Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Economics of Theater, Part VI: The Gamble, a Dream

 I am the proprietor of a restaurant, called The Gamble.  I explain the name comes from 18th century British establishments called gambols.  These “gambols” were filled with liquor, dancing girls, and games of chance.  It is from these old “gambols” that in fact we get the word gamble, I claim.

This is untrue.  But in the dream, I believe it.  That history, along with black and white woodcuts of the old gambols, is printed in the menus.

The place is beautiful, with antique wood tables and vintage taps and vintage gambling tables in the back.  Dealers are ready to play, not for money (because of the gambling laws), but for chips that can lead to free food and drink.  In the next room, women dance the can can.  At alternative times, it features modern burlesque.

I sit with my friends, and around us are emptied bottles of fine wine.

It is a wonderful place, on the top of a tall skyscraper.  I have put all my money into this Gamble, and it is my dream, exactly as I envisioned it.

The reviews have come out, and they have been good.  But somehow, that hasn’t translated into customers.  The place is mostly empty, except for my friends.

Soon, I will be bankrupt.

I realize as I am sitting there, that looking at the money the restaurant is bringing in, there is no way that we can survive. There is no way that I can survive, or avoid personal bankruptcy, short of a miracle, short of something, anything, that changes my fortunes at the last second.

I can’t fold up shop either.  I have put every cent into it, spent my whole life building it.  If I closed, it would amount to financial ruin, regardless, with less hope of last minute salvation.

So, I think…maybe I should just enjoy it.

Maybe I should just look around and think, how amazing it is to be here, now, at this very moment, at a place I love, with people I love.

I wake up.