When Marimolin first started in the mid-80s, it was unusual to challenge conventional stage etiquette. But it just felt right. We spoke with the audience (and I love to talk….), and made it comfortable enough for them to respond.
At our very first official appearance, we wore black sweat shirts with our logo emblazoned across the front in red, black pants and black boots… To be honest, we looked like members of a benign motorcycle gang. But, it worked.
What has surprised me is how slowly things have changed. The old, formal approach – with the ‘glass wall’ between the performers and the audience lingers on. It is even perpetuated in music schools and conservatories. This is not a helpful message to give our students as they embark on the adventure of building careers. Happily, this is starting to change.
People have been talking about how the arts are in crisis for years, and how we need to rethink the way we ‘package’ our art. Now blogs are mushrooming up all over the place ( just read one on the Musical America site).
There are prototypes out there, and also a lot of creative energy. But many performers are still timid. I say – go for it and have fun!