Your reports Find reports If I’m a Jack of all Trades, Why do People think I am a Master at none? If I’m a Jack of all Trades, Why do People think I am a Master at none? Convener(s): Zoë Cobb Participants: Sharon Seager, Jack Kloff, Hugo Chapman, Annie Rigby, Tyne Rafaeli, Andy Rogers, Mary O’Connor, Kirsty Lothaian, Morven, Paschale Straiton, Beccy Owen, Stuart Tagett, Jo Faith, Suzy Almond, Sara, Dan Copeland, Amy Ip, Andy Harmon, Steven Wainnery, Simon Wilkinson, Lee Simpson, Lucy Foster, Shakera Laise Ahad, Lee Simpson, Nadine Ishani, Angela Klirkin, Anna O’Brian Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations: A few more positive ways to look at it: Polymath, Renaissance woman/man, fluidity From the perspective of someone who does one thing, he doesn’t like that others do more than one because of Envy, and thinks they spread themselves too thin. If you are an actor who has directed, then don’t put it on your card, or CV keep it separate Is this polymath behavior a necessity in the beginning of a career? Lee commented that he is well into his career and still does it. If you want to be famous, then do one thing, and keep doing it and only it Conversely, if you don’t want to become famous, do many things. Is it a model for the future, moving away from the Industrial Revolution We feel pressured to specialize. Why? On paper, for grants, for forms, for simplicity in organizations, we need to have a role. In the publishing world the wealth, and variety of Stella’s life is really embraced and considered of value, however that is not the case in the theatre world Perhaps it is a problem because we don’t specifically produce a product One person expressed that she is never going to be good enough at any of the one thing she does. Is this the reason we do so many things? ‘You are not successful at that one thing because you are not always doing it.’ We see the creation process a chaotic one, but in the institutions there is an idea of clock work that is applied to the process. Where each person does their job and the final product is resulting. This is still at the heart of how most theatre works. In Britain’s rep system, that is how the system still works. So do we need to silence all the other voices in hopes of following just one? Could we get the satisfaction of all the different things we do in one profession, like directing, if we gave it a chance? Might we learn just as much and find just as many rewarding pieces of information if we just stuck to it, and got deeper into it? Do we need to change? Are we just on the wrong path, and need to learn how to keep doing one thing? Is it a matter or changing or just embracing what we do and valuing it, so at some point others will too? Do we need the trumpets and the ceremony, the recognition to say that we are brilliant at what we do? People who have a medal, and certificate make the theatre Newtonian thinking breeds the non-polymath There is lots of non-medaled work is not heard about and doesn’t enter the main stream’s thinking. It is not monetarily sustainable to be a polymath Even though a collaborative theatre company is well established, they are still thought of as crooks, or suspected of being low in moral character. For the show at the National, Lee and Phelim proposed to co-direct and the National looked confused and worried, however when they came back and said, Lee would write and Phelim would direct, the response was a massive smile and sigh of relief Perhaps it is more of a British way of being and European theatre is less ‘container’ and ‘label orientated In South Africa they didn’t have the luxury to do one thing. It felt like it was a Colonial idea to have so much division of labour, and this director who went down felt threatened by the lack of division. When she had experienced it a little more she felt an artistic poverty in relationship to all these people who could do so much In the American system people are unionized and really only allowed to do one thing. Be aware of why you are doing many jobs There will be someone who is more equipped to do the work, because you are too tired, to busy to be there when you need to Perhaps you are a control freak and cannot trust others to do the work you need to be done Get a team around you who you trust with artistic integrity In some cases we need to set boundaries and not do everything. People are very willing to accept us being a ‘jack of all trades’ if you are going down the ladder. The doors start closing when you start multi-tasking up the ladder. ‘Whoever paints the wall, chooses the colour’ – Amber Films All of the other forms of art and practice are very nourishing to the theatre work It is a balancing act where you need to keep your options open. If you present yourself so that someone can look at your body of work and find some through line, some method to your madness You can use the different skills as a way to almost spiral up in your value, where you get a good credit in one area, it then gives you some sense of credence and then another area will be able to possibly also have a little bit of levity The question of ‘What do you do?’ makes me feel defensive or uncertain, and think ‘which one should I answer? Actually, the person you are speaking with just wants interact and is asking quite a simple question. So choose something you are happy with saying. Perhaps step away from the CV and went with the work biographies The stitching is very important, what I do in a conceptual way Portfolio careers, a more modern way to recession proof It is self propagating; as soon as people know you do a lot of different things, they will start asking you to do all kinds of things. One suggestion of a design company was to show up in a shirt and slacks, and don’t lift a thing, this way you are not expected or asked to do the menial tasks. Doing it all can be lowering status What part of us feels like what we are doing has less value that we are willing to let this judgment mean so much? Does it matter if other people think this if we don’t? Representation is a game, learn how to do it In this talk there is a sense of ‘they’ think and they do, well who are they? I started in the military, and the Royal Shakespeare company is very similar. You should start your own think, do your own work, and ‘they’ will take notice. Stick with your particular skills and there will be a strange arrangement that only you could fit. But this will not happen unless you value the things you do. Trust. These are the kinds of jobs that you can’t advertise, this fit into the discussion about why there are no job advertisements, because often they are not certain of all the things that they want until you turn up. Was there anything else that we needed to say?