the strange and wonderful stories that are happening. I think of Susan Boyle's story -- and how it captivated audiences so that videos of her audition for Britains Got Talent went viral. Why? Not because she's young. Because her talent shines through. Many people relate to that -- it's almost as compelling as shrink wrap.
>
>
>
> Rolande
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: The Independent Eye <eye-AT-independenteye.org>
> To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
> Sent: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 11:06 pm
> Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] UNIMA-USA's 40 under 40
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>>I'm for that!
>>Monica (or maybe 60 over 60...)
>
>
> I second the motion.
>
> I think the issue was excellent, though I very much missed seeing
> more photos of their work. =A0A half-page photo that has some badly
> exposed puppets, the puppeteer, and a bunch of empty theatre seats
> doesn't tell us much. =A0Not to pick on that one particularly, but I'd
> just be more interested in these people's work than what they look
> like. =A0What I'm going to rant about here is no reflection on the
> people profiled.
>
> But this age thing...
>
> Every subculture I've been a part of - theatre, public radio, etc.,
> and the funding sources that feed it - is enormously concerned wit
> h
> grooming the Next Generation, as if the whole field is about to
> become extinct. =A0In a way that's ok: there are infinitely more
> youth-oriented resources out there - grants, training, competitions,
> & other modes of recognition - than there were when I would've been
> eligible for'em. =A0Likewise a necessary concern, in live theatre
> especially, to engage a youth audience. =A0I've heard any number of
> artistic & managing directors at conferences decry the preponderance
> of geezers & blue-haired ladies (not always in those terms, but with
> that flavor) in their audiences and talk about their experiments in
> developing hip-hop Shakespeare, rock'n'roll Sophocles, etc., not to
> mention the ubiquitous video screens that have bedecked the
> "experimental" theatre for the past thirty years.
>
> Well, as a still-sentient geezer, I've slowly begun to get pissed. =A0I
> agree totally with the need for bringing new blood into the flow.
> But I also see this, more darkly, in the context of our culture's
> market-driven youth-mania, which in puppetry I guess is worst
> manifest in that category of YouTube videos that aren't just stupid
> but STOOPID - where the positive value is in being juvenile and
> flatulent. =A0"Youth" as an intrinsic value is no more to be idolized
> than virginity, ignorance, or shrink-wrap.
>
> There's good art by young people and lousy art by young people - no
> news there. =A0What I'm concerned with... well, lots, but just one
> thought and then I'll stop this and cook dinner.
>
> First, the
> =A0idea that Youth = Innovation and Innovation = Ultimate
> Value. =A0Just as often, Youth = Apprentice-level work and Innovation
> often means something they were doing in Europe 70 years ago, only
> digitized. =A0In fact I think innovation is just dandy, but it's not a
> value in and of itself, nor is it any more likely to come from a
> 20-year-old than from a 67-year-old. =A0Gets down to the fact that I'm
> sick of grant applications that ask you to state, "How is this
> project innovative?" =A0Better they should ask, "How does it integrate
> the whole gargantuan century-long expansion of your art form's
> expressive vocabulary into something worth an adult's attention?"
>
> End of curmudgeon rant. =A0Yes, I'd like to see something about the
> artists over 60, whether "emerging" or "emerged," or sinking fast.
>
> Peace & joy-
> Conrad B.
>
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