To all my creative artists… Dancers, singers, actors, visual artists, poets, yes all of you with a creative skillset….QUESTION. How do you financially survive? Paula, the writer of Show Me The Money, highlights the truths of being an artist in today’s modern society. Showcased at the Arena Theatre Wolverhampton.
Show Me The Money
Written & Devised by: Paula Varjack
Dramaturgy by: Martin Bengtsson
Touring Technical Director: Lucy Adams
Arena Theatre – Wolverhampton Saturday 25th November 2017
Review by: Tamar Dixon (Unique Tay)
This is a question I have been asking myself for years. Before I studied dance, during my studies and yes I am still questioning myself today as a graduate. You must be thinking…crikey. ‘Why did you choose this route then?’, ‘What can you get out of dance?’ As many people throughout my adult life has questioned me in disbelief that I actually went to university to study dance. I chose this career because I am passionate about dance and the arts. I am glad Paula brought awareness to the common financial struggle, frustrations and financial instability many emerging artists face here in the UK.
Her research explores all aspects of the creative arts industry. Through interviews with local artists across the country. From Birmingham to Leeds, Bristol and Newcastle, Paula asks valid questions artists are desperate to get a solid answer?
- How do artist pay the rent?
- Are they still living with their parents?
- Do rich partners support their creative existence?
- DO ANY OF THEM MAKE A LIVING ENTIRELY FROM ART?
Finally someone else is in my boat. Someone else actually acknowledges that working within the creative arts clearly is not exactly easy peasy lemon squeezy to gain access into. This leaves me questioning will I ever gain a stable career and cherish financial freedom? I mean is having a bag full of experiences, passion and drive…enough?
- Such an innovative way to bring awareness about a day in the life as an artist.
Show Me The Money is a playful and humours solo show. Paula engages with the pleasant audience, she encourages us to end the show with showcasing our dazzling jazz hands on stage. This made me smile as she ended on a high, considering the show was quite pessimistic.
Furthermore the show included music full of lyrics about…….money (of course lol), e.g. ABBA Money Money Money and Rihanna B**ch Better Have My Money. Also a few props and the use of technology on stage. Such as a projector which featured the interviews. The interview truly helped to understand and empathise with other artists and a wake up call about the struggle post-graduation. In other words, no. Your dream job is not handed over to you on a plate. The greatness of the interviews and it being projected was that it included both men and women from different backgrounds, different ages and from different art disciplines. However it would have been useful to include more young people (under 30s) and more people from non-European ethnic backgrounds. Since today we are still battling with fairness and equality in the workplace based on our gender, age AND ethnic origin. Yes this happens within the arts too. Notwithstanding the valid points the interviewees made, had me nodding in agreement, along with the small audience.
As much as the show and my review is heavy weighted with the harsh truth, I think it’s safe to say that it is certainly worthwhile to want a career in the arts. The ability to create innovative ideas every day and turn it into a piece of art and still somehow make a living IS a unique skill. Thank you Paula for bringing this topic to light, it was very much needed. Paula is a writer and filmmaker. She achieved her MA in Stage Management. Show Me The Money opened my eyes to expanding my own creative skillset and to keep my head up. Which I strongly advise newly graduates and students to do too……persevere!
Learn more about what’s on over at Arena Theatre based in Wolverhampton
This show has inspired me to blog more about my personal experience as a broke dancer. Stay posted for my future blogs and vlogs next week HERE
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Share YOUR artistic experiences. What struggles have you faced as a creative artist? Comment below and
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