Author Topic: Did I make the wrong decision?  (Read 3041 times)

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Did I make the wrong decision?
« on: Sep 15, 2016, 10:04 am »
Last year I found myself in a tricky position. I was In my second year of an SM degree where we had one lecturer for the whole 3 years (on occasion we would have guests). This lecturer decided that I was in need of 'help' in with my personal life and started giving me advice on how to live my life i.e what food I should eat, when and how I should exercise, how I should think and process things and everything I was doing wrong under the sun.

It eventually got to a point that she pulled me aside and told me that I will never, ever make a good SM - at which point I was heartbroken. After a year and a half of dealing with an unprofessional uni environment (teachers not allowing us to work out of uni, yet them missing classes due to outside work; being put on shows and expected to perform at a professional level with no academic support etc.) I decided enough was enough. If my sole lecturer didn't believe in me, how was I going to progress any further, so I left.

Later that day I received a phone call offering me professional interstate work, which I took. After that contract was up, I had another professional interstate contract lined up. It's now been a few months since my last contract and I'm struggling to find work.

Was leaving uni a big mistake?



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Re: Did I make the wrong decision?
« Reply #1 on: Sep 15, 2016, 04:23 pm »
To my view you chose the wrong school so it was inevitable that you'd hate it.


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Re: Did I make the wrong decision?
« Reply #2 on: Sep 15, 2016, 05:46 pm »
You did not make a mistake. Keep reminding yourself of that.

It sounds like you selected a school that is heavily focused on production--so presumably, you imagined a career doing shows after the degree. And fabulously, you have already made the switch into the professional sphere, without suffering the bad fit at your former school.

This is an important part of freelance life, which can only be learned in the field: there will be periods where you do not work. You will wonder, every time, if the last show was your LAST show. Until and unless you make the decision to leave the field, however, there will be a next show. Maybe next week... or next year. Finding meaningful (or even just sustainable and sustaining) sideline work should be somewhere in your top 10 priorities, since you have downtime. But under no circumstances should you allow a toxic school environment any more headspace, now that you've made the plunge into the work you wanted to do anyway!

If you feel that completing a university degree is important, do it. But please, do not return to a place where personal and professional boundaries are so blurry. If a professor had given me exercise advice, I would have been livid.


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Re: Did I make the wrong decision?
« Reply #3 on: Sep 16, 2016, 01:41 am »
To answer the question of leaving was a mistake or not, you need to be honest with yourself.  Is the feedback you received honest and was simply something you didn't want to hear?  If it's a case of running from a problem with yourself that you need to address, then it's possible you made a mistake.  But, if the environment truly was as ill a fit as you describe, then you probably made the right choice in leaving.
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt



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Re: Did I make the wrong decision?
« Reply #4 on: Sep 16, 2016, 10:17 am »
If a professor had given me exercise advice, I would have been livid.

I couldn't agree more with this. Maybe you made the wrong decision in choosing that school, but you didn't make the wrong decision in leaving. University will always be there, so you can go to another when you feel it's right.



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Re: Did I make the wrong decision?
« Reply #5 on: Sep 14, 2017, 11:21 pm »
If I may offer my opinion, I think that you made the best decision you could have with the cards you were dealt. You should not be in an environment were those who you look to for knowledge do not support the fact that you are looking to hone you craft. Additionally, from my understanding, both as a student and intern asking similar questions to professionals, Uni's purpose is to give you experience working as an SM through all levels of the hierarchy. At this point, for you, it is just about building contacts to break into the theater scene in your area; which you would have had to do either way. I wish you the best of luck, Arturo F.


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