I’ve done theater long enough to not get riled by one person’s negative opinion of my work. However I do get riled when, after the promise of not revealing the show’s “ending,” important revelations of my show are published. His disclosures may have lacked arrows and flashing lights, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that in the course of his review, Mr. Laneer ruined three revelations of my show for the potential audience member.
My understanding of a reviewer’s job is to give his or her opinion of the show, not ruin the experience for anyone else who decides to see it. Would you publish spoilers for major motion pictures? Novels? I imagine more respect would be given to a Jackie Collins TV miniseries.
Local theaters are competing for the ever-elusive entertainment dollar in Oklahoma City. We aren’t asking for journalistic cheerleaders. No journalist has to like everything we do, but they do have a responsibility to provide journalistic excellence to their readers.
Furthermore, our hard work deserves journalistic respect: Don’t spoil the plot, don’t ruin climatic moments. Tell your readers what you thought of the performances and leave the rest for them to discover on their own.
For the record, this is not the first time one of my projects has experienced the Laneer spoiler. In 2009, while performing in Ghostlight’s “Fat Pig,” a major climatic moment was ruined for potential theatergoers. My character delivered a heart-wrenching monologue about her willingness to undergo massive surgery in order to change for the man she loves. It was a climactic moment meant to shock the audience and make them think. It was an important moment in the show, but its impact was lessened for readers of Mr. Laneer’s review.
Perhaps in the future, we can all reach a level of mutual respect.
I’ll respect your right to dislike my work if you’ll respect my right to protect the work I do.
Carrizales is an actress and director.
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