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Where do you draw the line?

Where is the line drawn between what your employer is asking you to do and what you are comfortable with? Is this line dotted? Is it bold? Is it dashed? Is it completely missing?

Can you work twenty minutes past your out time to work on this scene? Will you walk on this wet ground on your stilts to get to your show area? Will you dance on this cobblestone?

It is hard to put your finger on the correct response to these sometimes outlandish requests from your employer. Are you paid enough to be doing this? Is it safe? Or, and you should think about this really, really hard…are you blowing a minor request way out of the water?

We are in an industry where you can be fired for your looks, hired for who you know, and disowned for one wrong thing said.  How in the world do we differentiate between what is too much and what we are just throwing a mini-temper tantrum about?

Let me let you in on a little secret…


Don’t get me wrong, there is such a thing as the wrong answer, but the majority of the time, it is how you respond to this request that will either land you in hot water or make you the star employee!

Every situation should be approached with the upmost professionalism and a level head.  If the specific issue makes you angry…you need to cool down before you respond.  The last thing you need is to have an emotion filled response that will make you the talk of the green room for weeks.  “Did you hear what he said last week? I had no idea that he was so crazy?!” BAM! Guess what, you are now pinned with the “crazy person tag.” Good luck getting rid of that one.

Question: do you know what’s even worse than an emotion filled response? Answer: when you take the road of sarcasm.  Managers absolutely love this… If you thought I was serious here, you probably should take a long look in the mirror. If your first response to a request is: “OOOO YEAH, we can totally walk on this water. Let me break out the waterski’s for my stilts and a snorkel so I don’t drown while I’m out there.” Then you are probably not approaching the problem effectively.

Do you know what managers and employers like? They like when you come to them first. They like when you approach the problem in a rational way, ready to hear all opinions and judge them equally.  It’s important to realize that we are not always right. Let me say this again: We are not always right. Sometimes there ARE solutions to issues that we did not think of!

No matter what your answer to their request, when you approach the answer with reason and a level head, managers will respect you. Most of the time, scratch that, 99.9% of the time, employers are not out to get you.  They just have a vision of the show that they want to fulfill.  It is your job to WORK WITH them for the betterment of the show. After all, if the show is not good…then, WHOOPS, you’re the first one that looks BAD. And lastly, if that is not enough…no one will care you look bad, because you were “THAT CRAZY ONE.”

By Zachary Miller

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