Author Topic: PEOPLE: Difficult director  (Read 777 times)

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mizi5620

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PEOPLE: Difficult director
« on: Sep 30, 2019, 08:02 pm »
I am working with a director who is very micromanaging and often changes her mind in the moment to do something different then we had discussed. She interrupts me and my team, designers and cast members frequently. I am feeling very undermined in my ability to do my job and help others do theirs because of the my way is best attitude. This director is new to directing and often doesn't know how things are normally done. When I try to tell her how I and the company do things she gets angry and says she feels like she is being questioned by me and the company but she tends to undermine me in front of the entire team. Does anyone have any advice with how to deal with this situation.

Edited to add topic tag- Maribeth
« Last Edit: Oct 16, 2019, 08:13 pm by Maribeth »

Mac Calder

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Re: Difficult director
« Reply #1 on: Oct 01, 2019, 07:25 am »
What's your companies context - amdram, educational, professional - non union, professional - union?

Are you the only one experiencing these issues? Are the rest of the cast and crew feeling it too?

You said that she feels like everyone is questioning her - does she seem to react poorly to anyone in particular? is there someone she seems to trust?

The best method is to have a discussion away from the rest of the cast and crew if you feel you have the best rapport. If you believe the relationship has devolved too far for a frank conversation to have any effect, then maybe you need to go up the chain.

The one thing you _NEED_ to get across - either yourself, someone she trusts or the production manager - is that you are there to support HER. You can only support her if she works with you, allows you to do your job and etc. Also emphasis on the fact that whilst during the rehearsal and design phases changes are certainly possible, in order to get the production running to track it is important to try and maintain a given course in design. If the design isn't working, then there is room to change. But it should be done in consultation with the other departments to ensure that the changes made are possible.


RuthNY

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Re: Difficult director
« Reply #2 on: Oct 01, 2019, 10:42 am »
From the Stage Manager there is NO telling a director "how I and the company do things."  Only the employer/producer can tell the director that. The SMs job is to support the director and report all requests in the Rehearsal Notes, which hopefully the employer will read.

I am working with a director who is very micromanaging and often changes her mind in the moment to do something different then we had discussed. She interrupts me and my team, designers and cast members frequently. I am feeling very undermined in my ability to do my job and help others do theirs because of the my way is best attitude. This director is new to directing and often doesn't know how things are normally done. When I try to tell her how I and the company do things she gets angry and says she feels like she is being questioned by me and the company but she tends to undermine me in front of the entire team. Does anyone have any advice with how to deal with this situation.
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

mizi5620

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Re: Difficult director
« Reply #3 on: Oct 03, 2019, 01:45 am »
its a union company

At this point I have had an actor and a designer come to me with complaints about the directors behavior. Both related to feeling like they werent being heard and that they were being punished when they brought up concerns or questions. I have tried to talk to the director about this and their response was that the two people who complained are making things up and that the rehearsal room is "perfect." I see her shutting people down and not listening and think these complaints are very real.

In terms of telling her how we do things it's in response to requests that are either unsafe or violate our policies never about designer or direction.



RuthNY

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Re: Difficult director
« Reply #4 on: Oct 03, 2019, 09:40 am »
Call your union Business Rep. immediately!


its a union company

At this point I have had an actor and a designer come to me with complaints about the directors behavior. Both related to feeling like they werent being heard and that they were being punished when they brought up concerns or questions. I have tried to talk to the director about this and their response was that the two people who complained are making things up and that the rehearsal room is "perfect." I see her shutting people down and not listening and think these complaints are very real.

In terms of telling her how we do things it's in response to requests that are either unsafe or violate our policies never about designer or direction.
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

loebtmc

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Re: Difficult director
« Reply #5 on: Oct 05, 2019, 02:41 am »
if you can share area of the country and contract, we can send you to the right person in the right office.....

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