We all know I love theatre, but let’s be honest here. Everyone either working in theatre or seeing performances hates some things he/she’s confronted with, right? So, here’s my top 5. (of course, this is a slightly self-ironic post written by a girl being VERY grateful for all the opportunities that have been offered to her…just to be clear.)
1) Other audience-members – Last year there was probably none of my sentences said as often as “I really do love theatre, but I hate the other people in the audience!”. That sounds harsh, of course – especially given the fact that I hope they somehow will be paying me indirectly. I shouldn’t be pissed by these weird (old) people or these hipster pulling the “Gosh, I’m soooo cool!” in theatres and googling the plot for 20 minutes DURING the performance. I’m not kidding, been there, seen that! Every genre (and every venue!) has its own weird audience members with a rhethorical repertoire of “All these naked people and this shouting….that’s not what Goethe wanted!” (Really? Tell me more about how you know Goethe and what he wanted!) or “Gosh…these gender bending performances really were that subversive. I mean, I was very deeply moved and when you think about that Butler wrote about the act of cross dressing being subversive than you totally get a new perspective…” (okay. I sometimes might be this one…) And since you spend quite some time sitting next to other people in theatres they really influence you and so they rally can spoil a night out at the theatre, right?
2) Actors – I have worked with actors who need their attention, space and special diva time while, of course, not giving the most flawless performance I’ve ever seen. Diva-behaviour – do I have to say anything else?
3) Saturday-Morning rehearsal – after 5 days of morning and evening rehearsal with little to no down time in between another one? On Saturdays? At 10 am? Really? Getting out of bed, getting dressed, preparing food, riding the bike across the city (because if you didn’t you wouldn’t get any exercise) while ‘normal’ (read: non theatre people) turn around in bed a second time, have long breakfasts, reading the newspaper….Are there better things you could imagine? – Yes. Are there worse things? – Of course, but still…rehearsals on Saturday mornings….ewwww.
4) The permanent staff of theatres – when you mostly do freelance stuff and you happen to be an assistant to someone in charge of the production (like…the director) you really need to cooperate with the technicians, the wardrobe department, the property department and you really need them to be cooperative because if something isn’t there the moment the director wants oder ‘needs’ it, it will be your fault (with some directors everything will be your fault anyway). I mostly made positive experiences with the staff of the theatres I worked at, but – you never know – and there is a chance that they don’t like you, especially in a theatre with a long history and/or continuity of the people working there.
5) being a community – let’s say you reached a certain point with your work, you’ve worked with enough people (who introduced you to other people and they introduced you other people….) and BOOM you can’t go and see anything without running into people. Sometimes the reason you go to see some thing on your own is that you really don’t want to be distracted. Have fun doing that! In the last few months I met a couple of people you happen to live near my place or even worse close to the gym I go to and every time I hope that I won’t see anyone I know, because me on the way to or (even worse) from the gym isn’t exactly what you would consider a visual highlight….and although the brain is the important thing of a dramaturg (of everyone, I know, but the dramaturg especially, right?) – have you ever heard someone say “Boy/Girl, you got a nice brain!”? No? Didn’t think so. 😉
What do you dislike about theatre? Or about your job (regardless of what it is)?