Tuesday, February 05, 2008


So a couple of posts ago, an anonymous commenter who alleges years of work in town said “[D]on't you think it's a little audacious for you…[to be] informing the community about socializing with its "stars" and "movers/shakers?" …[S]uch statements will easily provoke such responses from others as, "Well, I've worked MY butt off in this town. What do *I* have to do to hang out with Mr. Timberline and Co.??"

For one thing, I was not being audacious – I was being honest.

For another thing, I have gone over similar territory before in this post and don’t really feel the need to repeat myself. If you question my socializing with theater people, read what I wrote back in October and come back to me with a more specific question or concern. I acknowledge there are all sorts of possibilities for conflict of interest when you are a critic but I’m pretty comfortable navigating mine. Style’s fantastic dance critic, Lea Marshall, runs a dance company. Former theater critics for the publication have been playwrights. I believe they have had harder rows to hoe than I.

And yet another thing: Anon is probably vastly over-estimating the extent of my socializing with anyone, let alone the movers and shakers of local theater. I have four children, I go to grad school and I have a 9-5 job. I can count the nights I’ve spent “socializing” in the last 6 months on one hand. When I do manage to sneak out to see a show to review, I usually go alone. (I'm a critic, for god's sake; how many real friends do you think I could possibly have anyway?)

Finally, I’m going to risk extreme pedantry (it’s a word, honest) and use this question to tell an instructive little anecdote about me (because, you know, it IS all about me…) When I started in the theater scene here, I ran props backstage for Theatre IV. After that, I was lucky enough to convince a beautiful and talented actress to marry me, after which I was often relegated to the role of ‘semi-silent not-a-theater-person spouse sitting in the corner’ during those post-opening nights on the town. There were people who were friendly and personable and absolutely lovely to me back in those days when I was just an anonymous hanger-on. Those are the people I tend to still be friendly with now. There were people back then who I introduced myself to 3 or 4 times and they still couldn’t be bothered to remember me. I don’t really reach out to those people anymore. I think there’s a Buddhist principle wrapped up in this story somewhere. If you want to hang with people of ‘status,’ stop worrying who has status and be nice to everybody. And someone you are nice to might end up being a mover and shaker some day. Just a thought.


Anonymous said...

You guys seem to get somewhat nasty and overly defensive when attacked.....sometimes to a point of childishness.

Dave T said...

I love it -- someone who posts anonymous petulant potshots at people calling others childish. Classic.

Thespis' Little Helper said...

OK...so a few probs with anon's comment: "you guys" "childishness", but...very defensive...what's up Dave?

You guys know we love you! And your work! And your blog! (Even if the not positive comments are more frequent, perhaps louder, and definitely seem to reverberate more strongly).

Big Hugs for all! Really.

Feb. 1 was Hug-A-Jew Day, Feb. 2 was Hug-A-Gay Day. I think tomorrow should be Hug-A-Critic Day. Cuz "you guys" definitely deserve a lot more love from us than you get.

Andrew Hamm said...

He answered a freaking question, anonymous. Pretty well, I might add. For cripe's sake.

And for the record, Mary doesn't react at all when attacked.

Angelika HausFrauSki said...

That's because Mary is as hardcore as Chuck Norris. :)

Andrew Hamm said...

Mary would whup Chuck Norris' ass, Angie.

Andrew Hamm said...

Groundhog Day is also "Hug-a-Gay Day?" Seems like they could have chosen a better date.

When is "Hug-a-Balding-Thirtysomething-White-Guy Day?" I want that day.

Dave T said...

"Mary would whup Chuck Norris' ass."
That's why she's my hero!

Andrew, can the forty-something's have a day, too?

Andrew Hamm said...

Sounds fair to me! As long as we're passing out Free Hug days, might as well get everyone in there.

JB said...

How about "Hug a Richmond Star" Day? Lately, we ain't getting no love.

Andrew Hamm said...

That's right, local star Jill bari Steinberg!