Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Why Subscribe

It's that time of year when you get the glossy begging brochures: fork over the dough for our fabulous new season!!!! They send you several, each spaced over some scientifically designed interval. And in an age where my belt is tightened to the last notch, I do. I send in the grocery money, or charge it on my Mafia Rate single credit card. In some data aggregation database, I am an ideal cultural consumer, since in the end I subcribe to the ballet, the opera AND to the symphony. I am highly educated which makes me a likely target--but alas I am poor, which negates the rest. So why do I subscribe? Well, for me its a bit like why fundamentalists tithe. I put my little pennies where my passions lie and where my heart lives. I could wait and hope for free tickets. I could get discount tickets through one of the many outlets where unsold seats go, or pine for industry nights. But in the end, I really really love the opera and the ballet and the symphony and I want them to be there when my kids grow up. Even if I don't particularly love everything in the series, I believe we need to support Art because it deserves to continue,whether its my taste or not, and its not like I am chucking my retirement fund on conceptual art--you might say when it comes to subscriptions and cultural investing, I am a fiscal conservative.
I look at it like I do my back garden. I must tend our fair city's cultural garden and my little cheap seats subscription at the back of the house because, I hope, I am putting a little miracle grow on the magnificent harvest of future artistic endeavors. When you subscribe, you provide a base of support for the artists--its money in their bank they can count on, so they can afford to experiment. Yes, that means that occasionally you will see a train wreck on stage, but mostly you are rewarded richly because it forces you to make time for something you love and it doesn't get lost in the busy-ness of living. Once you have kids and dogs and a
mortgage and a job, you don't spontaneously do ANYTHING, so you have to carve out time and make a commitment to getting out of your rut. I get out of my rut, really breathe and come to life, sitting in the back of the house, watching talented performers practice their craft. I will wear thrift store clothes and forego my second passion, travel, in order to be there. So subscribing is the very least I can do. When you love something, you have to take care of it.
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