Who are you? Do you like your label?

Convener(s): Matilda Leyser

Participants: Zoe, Sharon, Alan, Stella, Suzy, Ann, Robert, Phelim

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

When do you get labeled?

Accents, origins. Misfits.

Other people finding it hard to accept that you might want to change.

The need to pigeon hole- why is this?

The struggle to be taken seriously for what you do.

Is what defines you what you get paid for?

Being able to have multiple identities

Choosing what to be when you want to be it

Different answers to different kinds of question: What is my job? What do I do? Who am I?

Passions. Your identity can be PASSION defined not money defined.

Different life chapters

Sometimes you are dependent on getting a job from someone else and can/ can’t get it because of your label.

When you accept a label what parts of yourself do you have to marginalize?

Labels can be violent and very painful.

Stuck in a role and not seen for who we are.


In many situations you are not allowed to cross roles. In theatre often the ‘admin’ label is given to people and they are then not seen as ‘creative’. This can be very frustrating. These people have chosen to be in theatre because of the creativity involved. FRUSTRATING!

Remembering we are all human beings, underneath all the label-layers.

Labels and status.

In big institutions in theatre the polarization between ‘artists’ and ‘admin’ can get more and more extreme. The producers are seen as people who are meant to ‘control’ or spy on the ‘creators’ to make sure they behave!

Understanding each other roles properly – just what does your job actually involve?

Healing the rifts. 

Sometimes even the architecture of a building creates this separation – offices being miles away from stages etc.

When there is inclusivity everyone works harder as all feel involved, committed and recognized. 

Divisions in theatre: between Impro and acting, Writers, directors, actors…

Inability to allow us to be lots of different things.

Very hierarchical.

E.g. of a director saying “Oh no, not another actor trying to be a director and treading on my toes”

Lots of people fear that if they lose their label then they may not exist anymore. They ARE their label.

What do you prefer: The word ‘actor’ or ‘performer’ – which is posher? Which is more pretentious?!

Testing out new identities on Taxi drivers. What questions do you get asked or what responses to saying what you do? When do people go blank?

DIVERISTY- there are so many, many different labels out there.

The best label ever yet (true): The Belizian Vampire Bat Controller Officer