Tuesdays with Corti: Welcoming All

Good morning. It’s been a tough one, since waking up to the murderous atrocity yesterday. Reeling, in shock. Yet again. Another senseless mass shooting.

Moved on with the day commiserating at the office. Thank God we find things together to feel good about. (Even laugh about!) But like you, I’m sure, the ache for those wounded and murdered in Vegas persists eclipsing all else. All else except the survivors who have only begun to suffer recovery from the hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico and here on our mainland.

How many deadly natural and man-made disasters can a nation withstand all at once?

 

Last night, I rode with Paramount’s Director of Education and Community Engagement Shannon Cameron to the Actors’ Equity Association downtown Chicago office to meet our New Works Director Amber Mak and Casting Director Trent Stork for a “Town Hall: Expanding the Pathways to Inclusive Casting.” Among the actors there were several you’ve seen on Paramount’s stage, and it seemed to be an impressive turn out. Daunting as the topic is, the timing of it and simply bringing all of us together, proved to be a beacon to me, a shining light on our purpose there. This is all due to the panel invited by remarkable E. Faye Butler. I felt an immediate esteem for these individuals which progressed as the two hour session flew by. This was my first time sitting next to such distinguished champions whose initiatives have been fighting for this cause for decades, ladies and gentlemen. And it was a lively conversation! “I’ve sat on these panels for more years than I care to admit” and “I’ve contemplated taking time off from these talks” were sentiments expressed in a bit weary yet plaintive resignation. I can see why: a whole lotta lip service while nothing changes from one institution to the next, from one end of the country to the other. Having your voice heard without consequence is as frustrating as not being heard at all. “We have to start with looking at ourselves” is the truism spoken that struck home. And as a dear reader here and patron of our theatre, you have witnessed at Paramount how we have only begun, will do better, and are at work to make a difference toward equality for all. Welcoming All.

So let’s move on with our day. Let’s not have the goodness within us all be defeated. Let’s go out and be with each other. Help those in need. We are a wonderful community. We are family.

 

See you at the theatre!

Love & thanks,

Jim

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