Yesterday I was at a meeting for directors. It was at the Young Vic Theatre in London and was an introduction to their Genesis Young Directors programme that we were all joining. Perhaps surprisingly directors are all quite introverted people, or at least on the face of it they are. So, we sat in the room on our chairs in a circle waiting for the meeting to start and finding it challenging to interact with each other.
People arriving could instantly identify that this was the place for the director’s meeting, which is funny because I’d never really thought about directors being so readily identifiable before. I suppose when we’re all in a room together it does become easier, and then of course there is the moody director stereotype.
We aren’t really moody though, just pensive and probably a bit awkward or shy. Although I will give you that we often dress in quite an identifiable way…we are also, I realised during this meeting, quite lonely.
Directing is a lonely profession. Yes, you work with other people but in a series of professional relationships that are often tricky to negotiate – you aren’t their strict superior, but you also aren’t their friend. You have no one on a production you can really bond with, as actors can bond with each other – this doesn’t mean to say you are distant and aloof, you are a part of the creative ensemble but you still have to maintain a certain distance within this. It is a career path chosen and driven by you alone, and it is a fiercely competitive world.
So, being in a meeting with all these other directors was extremely nice. Knowing there are so many others in the same field – but with different skills and interests out there – is great. What’s even better is not just knowing they are there but actually being able to meet and interact with them. Through this network the Young Vic host hundreds of fantastic opportunities for directors to develop their craft, form a network and further their careers. I’d thoroughly recommend it and I’ve only been a member for a day!