Creative Talent Without Ethics

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By Frederick B. Philander

WINDHOEK

It is general knowledge that there are a number of stage performing artists, some with proven creative records over many years, who just cannot grasp the reality of work ethics and discipline in the growing acting industry.

This, some theatre directors and I have once again experienced so often.

Committed Artists Namibia (CAN) is now hell-bent on getting rid of such misbehaving actors, who are more of a nuisance for theatre development than anything else. CAN has now blacklisted six such misbehaving so-called actors that will never ever be employed in whatever form or shape in any of the group’s productions.

If they do not pitch up on time for rehearsals, a basic requirement for any worthy actor, they turn up drunk or just stay away. This organisation has grown tired of being kept hostage by such disrespectful people masquerading as stage performers, and we have their names.

The drunkenness problem among actors on stage recently came under spotlight and featured in print media and in one of the organisation’s festival productions. The identified actor by a reviewer brought shame on himself and insulted fellow actors, the new generation of actors we are tirelessly working on for a better future for the performing arts in this country.

The industry definitely does not need such disrespectful performers, some of whom cannot do one play on their own and have been shamelessly dependent on others for years.

They have talent, but that is where everything else ends, is the general feeling among progressive theatre directors, some who have on several occasions aired their disgust in such actors. The time has come that such misbehaving actors be permanently removed from the scene. And theatre directors have that ability – just do not employ them anymore.

CAN suggests that a theatre director’s forum be started in which these perpetual shameful and sleazebag actors be formally listed and passed onto all and sundry in the theatre, television and film worlds of the country. In this way a greater degree of cooperation in the field, something long overdue, can be created. Most theatre directors have similar problems with these disrespectful characters. The time to act against them is NOW.

The acting fraternity is about to be honoured for its contributions over the past two years by the National Theatre of Namibia, in essence a very good project, financed by the Finnish Embassy in the capital. The nominees for different categories are to be made public on October 22 and the gala evening will take place on Saturday November 11.

Quite a number of plays have been performed over the past two years under the auspices of the NTN as part of its bi-annual Theatre Zone Competition. It would be interesting to see the outcome this time.

Good luck to all participants and break a leg.

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