Sunday, January 10, 2016
The Stage Is Set For Books
Whenever I attend something theatrical – ballet, comedy show, play or concert - always get my creative juices flowing. Aside from being entertained and stimulated by the unfolding creative arts, I also feel inspired as a writer and as someone who has a vivid imagination. I also think of how I’d make the show better, even though I know nothing about producing such things. Do you experience the same things?
I recently attended Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theater, a rich performance at the City Center in New York City. It’s the 45th season for the celebrated and honored dance company. As I watched the dance unfold, I thought about how books and publishing just don’t have such a grand stage.
Sure, many things are connected to books. Many plays were books first and many books are written about plays, music groups, and artistic performers. But when will books be on the stage, center row?
I guess theater is a book acted out and dances are what words look like when expressed in the human form. How else could books be a show?
One thing that the theatrical arts get that books really don’t is the public group experience. We read privately, at our own pace, in our own voice. But when we attend a theater, we experience the same things as a group, side by side on another, by the hundreds or thousands. We can see it, feel it, and hear it. Dances and plays are multi-dimensional, alive, and powerful. Oh, as a writer, I would love to feel that.
Writers hear quiet applause online, through FB likes, or newspaper reviews, or small gatherings in bookstores. But when does the writer feel his or her fans, living out the words written in a book?
Dancers sprawling across the stage, in uniforms that reveal the sensual and sexual body of a young dancer – amazing! A voice that fills an arena and lifts its audience to feel its soul – tremendous! A play where actors and actresses demonstrate a dream, an ideal, or a piece of history in crystal-clear color -- stupendous! But books feel flat and isolated and hidden. Or are they?
Books enliven readers and stay with them long after they’re read. Their words define our lives and help us see the world differently. Maybe books get individual stages, millions of them, for us to act out.
Our minds serve as the spotlight, the theater of our dreams, fantasies, and desires. We may read the same book but our experience of it will vary. A book gets a new stage with every reader. How do books play out in your life? For me, I see life dancing and singing and dramatizing the best we could ever experience as long as it’s lived through the eyes of our books.
2016 Book Marketing & Book Publicity Toolkit