So, last night was the Tony Awards. It's the biggest night on the theater community calendar, because for those who aren't in the know, this is our Oscars. (And I use "our" a little loosely, since I'm more fan than artist, but I am still, as a fan, a part of it.) It was a big night for everyone involved, nominees to winners to enthusiasts and friends. No matter who wins our loses, it's a night to celebrate a thing we all love, and a craft that challenges us artistically, intellectually, and spiritually. We laugh, we cry, we sing, we dance, we break hearts and props and paradigms. Live theater is in many ways an act of love for humanity-- stepping into the skin of another and laying everything you have out there, 8 shows a week, live, so that a story can be told, which leads to lives being reexamined and changed. It is truly a marvel of humanity that we out of all the beings on earth can do theater and to the amazing extent that we do.
Every year at the Tony's winners thank not just god, their colleagues, and families, but teachers. It is incredibly important to encourage creativity and passion early on in life. Today we're facing some really scary linearization of success and happiness. Life's not a one-path game with an automatic X+Y- Z = happiness formula. Recess is getting booted for in-class time. The arts are losing funding for sports-- which I'll admit are important, but they will not ever serve every child. We are suffocating creativity and passion in so many kids for obedience and convention. There is a balance that must be struck, and that balance is different for every child. And so our arts teachers-- theater teachers and art teachers and music teachers-- are fighting an uphill battle to keep kids excited to explore the arts in school districts that would rather cut their funding. For kids like me who were unathletic and kind of weird and wanted to tell stories and draw, my art teachers and theater teacher were so critical in encouraging the weirdness and passion that make me who I am, and they made me proud of what I brought to the table rather than shaming me for not having something.
I love marketing, and I love business, but those passions would not have come to be without the groundwork laid by art and music and theater. Those teachers that encourage a creative child, giving them an outlet, rather than telling them to sit quietly all the time, those are our beacons home. They guide us toward self-discovery and love. Sometimes, they even take us to our life's purpose, while other times, they open us up to innovation and new ways of thinking.
It's on nights like the Tony's that we really remember why those teachers are so important. We look at the immense body of work that some of these artists have created and we remember that it all started somewhere and was cultivated by many someones. Brilliance rarely happens without support. Many artists thank the little studios and early teachers that made them love the arts in the first place and we should, too. How much poorer would the world be without arts teachers. Hopefully, we'll never have to know.
As a quick reminder, please remember to check out my latest giveaway! In addition to being a giveaway for some lady-tastic comics, we're raising support, awareness, and funds for a suicide prevention resource. Check it out and tell your friends!