Inspiration: Activism From Where You Are

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Years ago, when I was training for and running marathons, I learned that the best way to perfect form, to have economy of movement, and a smooth, fluid style, was to watch others who ran beautifully and just imitate what they were doing.  It was basic, monkey see; monkey do.  Similarly, when I see somebody who has seized the moment to make the world better, I wonder about what I could do that would imitate what s/he did.  I’m inspired when I see people nourish their activism.

Here’s today’s example from the New York Times:

Playwrights and producers have used scathing commentary, heartbreaking drama and sharp satire to score political points about war, torture, presidents, AIDS, race relations and women’s rights with New York theater audiences. Now the Broadway musical “Hair” is expanding the concept of stage activism by taking to the streets and urging audiences to follow. The producers canceled a Sunday matinee so that the cast and crew could attend and perform at a march for gay rights in Washington on Oct. 11.

That unusual – and expensive – decision to skip a popular weekend performance at the beginning of the theater season originated with the show’s star, Gavin Creel.

“I said, ‘My God, we have to go, we have to go,’ ” Mr. Creel recalled when he first heard about the rally late last spring.

Although Mr. Creel, 33, stars in a show that is associated with ’60s-style activism and sexual liberation, he personally wasn’t much interested in politics before Barack Obama ran for president. On Election Day last November, he said, he was ecstatic that his candidate won, but was crushed by the victory of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California. So he decided to help create the activist organization Broadway Impact to mobilize the theater community.

Then in May Mr. Creel met Cleve Jones, creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, when he came to see “Hair” with Dustin Lance Black, author of the Oscar-winning screenplay for “Milk.” At a party afterward for the release of the cast recording, they all talked about the Oct. 11 National Equality March that Mr. Jones was helping to organize. The rally’s organizers say they are seeking “equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states” for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

And so, to make a longer, interesting story more concise, Gavin Creel and the tribe, the cast of “Hair”, are going to DC for the Equality March.  And they’re closing a Broadway Sunday matinee to do so.  With the full support of the producers of the show.  Because, and this is the important part, because Gavin Creel thought it was a good idea and he decided to try to make it happen.

I just love this story.  It’s inspiring.

It’s a reminder, a beautiful reminder that even seemingly impossible ideas can be brought into reality, and that you and I and everybody else who is passionate about something can make a difference.  It’s surprisingly simple. When we have a good idea, we can decide to try to make it happen.

Here’s to Gavin Creel with thanks for being a great example.  One I happily will copy.  Please join me in that.

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simulposted at The Dream Antilles

7 comments

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    • davidseth on September 30, 2009 at 11:46 pm
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    Thanks for reading.

  1. a bad day here. I just went through my hyperactive activist emails all screaming at me to DONATE so I can have my basic rights as a citizen. Whew! Activism from where I am, at this point would mean I would have to actually know where I am. In the last decade I went from being dubious of the whole freakin mess to majorly trying to take back my country, what ever that means. I have worked both Demcratic local grassroots to blogging to supporting candidates and other so called progressive groups to campaigning nationally, locally, and back.

    I just am tired of all roads leading back to the same point. No you can’t cause the government belongs to the corporations and your an irresponsible left of the left and send me some money so I can then mandate that you pay the vig for extortion, or got to jail! Nothing but estortion and bribery from all involved. What an insane experience this has been. I now am only contributing to the ACLU and DFA, back to where I started on this wild ride. Waiting for Gaodot to come and take me away. We won so what the hell is there short of an actual revolution to do? Elect Better Dems? Gimme a break there are no better Dems.

    My community offline and on seems the only sane or productive avenue left. I’ll be God Damned if I’m calling another one of these fuckers in office to be told my opinion has been noted. I could join the Teabaggers after all I have the same contempt for the government that they do.lol. Sorry as I said you caught me on a day when the surreal aspects of our last decade have hit me.

    btw… I did send 50.00$ to Grayson yesterday as his speech and ‘apology’ was so unexpected that I died laughing and thought this is what a Democrat should sound like. Entertainment value alone it was worth the money. If more of these rat bastards would at least make some effort to put on a better show it would encourage those of us who want our money back as the whole performance stinks to high heaven and the tickets were expensive.    

       

  2. big fan of Steely Dan but this song has run through my mind a in the last few days…

    Local community is the only answer I can find footing in. That and place like DD which are also good communities to belong to. I guess I’m back to another reincarnation of my life, the counterculture, lol if ever a culture needed countering it’s this one. On my congressman’s web site he calls my district the counter culture part of Portland. I have plenty of places to put my activism here that don’t involve the government at all. From urban organic agriculture, to bicycling instaed of cars, to magnate schools arts volunteering,. Lots of places that will be here after the fall, if they don’t melt us all first. So thanks DS I did figure out where I stand activism wise.    

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