This post originated because of an experience I had in my most recent graduate school class. Can I tell you how much I hate group projects? Can you tell me how much you hate group projects? Why are they always the worse and how can I find a group who works well together and doesn’t have any loafers in it?
I am a do-er. I have no qualms doing everything required of a project, paper, or career. This is kind of a problem for my current role as it is almost impossible to do everything well solo so I am expanding my team. However(!), it is easy to do for school–a ten page paper is almost always easier to do alone because you don’t have quarrels with yourself (unless you’re flying over the cuckoo’s next) and you don’t have to compromise with others. It’s all up to you, all the risk is on you but also all of the success and glory is for you. And that is sweet, sweet music.
When I was fleshing out who I would ask to be a part of my production staff, I was genuinely concerned over who I could ask versus who I should ask. I felt that I should only ask people who have large amounts of technical experience as I have minimal experience–specifically with lights, construction, design, and choreography. I agree, to an extent–what opportunity for growth and greatness with such minimal risk? I know I can trust the experts, but I can almost guarantee what I would see on stage.
I almost always want to take some risk and I honestly can’t wait to see it pay off. I asked several nontraditional persons to be on my staff. My construction lead is Nicole, a woman. I don’t like to think that I live in a small minded world but it is very rare for women to be considered and utilized in the same way as men when it comes to construction of sets. I’ve seen Nicole own a floor on set build and strike day. That girl has a large voice, untapped potential and the desire to be successful.
This drives me up the wall. This woman’s capability is often overlooked and always under thanked. I want to say that I know this risk is going to pay off, but I don’t know–however, I am open minded and I trust her with this task. If she doesn’t know how or what to do, I know she’ll know to ask me or one of the technical experts. Her and I, we will figure this out together.
Alright, enough touting about my best friends technical skills. I recognize a part of this post is very roar-hear-me-I-am-woman (and that’s my best friend, believe in her!) but a lot of it is rooted in recognizing where talent lives. Is that not part of a directors role–recognizing the talent that lives in individuals at an audition? Nicole auditioned for me before either of us knew what was even on the table.
I’m not saying this blog post is a bust because it remains to be seen if the potential benefits outweighs the risks. But I will say this is one of the few things I have felt very confident in since starting this path. So while I remain an island, I allow boats to dock for extended periods and barter knowledge and tools to further grow and extend myself in new directions.
For that I am thankful, ’til next time.