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  • Jamie McCarthy

Sacrificing Others For An Artistic ‘Vision’.

31st July 2015.

One of the sad things I've noticed in the arts in recent times is the way in which the general lack of money can lead us into not treating each other well in terms of working conditions. I've seen and experienced perfectly nice people, when put up against it set up project situations that can only work on the premise that people will not be paid properly or will work under poor conditions.

I do understand the pressures in putting work together and making ends meet, I used to do it myself and found it beyond me, so I do admire people who manage to keep on keeping on as it were. (And I know people are often working under the same or worse conditions than the people they bring in on a project). But, from the other side ... I do wonder sometimes about whether people see their 'artistic vision' as so sacrosanct, that they sacrifice the well-being of others at its altar.

For example, a project where the makers say: "Sorry, there's very little set aside for the music" and yet are putting on a piece that has a large number of performers and a very big tech budget. I can't help but wonder why, when the company clearly want music throughout the piece, they haven't budgeted that as a given and then cut the rest of the cloth accordingly. "But we really need 'x' number of performers in this piece" just doesn't work for me: if you're making a piece from scratch, you could make it differently in a way that considers people in equality with artistic vision. My suspicion is that, in the end, the artistic vision wouldn't end up being compromised ...

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