negothick: (Charlotte)
[personal profile] negothick
As I've always known, if I want things to happen in the arts around here, I have to do them myself. My resume as volunteer promoter of the arts (as opposed to solo performer) in Eastern Connecticut goes back to high school, when I volunteered at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Today, they have interns who pay for the privilege of sweeping the stage, parking the cars, and running errands for the great. And during the summer season, they have professional actors who accept a pittance for taking the nonspeaking or chorus parts that we stage-struck high-schoolers played. There's no doubt that I reached the pinnacle of my acting career when I stood in the background and chanted on the same stage as Michael Douglas and Brenda Vaccaro (who were an item back then). But mostly, I was a gofer.

Skip blithely over 50 years, and I'm back at the O'Neill Theater Center, this time picking up tablecloths for the literature and food tables for  last Sunday's Performing Arts InterSECT, the showcase of local performing arts groups I was helping to run for the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition. I returned the tablecloths (after laundering them, of course) the other day, where I found eager interns who stopped running the copy machine to retrieve the heavy boxes of linens from my car (age has some privileges. . .). Proud to say that I restrained myself from telling them the story I just forced upon you, dear LJ readers. Ah well, still the handmaid (or laundrymaid) of the arts.

Last night I volunteered at the Norwich Arts Center, of which I was the founding president 30 years ago. In addition to selling tickets and giving out programs for the play Naked Mole Rats in the World of Darkness (don't ask), to which I had no other connection, I gave the toilets a swipe, emptied some disgusting wastebaskets, and wiped down tables. In 2003, I had my CD release party in that same venue, and had to swamp out the same bathrooms because one of the same toilets had overflowed. At that point, I asked myself--and everyone within earshot--"How many other recording artists and record producers had to clean the toilets at their own CD launches?"

What, and leave show business?
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