thoughts about vulnerability as a director.

What does being vulnerable as a director actually mean?

I will make an incomplete list of what I think it means.

  • knowing that everyone else who is involved in the making is an artist, and giving everyone the space in which to create, even if it means that you don’t have absolute power.
  • maintaining an awareness of the fact that your position in the room is privileged, and that sometimes you will lead badly, and sometimes nobody will be able to tell you that unless you acknowledge it, or ask them.
  • maintaining an awareness of the fact that you, as a person, have privileges, and if you are helping to tell a story of someone who hasn’t got the privileges that you have, listening to their point of view and trying to incorporate their understandings into your vision and process.
  • letting your colleagues, and your audience, see the way that you see the world, rather than only holding a mirror up to them.
  • making choices that are almost certainly wrong, just in case they are right.
  • being honest about when you have made a bad decision and fixing it.
  • being honest about when you have made a good decision and staying true to it.
  • investigating whether something is a good decision or a bad one.
  • being humble, but not falsely modest.
  • wanting to be better.
  • asking for help if you think you might need it.
  • taking responsibility for things that aren’t working and that you can change.
  • trying.
  • trusting that everyone is doing their best.
  • showing that you are feeling something if you are feeling it (particularly when you are around actors.  They are very clever when it comes to knowing how people feel because that is part of their job, and if you lie to them then they will know it and they might get worried).
  • making things that you like, not what you think other people might like.
  • dancing if you like dancing.
  • asking your colleagues what they think (really asking, and taking their answers on board).
  • saying things that might make people annoyed at you because you know that saying it will make their work better.
  • being kind.
  • giving up some of your working time if you think that everyone just needs to go home, or go to the pub, or lie on the floor and listen to sad music, or talk about the work for an afternoon, or something else that you didn’t schedule but you can tell would be a better use of everyone’s time.
  • being afraid, and doing things anyway.
  • relating to your material on a personal level as well as any other level you might want to relate to it on.
  • loving your own work, even with its imperfections.

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I am a theatre maker in Adelaide, South Australia. I am queer and a lady and my work reflects that, as well as the fact that I am an aesthete with a belief that the personal is political, and the political is personal to me.

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