So in the last blink of the internet a poor AD in Edmonton dropped his guard for a moment, blew off some steam, and didn’t get away with anything. At all. Ever.

Mr. Jeff Haslam still thinks people are unhappy with him because he commented publically not because of what he said. If you are at all close to Mr. Haslam I would ask that you pull him aside and mention that content matters. Your defense in a case like this can’t really be “well they hurt my feelings so I hurt them back” and “I have free speech rights.”

But high school slap fight on the internet aside, my interest is in what would drive someone, a grown adult with responsibilities no less, to vent his bile publically, consequences be damned. The reviews he’s responding to aren’t raves by any means but even in their moderate  complaint they generally  exhibit the disappointment of high expectations not an evisceration. (None rise even to the level of being accused of boring a baby say) 

It seems to me the answer, in looking at the defenses he offers, is that he is suffering from the bunker-itis I talked about at the Devised Work convening.

Mr. Haslam talks about all the martyrdom that we all feel after our umpteenth show in a row. We go from production meeting to rehearsal to bathroom plunging to box office to show to bed and there’s never enough hands and never enough money and then some pretentious woman and her icky friends wants to JUDGE me?

We tend to lock ourselves into the pods we travel  with and the project we’re working on and the communities we’re in without ever taking an opportunity to stop and look around a bit. There are only these 12 people and these 3 shows and this theatre and maybe a coffee shop. No one understands everything I do for this shop/ / city / country / art form / existence.

When you are the only person in existence responsible for something the pressure gets unbearable.

Find a way to let go of that pressure.

For me, the internet is my perspective giver. No matter how hard I’m working? I’m not working half as hard as Dan Granata is for instance. I have it pretty good. I have good folks around me and people who are going through what I am going through along with me.

Where can YOU go to get that? Is that something your local Arts Umbrella provides at monthly meetups? Do you volunteer at a charity for perspective or maybe you have a sister company or two?

You’re not alone. How do you prove that to yourself and avoid a meltdown?

  • August 19, 2010
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