Sunday, January 23, 2011

Artistic Inspiration... for Ballers on a Budget

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
Inspiration is a precious commodity for an artist of any discipline. And while those knifed-up broads on the Real Housewives of...Whatever and those crazy Kardashians can make you feel better about your own life, inspirational... they are not. So it's important that we step away from the telly for a spell and seek out art that can inspire us to be better and "fill the creative well" as  Ms. Julia Cameron likes to say. I get so inspired to write when I see a great film or a well-written play. I get ideas for characters while at a Kara Walker exhibit or seeing a great ballet. You don't have to be ballin' to live a cultured life. There are many ways that you can experience great art on a budget, babies. 


Theatre
I love the theatah, dah-lings. In fact, the only way you will ever see me in the Times Square area is if I'm going to see a show. And I NEVER pay full price. How? Well, first off, I visit Playbill.com and click on Broadway Rush, Lottery and Standing Room Only Policies. Most Broadway and Off-Broadway shows either have a lottery rush or standard rush. For the lottery, you would generally go two hours before the performance, put your name in a hat and the theatre will draw a certain number (usually 10-12) of names out. Those people get front row tickets for $25. Remember to bring cash though, they normally don't accept credit or debit. For a general rush, you usually have to stand in line hella early before the box office opens and the first 10-20 in line get $25 tickets. These are just general rules though. Check out Playbill to get the deets on each show's specific policy. 


If you don't score those tickets, you can visit the TKTS booth in TImes Square and get discounted tickets to almost every show. That'll usually run you $45-$60, but it's better than the $120 Broadway tickets are these days.


Museums
Guggenheim Museum
Into art? Personally, I have to go to MOMA and sit in front of a Van Gogh every so often. I love walking the winding Guggenheim and I'm a big fan of photography exhibits. Uh...excuse me MOMA, you want $20? No thanks, I'll wait until Friday night when it's free. Most museums have a night that's free or discounted. And FYI, the $20 admission at the Met is suggested. Meaning, you can pay what you want any day of the week. 






Studio Museum in Harlem: Free - every Sunday.
Whitney Museum of American Art: Pay What You Wish every Friday 6-9pm
Museum of Modern Art: Free - every Friday 4-8pm.
Guggenheim Museum: Pay What You Wish - every Saturday 5:45-7:45pm.



Movies
Movies cost a grip these days. In NYC, at my favorite theatre, a film can set you back $13 and even more if you want to see something in IMAX or 3D. So, my "baller on a budget" strategy is to go in the morning. At AMC theatres, any movie before noon costs only $6. It may be kind of lame to go that early, but if you care about saving 50% then it's worth it.


Do you have a tip for saving money on the arts? Let me know.

Arts

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