Author Topic: help! advice, listeners, something!  (Read 5045 times)

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Melugin

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help! advice, listeners, something!
« on: Mar 08, 2006, 03:05 am »
(let me remind you that i am a senior at my high school in Orem UTAH.)

Help. Really. I am dealing this year as a senior who has lost her director to a blood clott. Some of you from Utah might even know her... Syd Riggs... She died last june and i am still stage managing with a director who is totally different. that is saying it really really nice. It feels like she does things her way that SHE thinks will benefit everyone, when it doesn't benefit anything or anyone. the actors hate her, i dislike her, and on the verge of not trying to stop people from killing her. she expects EVERYONE to drop everything (our part-time jobs and silently including school work) and work on the show... Tech Designers and Grips as well.... she wants them to come 3 weeks before a usual tech week...

there used to be almost 20 people in the tech class... including people who does community theatre, and now there's only about 14 of them. they are really close friends and if one more of them drop out of the class because of something that they can't stand from this director anymore they all will drop out... and i won't have ANY tech for this show. they actualy are about to. she spent most of the money we rent mics out for on costumes for next year. as in... we already don't have mics for this show unless a miracle happens.

oh-listen to this: she used to be a junior high choir teacher.

I am her guinea pig this year and it is bugging me ... a lot. no one wants to show up for rehearsals, and i am trying to stay strong and be there for everyone. i don't think it's working anymore.



Am i just grieving still, am i just not used to her style, is there anything i can do to help myself cope, or just, what should i do? :cry:
If All the World's a Stage, i want to operate the Trap Door!

Mac Calder

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help! advice, listeners, something!
« Reply #1 on: Mar 08, 2006, 05:59 am »
Seems like a mixture of two things - grief and the fact this new director is an idiot.

Is there a solution? First talk to the director - they may be feeling insecure due to the fact they are going to be measured against another director who died, combined with the fact they are new - try being supportive and making a few suggestions. If this is not the case and the director really is a moron, go to the directors superior, and lay down your concerns.

ORTaurean

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« Reply #2 on: Mar 08, 2006, 02:30 pm »
I hope the situaiton gets better - and it will.  There is always a beginning a middle and an end.  Remember that, you get closer to the end everyday and then you have a measure for the future and the experience to back up your choices.

Good Luck.
Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.
-Rosiland Russell

Melugin

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« Reply #3 on: Mar 09, 2006, 02:45 am »
thanks guys. It's just still a really hard change for everybody. she expected us to be over her death before our show in the fall. which is not good because i KNOW that i'm still grieving. :cry:
does anybody have any advice on how to deal with such a director? or how to keep myself and others from murdering? anything would be appreachiated!

-liz
If All the World's a Stage, i want to operate the Trap Door!

Mac Calder

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« Reply #4 on: Mar 09, 2006, 02:59 am »
Talk to her.

Have you had grief counciling? If not, approach the faculty head, or whoever and request it - the new director may need to talk to the councilor too, so that she can be advised as to the best course of action to take. She may have assumed you had all had greif counciling (which is standard operating procedure in my book when dealing with the loss of a cast member or crew member, I have lost 4 people in theatre over the last 5 or so years, 2 were in a car crash together, 1 died of a stroke, the other was HIV positive and was getting too sick to be able to work on the show). The FIRST thing we did was to get a grief councilor and make them available for everyone.

kate12

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« Reply #5 on: Mar 09, 2006, 07:54 am »
Hi -
That's a tough situation you're in.  It does sound like you and you're fellow techies/actors are still grieving for your old director.  And it sounds like she probably died suddenly, if the cause of death was a blood clot.  Try and put yourself in this new directors shoes though.  She's new, inexpierenced it sounds like if she used to be a middle school choir director, and taking the spot of another beloved director.  That's also hard.  I've seen a new band director and spanish teacher get driven away from my HS because the students missed the old teachers and made the new ones miserable.
 As for what to do in this situation, talk to her.  See what expierence she has had directing theatre, and what type of theatre.  Community, high school etc.  Maybe she doesn't know that techs normally only show up for tech week.  Is there another student at your school who is interested in directing?  Would the director be interested in having an Assistant Director?  If a respected student was also partly in charge would that change people's attitudes?  
 And as for the techs etc threatening to walk out on the show, remind them that if they walk now they will be letting everybody else down, not just the director they don't like.  By all means, don't tell them they have to do shows in the future, but tey and show them how it is irresponsible to leave a show in the lurch.  Hope something there helped!
Kate

Melugin

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« Reply #6 on: Mar 10, 2006, 02:17 am »
i'm still in it right now.
i'm sorry about those who passed away. and i have put myself in her shoes. i can never decifer why she makes the decisions that she does. i know that she's a wonderful person except when she is involved in anything to do with drama/theatre.
she's used to the junior high school... where she could have her whole entire cast for every single rehearsal and everyone would just bring homework and she would block whatever she wanted and felt like because everyone was there for her disposal. a HUGE waste of time for everyone in a high school setting. High school students have jobs, cars, and lifes. she always expects everyone to drop everything, and easily get work off for two months... not easy at all.

she has actually wanted someone to assistant direct. she wanted someone to.... first of all, they didn't want to... second, she started telling them to do the things I usually do... (sort of like you, isha...) while i am on book or running errands that pertain to her classes, not the show and third, they had work and lives too. when they tried to direct, she got after her because of what she told them to do. i mean, while we're doing seven brides, the choreographer had to leave rehearsal early for a class, and this director started to add to his social dance choreography! he came back an hour later while they were practicing and he asked me what she was doing... in an 'i'm changing that asap' tone.

