What do you like more, football or basketball?
I was thinking the other day how amazing are Sunday league games. Guys of all walks of life come together, train to play in the league that, to be honest, will neither make them rich nor famous.
On another side of the same spectrum is theatre. You have your Premier League players: Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise. Every move, every smile, every word they make all generate some kind of revenue for them.
And then there is the Sunday League in theatre – groups of adults, who train in their local community homes, maybe do a show once in a while. But mostly, they act for pleasure of themselves.
More similarities between football and theatre
There is more. Just like football is a means of training your body, theatre does very well in training your mind. One thing you can’t is show up and just do it. Just like in football, you would get injured. So, you have to train, at least a few times a week.
Not just for you, but to also get to know the people you work with.
It used to be funny to me how actors become bartenders, soldiers, etc. in real life to prepare for their roles. But now I know better.
There is a mesmerizing interview with Al Pacino on this subject.
Why theatre isn’t more popular?
To me, theatre is a sacred place and I don’t want it to go mainstream. I mean, what it would even look like it Netflix started filming and streaming plays like they do stand-up shows. Or, coming back to football, what if instead of casinos offering video slots free spins on a new football game they just launched, they would offer free spins on a theatre-themed slot. Bizarre to say the least.
My concern comes from the feeling that if you’re watching a play on your TV, you’re losing on the intimacy of sitting just a few feet away from the actors, being able to hear their breath, being able to smell their sweat. The reality of it theatre can not compare with cinema or a 80,000 seater football game. But it can compare with a Sunday league game.
That’s why another part of me wants to make theatre as popular as possible. As I said, not in a mainstream sense but between everyday people. So that every community had their own troupe. Because, and I’m not looking to get political, our society needs that more than ever.
I accept that there will be bickering and nonsense, but I urge you to rise above it in your everyday life. Trust me, the key to happiness is neither on Facebook, nor with impeachment of Donald Trump. Look around you. Look at all the people you have in your life. That is either your hell or salvation. You choose.
But if you feel stuck and don’t know what to do, I promise you that joining (or starting) a theatre troupe will set you free from everyday worries. More than a Bob Dylan song while the rain in knocking on your windshield on a midnight highway. And if you’re lucky, you might even make some money out of it.