Author Topic: On anti-success  (Read 2262 times)

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MatthewShiner

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On anti-success
« on: Oct 19, 2010, 08:07 pm »
from my blog  http://thepromptbook.com/?p=113

something from zenhabits.net about anti-success.

very interesting read.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

Tempest

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Re: On anti-success
« Reply #1 on: Oct 20, 2010, 12:11 pm »
I follow zenhabits, too (though not very successfully, truth be told!), and I loved the article on anti-success. 
My idea of success isn't huge.  I want to have time to sit in a cushy chair in front of a window, with a mug of tea and read.  I want to have friends feel loved enough to drop by without notice.  I want a clean and uncluttered house.  I want to make just enough money to not worry about needing it, and not so much that I worry about what to do with it.  When I can wake up in the morning (or afternoon, depending on the show!), look at the day ahead and smile, I've become a success in my eyes.
I've felt this way since I got burnt out living up to my parents expectations my senior year of college and decided being a B student was good enough for me.  And have always had a lot of trouble expaining my idea of success to most other people.
The rat race is sooooo ingrained.
Jessica: "Of course I have a metric size 4 dinglehopper in my kit!  Who do you think I am?"

malewen

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Re: On anti-success
« Reply #2 on: Oct 20, 2010, 07:06 pm »
Very interesting indeed.  When I taught stage management a few years ago I tried to tell my students that stage managers need to find their own rewards in the job, that they couldn't depend on getting rich or that others would even understand if they were doing a good job.  You have to love it, you can't measure success in dollars or even on how many big, fancy shows you've done...

MatthewShiner

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Re: On anti-success
« Reply #3 on: Oct 21, 2010, 02:16 am »
In some ways this article is really eye opening to me - and part of it is that this article just came across my desk at the right time in my life.  So many of us come up with our definition own definition of success in this business . . . we talk about 5-year goals, 10-year goals, eventual career goals.  And, I think those are truly, truly important things in this BUSINESS, and truly important to RUNNING the business that is ourselves as stage managers - remember, we are businesses of one.


But, what is so dangerous about this career path - is that since we are a business of one, we can easily confuse our personal life with our professional life.  I know I have, and I find it hard to figure out where Matthew Shiner, the person, and M. William Shiner, that stage manager, begins and ends. 


Personal success and happiness do not, and really, should not be tied up with our professional success - although lets be honest, they do play off each other to a certain extent.  The goal, as I see it from where I am sitting now, is to try to figure out how to be very happy personally regardless of my professional success. 


So, that’s step one . . . the separation of these two things.  How you become personally happy depends on way to many things - I know as I grow older, the definition of happiness changes.  I am thrilled by a simple quiet life with my partner, my two dogs, and a really cool video gaming system and my kindle.  I am proud of my son and his accomplishments.  I strive to be a good son, a good brother, and a cool uncle.  Seriously, a simple happy life.


Now, to deal with professional gauges of success, I firmly believe you need to figure
how this job “turns you on” - be honest with yourself.  And that is not easy. 


I have been doing this for over 20 years, and I don’t have a complete handle on it.  I know there a lot of things about this job that I enjoy - and I have worked in enough different environments so I can compare and contrast the plus and minuses.  I also know that it changes and evolves.  (Trust me, some of the things that initially drew me into this career - now drive me up the freaking wall, but I have been able to figure out new things that keep me in this field.) 


Do you do it because the job makes you feel important? 


Do you do it because you like you like the power?


Do you do it because you like to feel like providing support for the artistic process?


Do you do it because you like calling cues?


Do you do it because you like working behind the scenes?


Do you do it because you like to feel included?


Do you do it because you love paperwork?


Do you do it because you like to figure things out?


Do you do it because you like to be a leader?


Do you do it because you like working long hours in the dark?


Do you do it to be close to actors?


Do you do it because you are good at it?


Do you do it because you like the challenges?


Do you do it because you were pushed into it?


Do you do it to work on high profile projects?


Do you do it to work with stars?


Do you do it because you are a frustrated actor, and you want to stay in the business?


Do you do it because you are a frustrated director, and you are waiting for your chance?


Do you do it for the money and stability?


Do you do it to create art?


Do you do it create entertainment?


Do you do it because it affords you the personal life you want?


Do you do it because it’s a different job, and it’s like running away to join the circus?


Do you even know why you do it?




I think once you figure out WHY you do it, you can easily figure out what is YOUR professional success - and sometimes you will see that what you thought was your success marker (getting you AEA card, international touring, working on Broadway) don’t align with the reasons you do the job in the first place.  If you dream job that will make you feel like you are a success does not fulfill the reasons you DO the job and the reason you ENJOY the job - then why is that your goal?


 I think ultimately need to make sure everything is in sync.  I think as soon as you can realize what your personal career success is and realize that it will always differ form other stage managers, you can let go of some the extreme sense of competition that can grow between stage managers - and I think if you can let that go . . . you are further down the path then I think I am sometimes.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

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chrrl

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Re: On anti-success
« Reply #4 on: Oct 22, 2010, 06:04 pm »
This is a great list Matthew, and really hit the mark for me right now.  I'm happy with where I am in my professional life, as I confirmed when going through your questions:), but I do it for different reasons than I started out doing it, and that was really interesting.  Thanks for starting a great topic!

NomieRae

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Re: On anti-success
« Reply #5 on: Oct 23, 2010, 07:43 pm »
What a wonderful topic--I spent a lot of this week asking myself why I do what I do while mounting a big festival of new musicals that is more event coordinating than theater related and found myself really enjoying a job that is different than stage management, but then it all came full circle when I realized all my skills that helped me do my job were all based in my experience in stage management...

For me, there's nothing like the rush of that first performance or preview where all your work comes together and there is (hopefully) thunderous applause, laughter, tears, etc from the audience.

I found myself asking many of the questions you listed, and I realized I do this because I love all the aspects that tie into it, as it involves people, technical aspects, organization, it plays on many of my strengths and challenges me in new ways on every show.

My personal success is defined by how well I do my job (whatever job that may be) and that I can still afford to have a life outside of that job that makes me happy in the ways my job isn't able to. Being well rounded is my ultimate goal in life.
--Naomi
"First, I honor life, and with it my life in theatre." -- Jacques Burdick

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