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Click the quote to read the whole review -> “A spellbinding, smartly crafted script – this production a perfectly executed, moving work of art.”


Shoots from Missing: Wynter at The Players’ Ring Theatre in Portsmouth, NH.

Missing: Wynter -- Kicktraq Mini

Please consider giving to our Kickstarter campaign and help bring my new musical, Missing: Wynter to the stage!


My New Musical!!!

My new musical, Missing: Wynter. Will have it’s developmental premiere September 19 at The Players’ Ring. A modern cautionary tale somewhere between Cervantes and Brothers Grimm; about a young girl who disappears without a trace, never to be seen again, her father’s struggle to find her, and ultimately, himself.

by Billy Butler

Lights up on an artist painting.

I didn’t ask to have this “gift”. Most of the time I don’t even want it. All it has brought me is pain, frustration, heartbreak, poverty… but for some reason… I have to put paint to canvas. My ex calls it, a hobby. A fucking hobby. A lifestyle choice. I was told that I should be more responsible, pay my bills, do my taxes, keep my head firmly up the man’s ass. I wish I could. I’ve tried. I once painted houses with a crew that listened to Rush Limbaugh all day. So much so, I almost became a convert. I drove a cab for a week, but they fired me for not being able to pay for upkeep on the car. I guess I was giving to many free rides. I felt bad charging old people for a ride to the doctor’s or the grocery store. Then I tried a desk job but after a month was told I they were streamlining the staff and I was being “downsized”. I told them I wouldn’t leave until they could give me a real explanation on what downsized meant. Security explained it very well. I’ve done just about every kind of schmoe job there is… it proves that there’s something wrong with me. I’m unbalanced… Picasso-ed… I’m an artist.

Some are driven by greed, some by nature, others by love. There’s the difference I think. I don’t know what drives me. Not sure if I want to know. Some days I go hours… standing here, staring… my thoughts paused… the paint hardening on my brush… then a wave hits me and I’m outside of myself, standing in my own light… and the inanimate becomes animate and I’m amazed as I watch the strokes of my imagination take form and become real. It never turns out the way I want though and most of the time I hate it. It’s never good enough. Isn’t that funny?

What if I was born blind or deaf or some other so-called handicap? Would it still be called a hobby? We all know that being an artist is about as developmentally disabled as you can get. We are not rational, can’t be controlled, emotionally crippled and completely dysfunctional. I have about as much control over my behavior as anyone else with a social impairment. But I don’t want help… and I don’t need therapy or a cure. I don’t have a choice. I have to paint.

The artist turns the canvas around revealing a person with it’s eyes, ears, mouth and nose sewn shut, holding a brush in hand painting the same.

I hear the term, “Theatre is subjective and not a democracy” a lot these days. I’m not sure which professor coined the phrase, but this is a completely misleading statement. Art cannot be dictated. defines ‘subjective’ as… 

1. existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object 
of thought ( opposed to objective). 2. pertaining to or characteristic of an 
individual; personal;individual: a subjective evaluation. 3. placing excessive 
emphasis on one’s own moods, attitudes,opinions, etc.; unduly egocentric. defines ‘objective’ as… 

1. something that one’s efforts or actions are intended to attain or accomplish; 
purpose; goal; targetthe objective of military attack; the objective of a fund-raising drive.

I prefer the word ‘objective’. To write, direct, rehearse and create a piece takes everyone working together for one goal, The Show (which is a noun, not an adjective). I would agree that business or commercial theater is subjective and not a democracy. The goal of which for the person in charge is to make the most money possible. That would be a dictatorship. Art is about giving and receiving. It can be created without a subject in mind, but not without an objective.

Theatre is very much a democracy. It’s a living breathing animal that is lives by the sum of its parts. If theatre truly is a collaborative art form then this idea of dictatorship should be reviled. That’s not to say we don’t need guidance. In a democracy there is a leader and for it to work you have to put trust in that leader. We HAVE to work together to succeed. 

George Carlin once said, “We think in language and so the quality of our thoughts and ideas can only be as good as the quality of our language.” I’ve been working on my own language lately, especially since I’ve been writing more, I found that I need to re-educate myself. Words are so important but more so in thinking. I need to understand myself before I can express how I really feel. I imagine Tommy Chong is correct when he says that all we need is wisdom and understanding. I’m working on both and applying it to my art.



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