Neurotic Owl

flying through clouds of uncertainty on wings of existential dread

More cartoons tomorrow, I promise! In the meantime, an open letter to my newly-graduating theatre tech buddies.

I failed at scanning cartoons last night, but I have lots, so tomorrow, definitely.

In the meantime:

Dear tech theatre students,

Yay!  You’re about to graduate!  That’s AWESOME!

But please, as you head out into the workforce, strike this one phrase from your vocabulary: “when I was in school, we. . . “.  You can assume this also applies to “My teacher told me. . . ” and “I learned to do it this way. . . “.  Which isn’t to say that you didn’t learn great things in school.  You totally did.  Your teachers are probably awesome, and they taught you great skills, and you certainly shouldn’t undervalue yourself.  The fact is, though, there’s rarely one right way to do things, and as you move into the working world, every theatre or production company you work for will have a different system.  Some will be better, some will be worse, and some will just be different, but you need to adapt to them, because they won’t adapt to you.

When you constantly compare every bit of direction to what you were taught, you’re saying that you know best, and odds are you don’t.  Telling everyone about all the great projects you draped in school doesn’t tell us that you’re ready to be a professional draper, it tells us that you don’t know what your professional skill set is.  By all means, make sure your boss/coworkers know your awesome skill set, but by showing, not telling.  Bring in a cool project to work on at lunch or on break.  Take every chance to show what you can do on the work you’re assigned.  DON’T assume that because you did something a few times in school, you’re done learning how to do it.  You’ll keep learning and improving your whole career.  Embrace that.

O course, if you’re in school after a break spent working, or if you’re working while in school, this may not apply to you.  I’ve just watched a lot of 22 year olds who think they know everything do themselves a disservice at work by talking instead of listening, and I don’t want that to happen to you.


Nara, who was that 22 year old, and is probably still kind of a dumbass.

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This entry was posted on July 13, 2015 by and tagged , , .
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