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BORN READY EP 16 – “Unbelievable!” w/ Rob Avila


Asked Rob for a statement on the paper’s closing, and true to form, he sent in a thoughtful, well written, moving response. Check it out below.

“I know you asked for my thoughts on the paper’s closing and specifically what it might say about journalism today or what it might mean for the theater scene. I don’t think I can give that kind of response just yet. I’m still wondering about all that myself. In these first few days all I feel I can honestly say, just on my own behalf, is that I feel a lot of gratitude to the paper, and by that I mean the wonderful writers and editors I’ve worked with to one degree or another over the last dozen years or so. I owe a lot to my editors in particular—Susie Gerhard, Tommy Tompkins, Johnny Ray Huston, Cheryl Eddy—who’ve offered me opportunities, support and counsel like it was no big deal, when it absolutely was, as well as free rein to pursue my interests and curiosity as I saw fit. It’s not a revelation to point out that no one is making a great (material) living working on a paper like that, or probably on any paper these days. Compensation in cash terms was always pathetic and got worse. But one thing I noticed all along: These people all worked very hard. And it was clear they worked hard for the love of the work, never pausing for a second, as far as I could tell, to doubt whether art and creative expression were precious things, making life not just bearable but possible. We never talked about it, but that was the shared assumption that, it seems to me, kept our understated relationship to one another and the paper and the communities it served strong and meaningful for so long.” – Rob Avila

On the heels of today’s sad news that one of SF’s two alt-weekly papers, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, is closing, Born Ready is happy to share an interview with the SFBG’s lead critic for the last 12 years Rob Avila.

Hands down one of the Bay Area’s most respected and interesting critics, Rob has been seeing 4-5 shows per week for over a decade, and has a unique knowledge and perspective on the Bay Area performing arts scene. In the last several years he’s also begun writing for American Theater Magazine. Check out his recent article on Mid-Market and PianoFight here.

We cover a wide range of topics with Rob including the worst show he’s ever reviewed, to his favorite show in recent memory, the criterion for reviewing an improv show, what changes Rob has seen in the Bay Are in the last 10 years, what he hopes to see in the next 10 years, and why musicals are perfectly suited to be the best or worst thing you’ve ever seen in your life.

Also Ray shows up late again and refuses to apologize.

Shout outs to Elevator Repair Service (playing SF for the first time this Nov), CounterPulse3 For All, Crisis Hopkins, Keith Hennessy’s Turbulence and Glide Memorial.

Hope you enjoy it, and if so, please share it! If you have any comments / questions you can always tweet @BornReadyShow or @DrHobbs or @RealDuncanWold  or leave a comment below. Thanks for listening!

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