Interview with Eric Nelson
Blackout's guests have focused on the problem of putting on shows in the face of the barriers created by the pandemic. Eric Nelson contributes to this conversation but adds his frank commentary on financial hardships and lack of job opportunities in the theater industry. He shares his experience working as a member of staff at the University of Miami as well as a freelancer for various theater companies in the area. Eric found himself, and many of his friends, losing income due to the lack of shows. Many in the theater industry had to turn to other jobs to make ends meet. This turn away from theater was frustrating for many who love the industry.
Beyond job instability, Eric shares his perspective on the resilience of theater. While most productions take place in a physical building filled with expensive technology, that is not the essence of the craft. Eric reminisces about using soda cans and light bulbs as par cans (a typical fixture used in theatrical lighting). The simplicity of his solution and his desire to go to any length to put on a show embody the essence of theater. At the end of the day, the experience is not defined by the money poured into it, but the story and the work actors, designers, and technicians put into creating an immersive experience.