Armin Zaphiratous

Armin Has the Answers

This week: Why art? And should an actor taxi a non-driving director?

published Friday, May 21, 2010

Our advice expert, semi-retired actor-director Armin Zaphiratous, has the expertise that denizens of the theatrical demimonde need when whipsawed by doubt and confusion. We invite you to Ask Armin anything and everything, theater-related or not. He's here to serve.

This week: Armin, the philosopher; plus, need a lift?

Dear Armin: What is the meaning of it all? I mean, why do we work so long for so little money?

Dear Artist: The smart-ass answer is, we work so long because it's so hard, and there's so little money because so few people will pay to see us. But really, I think we put ourselves through it because it's the only thing we know how to do, or it's the only place we seem to be able to make friends, or we're stuck in it and can't figure out how to stop, or it's so much fun, or it's our favorite mode of self expression, or we're true artists, or we want to impress people, or our parents told us we were funny, or our parents never looked at us, or we like wearing costumes, or Les Miz blew us away, or the feeling we get from an audience that's loving the ride we're taking them on is THE BEST FEELING EVER, or we like the applause, or we love the art, or we love ourselves in the art, or it just seems like the thing we're doing with this part of our lives and later we'll do something more sensible, or we see theater as a forum to inspire reflection and celebration of the human journey. Am I warm? —YOURS, ARMIN

Dear Armin: I'm in a show with a director who doesn't drive. And we live in a must-drive city. Now he's asking me for rides. It's really out of my way to drive this dude home, but I'm afraid if I don't, I'll end up standing so far upstage in the blocking, you'll need binoculars to see me. Advice, please?

Dear Chauffeur: Just remember the lyrics to that old Satchmo tune: Nobody goes where you goes/When you gotta booger on your nose. I once made out to that song. Anyway, here's the plan. Anytime you're in your car with the director, sneak a booger onto your nose and make sure he notices it. He'll be uncomfortable, but he'll think it was an isolated incident. He'll ask for a ride the next night, and you'll put another booger on your nose. He'll learn quickly: In the car = booger. Not in the car = No booger. —YOURS, ARMIN

We invite you to Ask Armin via email at Go on and ask. When he doesn't have enough queries to ponder, he bothers the hell out of the TheaterJones editors. Also, we don't stand by or even agree with all of Armin's advice. So don't hold us responsible if things go terribly wrong.

 Thanks For Reading

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Armin Has the Answers
This week: Why art? And should an actor taxi a non-driving director?
by Armin Zaphiratous

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