I was thinking about masters and mastery and how few true masters I’ve seen at work and then I wondered how one became a master of something and then I realized that’s what a Master’s degree is for. That Master’s degree I have is meant to indicate that I am a Master of Directing which, at which particular moment in my development, seems comical. It is also comical how many people I know with these degrees that are meant to signal mastery and in fact just signal a great deal of student debt and some interesting connections. It seems to me that the real way to be a Master of Arts, of Theatre, of the sort that Hamlet might welcome you to Elsinore with, is to do a lot of it, to apprentice to a master early on and rise up the ranks at a company until one has mastered many roles.
Or like Bunraku Masters who are true Masters of their art, haven risen up from the feet to the arm to the head and arm.
We have so many more amateurs in these arts these days. Like Fran Lebowitz said about too much democracy in Art and not enough in government. Everyone can be an actor! Everyone can write! And the true masters of the form can’t become masters really as they are drowned out in the chorus of mediocrity.