Managing (theatre) People

Posted on 02 April 2018

Public Domain: January 1931 Franz Felix

April and September are major independent theatre months for Melbourne, Australia. I have found myself commiserating with a few people having problems.

  • There’s a difference between kindness and allowing yourself to be walked on.
  • Some people see no difference between kindness and being a pushover. Don’t let them harden you. Like toilet paper it is possible to be both strong and gentle.
  • No one is helped when people who are behaving badly are allowed to continue behaving badly.
  • No person is so talented that it is worth your mental health to hang onto them.
  • The arts attract people who are artists, people who are seeking validation, and people who are artists and seeking personal validation. We all need some validation. People who are addicted to validation can be highly destructive.
  • Many times it’s genuinely hard to tell the difference between skilled actors and skilled manipulators.
  • Just because some people smile to manipulate does not mean you should be defensive toward all people who smile (metaphorically speaking). The manipulators will eventually out themselves. If you are stuck with one, it will be painful removing them. However, you are still better off leaving room to find truly nice people.
  • I do all I can to allow growth, make allowances for people’s humanity, and close my eyes to what might be temporary irritating behaviour. Life is not a straight line and can be quite messy.
  • However, if I am in a position of responsibility over others and someone’s behaviour seems destructive in some manner, then I am obliged to take action to protect my people. I am also one of my people.
  • It is usually best not to wait until you are angry to take action concerning a serious problem. You will feel better about yourself and your actions, if you take steps when you become aware of difficulties.
  • Some things are going to be beyond your control and you will just have to roll with it.
  • It’s impossible not to worry about what others will think of us when taking strong action: especially when they don’t have the full picture. Take action anyway, if you feel it is in everyone’s best interests. You will just have to have faith that people know you well enough to trust your decision. If not, life goes on.
  • It is impossible not to feel a little angry when someone is clearly disrespecting you or people important to you. The pull to hurt them in return is strong. Resist, be as fair as possible while protecting yourself, learn your lessons, and move on.
  • Respect your own humanity, forgive your own humanity, learn from experience, choose to do better, and move on.
  • Know a few people you can hang about with undefended. This will keep you from making a habit of being defended.
  • Find the time to have a good cry upon occasion. You will feel so much better.

In peace,


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