I’m not a fan of that word ‘entertainment’. It always seems as if that word implies that people are boring creatures that need to constantly stimulated visually or otherwise they lose interest and wither away. So people need to be entertained and stimulated by the TV, the radio, the cinema screen and by artists.
I must admit at times when I’m out having a good time I enjoy myself to the point where I can say that from a consumers’ view I was ‘entertained’. I understand what it means for a host to entertain guests. But still, I just hate that word from the point of being an artist myself. I don’t feel I have any responsibility to ‘entertain’ anyone.
I know people figure most musicians/artists’ sole purpose is to entertain them, that most people get irritated by art they can’t understand, that the average citizen instantly gets annoyed by music he/she dislikes or is unfamiliar with, when out at a pub/club/live music venue.
But if I may suggest something, it would be this: Most musicians/artists/dancers/film-makers write/create pieces of work that we, ourselves believe in. We create because we want to leave marks of our craft around, long after we’re gone, so that people can appreciate it for what it is – art, expressions of opinion, thought, something that will challenge the average person to think differently.
Thats all we really want, not to entertain you, but to express our opinion on some subject matter so that you – the average person, the viewer/listener/consumer can be enlightened in some form or fashion by our work. If you ‘get it’, then great. If you don’t get what we’re trying to say, well thats great too. But we never signed any agreement to entertain you, certainly not for any price you paid at the door. We signed a mental agreement with ourselves to work and create a subject of work that we would be proud to call our own, because we love what we do.
And we publish our work – be it in live performances, recordings, drawings, films, theatre, dance so that we can share what we do with you – the world. We hope you understand what we aim to express through our art. But please don’t expect us to entertain you.
There’s a huge difference between an artist (in all its’ various permutations) and an entertainer.
I humbly hope one day that A&E will change from Arts & Entertainment to ‘Arts & Expression’