I stand with the ones who are disrespected, who are wronged and simply put, tired of it all.
The ones who are fed up and stressed out over the nonsense they endure, the unprofessional behaviour, the disregard and most prominently the lack of support from those who blast ads and paint billboards to support the drama industry. Oh what hypocrisy!
But this is the time for these artists to stand behind their potential. It is time to take what they have endured and use it as a new-found strength to break the walls down in that beautiful expressive way they know how.
Power is always in the hands of the most imaginative, for they can repel what is thrown at them in prose, poetry, song, drama, dance forever damning the hypocrites through works that live on for posterity.
I stand with the writers; the ones who dream of worlds and put them on paper. I stand with the ones who create identities and homes, communities and relationships; for they are the ones who can use words and sentences to turn their thoughts into masterpieces.
I stand with the directors; the ones who live in stories and fantasies, pain and joy in constant expression of euphoria and headaches. I stand with them; they are the ones who need to immerse themselves in scripts and learn to transcend the human mind to turn pages into personalities and settings; to interpret and then to guide others.
I stand with the producers; the ones who create worlds from behind the scenes. I stand with them too; they are the ones who cause the grasses to glimmer and the rain to thunder, the ones who map the stages and choreograph the settings; the ones who can transform ideas and words into effects and sets.
I stand with the dramatists; the ones who aspire above all else to be the best portrayal of characters. I stand with them also; they are the ones who forget themselves for the love of the arts. They are bold enough to step out of their shoes and dance in others’; they are the ones who are constantly under the most pressure to offer perfection and they do, so much so as to give up their own lives.
Yes. I stand with the disrespected drama community; with the artists who struggle, heavy bills hanging over their heads with no comfort for a brighter tomorrow. They are not even offered an assurance to lean on but the downright disrespect of being told that there is no solution to their aching problem.
I stand with the ones who spend countless hours perfecting a character, a play that lives just a few hours, sometimes less. But which artist does not want to perfect his/her work?
Yet for all their commitment, they suffer. They must present perfection in less than adequate environments, because the show must go on. They must ignore the ignominy of disrespect from audiences, non-support from their local communities.
Haven’t they suffered enough?
With Mashramani approaching in just a few weeks’ time how can these artists celebrate after such disrespect and neglect? Must they grin and bear it? Must the show go on in the face of such blatant repeated unprofessionalism?
Don’t offer these talented people tokenism. Give them what they deserve: conducive environments within which to create and entertain; plaudits and most of all respect. (Jairo Rodrigues)