CMU School of Drama

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Journey Towards Becoming A Professional

ProSoundWeb: Here we go again. One more attempt to make life easier for the younger crowd moving into the world of audio production.

For this little foray, I need to focus on a few concepts that separate the true professional from the lowly amateur.

On my desktop is a quote: “There are no rules, except accuracy.” It’s taken from a copywriting training guide I found several years ago and refers to the most important aspect of reporting and writing.


Galen shila said...

I appreciate how this article, while written for audio people is applicable to all areas of theater. It seems to echo in every area that professionalism is rooted in your social behavior. Being able to communicate effectively is the most key concept one needs to understand when becoming a professional in any area. The article also touches on what is means to manage people. You need to be the person with the answers and to make things work for everyone despite whatever hold ups come along the way. This rings true whenever you have people working under you. It is a fact that you and you alone become a lifeline and doing your job well determines what happens to everyone else. My only complaint is the discouragement of asking questions. Everyone one is learning all the time from the time we are born to the time we die. We should always encourage questions so that we can learn and better yourself.

Helena Hewitt said...

Maybe I am being too soft, or too forgiving but I think that mocking and insulting someone for doing something incorrectly is not the kind of behavior we want to foster in the industry. Perhaps I will change my tune once I am working as a professional, but I really love being in an educational institution where I constantly feel free to say “I don’t know” or “Can you show me?” I try to foster a feeling with my classmates that we should never feel ashamed of not knowing something and should share our knowledge to get the job done the best way possible. I would much rather someone asked me to quickly describe the tool I asked them for then spend ten minutes in the tool room, stressed out, trying to guess what I asked for and worried I will yell at or shame them if they get it wrong. The other day, a freshmen told me that when they are on a carpentry call and they don’t know something, they will go out of their way to find me because I will never make them feel bad for not knowing something. I am so glad I am doing work at a place where I can be that person for other people, and no matter where I go or how demanding the work I end up doing is, I never want to find myself somewhere that I feel afraid or ashamed to ask questions.

Emily Lawrence said...

One of the key things that stood out to me about this article was the authors emphasis on communication. He stated that it was his primary value in the industry, and the balance of questions and details in order to get the job done. I have always been told that communication is one of the most factors when putting up a show, and for me personally, that is what I have heard all year long at Carnegie. Every time there seems to be a big problem within one of the shows being produced, I have heard that the biggest factor in creating this problem was communication. My director from home always emphasized how important it was, but after being here and hearing it over and over again, I am truly starting to realize it is the most important factor and characteristic to have in the entertainment industry. There are simply too many creative and realistic minds working together that not communicating can create a big train wreck.

Sarah Battaglia said...

Well I think that this article really stresses communication and that is a vital skill to being good at any job, but especially one in the theater where you are almost never doing a job alone. Something that I have found to be incredibly valuable at CMU is when I don't understand something and someone calmly and without making me feel guilty explains it to me. I think that this article made it seem a little like to be calm and understanding is to be coddling and proving an excuse for someones lack of knowledge. And in certain situations I can understand that, but because we almost never do the same thing twice in theater it is important to understand that everyone is learning very new things on the job almost 100 percent of the time. So to make it seem like it is wrong to ask a question. or a waste of time to get something right undermines the other great parts of this article about communication, which I think is a little bit of a shame.

nick waddington said...

I think the main thing this article focuses on is the value of communication in a collaborative art such as theater where communication between departments is vital to putting on a show cohesively. i also think it is incredibly valuable to be surrounded by people who are eager and willing to help you understand something when you are possibly doing it for the first time, or just feeling a little out of your depth, and thats how i feel here at CMU, im never afraid to ask someone what im supposed to do, and i have never been made to feel like my question, and my concern aren't valued. I think that was the major detractor for me with this article, because it made it seem like having questions or being curios was not valued in the theater and meant you needed to grow up. all ij all though i thought the stress it put on communication was valid.

John Yoerger said...

I think the article here brings up a good point for new or emerging professionals going into our industry. Or, really, any industry for that matter. In emphasizing the importance of good communication, he also highlights the critical choice you have in making sure you are not lazy in your work and search everywhere you could possibly need to. I think this is very important because you don't want to try and admit defeat unless you have done everything you possibly could do. But above this, I think the biggest point he makes is to not make excuses. The example he brings up with the band is great. Don't fucking lose the keys and if you do, fix your problem. You have to be an Olivia Pope--A fixer. She fixes problems and then calls to say "it's handled" and that is all people really need sometimes. I also like when he mentions that when we are on a job, I am not your buddy. Because I think too often people forget they are working and like to goof around. Finding a middle ground is important. Though I will say, I can't stand people who take all of this too seriously... We are doing theatre after all.

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