Say what you will and call it what you will. Regardless, this thing has been staring us in the face for a few weeks now here in the US. As of the date of this writing, the president is putting out hopeful messages that American workers can get back to business by Easter 2020 or better. Yet on the same day, the mayor Los Angeles is out there saying the city of LA would be in lock down for months to come.
OK everyone, I'm not going to get into an exhaustive analysis as to who's right and wrong and for what reasons they may have. What I will simply say is that while I firmly believe the steps we've taken as a society currently to combat this virus should be applauded and we need to continue to be diligent in our continued approach, we also need to get back to work - period. ESPECIALLY in Los Angeles by the way, where so many of my colleagues, customers, vendors and FRIENDS have been immediately affected in horrible ways. That includes myself. Right now, I'm OK, but I know more than a handful of folks who aren't right now. The whole town got shut down. That's not right. Keeping our town shut down for months isn't realistic.
With that said, I wanted to post the following tract that I think is beautiful and thoughtfully written. I posted it on my Facebook page earlier today too, but I wanted these words to be on a more permanent tableau. I don't know who the author is, but I'd like to meet them, because in my view they hit the nail right on the head. This was sent to me via text message a few days prior by a friend. He passed it on to me, and now I'm passing it on to you. This town will get back to work again - soon.
In theatre we have a tradition - whenever the theatre is empty we are always sure to leave one light on. Typically on a stand in the center of the stage, this light is known as the ghost light. There are many stories about its origin- but it’s meaning is unmistakable.
It means though the theatre is empty, WE WILL RETURN. So here’s to us. The actors, the technicians, the directors, the carpenters, the designers, the dancers, the teachers, the students, the freelancers, those on tour, those at sea, the electricians, the stitchers, the makers, the stage managers.... THE ARTISTS.
Many of us have taken big hits during this virus. Financial and emotional weights have come crashing down as our entire industry is reduced to nothing but a bunch of ghost lights. But those ghost lights are temporary place holders. They are a sign. We might be down now- but our passion, our creativity, our drive is still center stage. We’ll be unplugging those ghost lights in no time. Until then- here’s a ghost light- to let the world know we will be back.