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People sometimes say to me when I am speaking in front of a film program, “Shut up or give me my money back.”

As I announce on the promotion I will be speaking I tell them, “No.”

Then they get angry.

Sometimes an entire audience will walk out. From experience I know that the next night there will be ten times as many people.

The first time an audience walked out at The Spadina Hotel where this was filmed in 1986 Jimmy Scopes, who ran the room, was shocked.

Jimmy was even more shocked the next night. So many people had come out the line up stretched out forever.

Jimmy said, “I thought there would be no one here. I was wrong. You know what you are doing.”

I am not an entertainer.

I am an artist.

Entertainers entertain. Artists may entertain. They may not. Entertaining is not the function of an artist.

What is the function of the artist?

Norman Bethune said it best, “The function of the artist is to disturb. His duty is to arouse the sleeper, to shake the complacent killers of the world. He reminds the world of its dark ancestry, shows the world its present and points the way to its new birth. He is at once the product and preceptor of his time… In a world terrified of change, he preaches revolution – the principle of life. He is an agitator, a disturber of the peace – quick, impatient, positive, restless and disquieting. He is the creative spirit of life, working in the soul of men.

We need fewer entertainers and more artists.

It goes without saying that when people get woken up they very often wake up angry.–Reg Hartt 02/01/2017

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