Every so often I get a not so gentle reminder that not all people are team players. Today was a double whammy. Due to car trouble, one of the actors in the current production I am in was unable to make it for Act One. Although several well-intentioned suggestions were made as to how to get the curtain up on time minus the unfortunately held up actor, a core of our best paid leads protested all solutions leveling charges of racism and lack of artistic care upon our administrative leadership. The result was a ten minute shouting contest, a delayed curtain for over 90 minutes, lots of hurt feelings and disenfranchised performers and tech hands. Not to mention the 125 people that had come to see the show, only 25 of which ultimately chose to stay. When you are an employee of an organization you have a responsibility to sometimes go along with decisions that are not to your liking. That or quit. While I don’t wish these people who forced a bad call on the organization ill, I do believe that there was no respect shown for the decision-making process at work at this theatre, and I believe they were collectively out of line and perhaps should be censured. And don’t even get me started on the unprepared understudy that also failed to do his job.
Unrelated to this incident, I continue to find that the set designer on the other show I am directing is still dragging his feet on finalizing plans for some aspects of our set. This is an attempt to back us into a corner so that I have to adjust my vision of our production to accommodate his overworked schedule and bullying temperament. Clearly, from these several incidents I needed a reminder that in my line of work not all people are either good or collaborative. I tend to be an optimist and an idealist but constant exposure to this kind of selfish, self-serving and underhanded behavior wears me down and makes me very bitter towards all but a handful of altruistic individuals.