So this one goes out to all my technicians/designers/production team members.
I was recently talking to a guy who was very confused about what I did. He knew I did theatre and told him I was going to be doing notes (we were in tech) and could not meet up for drinks. A week later he texts me and this is how our conversation unfolds:
Boy: Hey u wanna tell me more about this theatre deal?
Me: Like what about it? Theatre in general? My involvement with it? Got to be more specific.
Boy: Um I guess I wanna know your show you're in now.
Me: I work backstage but I'm working on Annie.
Boy: So whats the notes thing?
Me: Before I was helping on another show. Because we were in tech (Where all the lights and stuff get added) sometimes after we run the show there are notes that need to be changed/fixed because they didn't go well.
[skip ahead a few texts]
Boy: What makes u all stoked about lights?
(also this is me being generous about his grammar)
....it can be frustrating getting asked over and over if I am an actor or if I am only doing backstage work because I was not good enough to be an actor. It can be hard trying to explain to people what technical theatre is especially when they think the things we do magically just happen. And how do you explain stage management when it is not something visible or tangible you can point to and be like I made the costume Romeo wore or I built the wall for the house (unless you point to a piece of paperwork which even then would probably require explanation).
Now I am not mad at him nor am I mad at any other boy (or frankly any other person) who has asked me these same types of questions. I know it is important to explain theatre and the intricacies of backstage work to people who are not in the field. And I appreciate the people who ask questions or actually try to open their mind to what I do and why I do it.
But like if you are interested in me, try harder. Don't just ask the questions, listen to the answers.
I would love to hear anyone else's opinions on the matter or if anyone has figured out how to explain theatre to non-theatre people.