... thanks for listening... again.


thanks for the more advice. i'll try talking to her, again and the tech.
... the light designer was close to Syd. he says that the only thing keeping him here is Syd's picture in the drama hallway in her shakespeare hoodie, smiling. (sigh.) i miss her a lot.
If All the World's a Stage, i want to operate the Trap Door!

Mac Calder

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« Reply #7 on: Mar 10, 2006, 02:33 am »
But HAVE YOU TALKED TO HER!

In Primary School (or whatever it is called over there), things are much different, as you said. You need to sit her down and explain how things work - really, you should have ensured that you did this when she first came on board - I am not saying this is your fault, in fact, she should have approached you from the start. As for her incorrectly assigning duties - EXPLAIN TO HER. In primary school, AD is basically the SM. I know they are completely different in the real world, but there is not much you can do about that is there, because to students, AD sounds like a better title.

Melugin

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« Reply #8 on: Mar 10, 2006, 03:44 am »
Primary School? it's high school. and i'm just a student who assistant stage managed my freshman, sophmore and junior year and moved through the ranks until i was a senior. that is how Syd did it. i would get 3 years of shadowing, then take over and train the next junior. i have talked to her. she just sees me as a student who has no freakin' clue what i'm doing becasue i've never worked with her before.  have ADD, and have cronic depression... she doesn't trust me. the only people over her are the administration. did you Stage manage in High School mc? the drama teacher called all the shots... i'm just her guenia pig she's trying out the new year with. i'm just not used to how she does things. sorry. i'm ranting now. it's just that she won't listen. i have talked to her. i did at the beginning of the year. at the start of the school year when she started not to listen to me i did go to the administration and voice my concerns. i did talk to her yesterday. and last week. i'm still the SM because no one else will do it-- and because i love SMing. it's just hard right now with her.
If All the World's a Stage, i want to operate the Trap Door!

Mac Calder

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« Reply #9 on: Mar 10, 2006, 05:41 am »
Quote from: "Melugin"
Primary School? it's high school.


I am talking about where she taught before, not where you are now ;-)

Quote
and i'm just a student who assistant stage managed my freshman, sophmore and junior year and moved through the ranks until i was a senior. that is how Syd did it. i would get 3 years of shadowing, then take over and train the next junior. i have talked to her. she just sees me as a student who has no freakin' clue what i'm doing becasue i've never worked with her before.  have ADD, and have cronic depression... she doesn't trust me. the only people over her are the administration. did you Stage manage in High School mc? the drama teacher called all the shots... i'm just her guenia pig she's trying out the new year with. i'm just not used to how she does things. sorry. i'm ranting now. it's just that she won't listen. i have talked to her. i did at the beginning of the year. at the start of the school year when she started not to listen to me i did go to the administration and voice my concerns. i did talk to her yesterday. and last week. i'm still the SM because no one else will do it-- and because i love SMing. it's just hard right now with her.


I will respond to this in one block. Never suffered from the ADD on my record, but extreame depression and suicidal were both on my records by age 14, so I know at least some of the stigma attatched. I did stage manage in highschool, but our drama department was small and I was basically the crew+stage manager+whatever. I did my first pro shows at about 16 too.  Now you mention the people above her are administrative - there are a few things that appeal to them (I learnt this during my stint as head of the student rep council) - whilst your complaints on a academic level will certainly work to a certain extent, you have to play on their administrative senses, things like money or the schools reputation - for instance, my school prided themselves on their music program. We had an incompetent director of music for a couple of months. By playing on the schools pride in their music program, we had administration talk to the director, and things improved a bit.

I gather they take a little bit of pride in the program. The other thing that works is to gather up everyone who does not like the methods of the director, and go straight up to the administrators and request a meeting to outline your concerns. The voice of a lone student can be swept under the rug, but have a number of voices chanting the same message at once and even the deaf will hear your arguments.

Melugin

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« Reply #10 on: Mar 10, 2006, 06:07 pm »
Quote
I am talking about where she taught before, not where you are now


our school program in utah:
Elementary school, (grades k-6th)
Junior high school  (grades 7-9th)
High School (grades 10th-12th

Quote
I will respond to this in one block. Never suffered from the ADD on my record, but extreame depression and suicidal were both on my records by age 14, so I know at least some of the stigma attatched

ouch. i'm not to that point yet, i hope i won't get there.

Quote
for instance, my school prided themselves on their music program. We had an incompetent director of music for a couple of months. By playing on the schools pride in their music program, we had administration talk to the director, and things improved a bit.

how would that work for me? my school pride lies in athletics. ... (actually, that's where our budget goes each year... stupid football helmets...) anyway...
Quote
Quote
it's just hard right now with her.


Quote
I gather they take a little bit of pride in the program. The other thing that works is to gather up everyone who does not like the methods of the director, and go straight up to the administrators and request a meeting to outline your concerns. The voice of a lone student can be swept under the rug, but have a number of voices chanting the same message at once and even the deaf will hear your arguments.

i never thought of it that way. thank you. :mrgreen:
If All the World's a Stage, i want to operate the Trap Door!

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