It’s out of my hands
“It’s out of my hands”
It’s easy to think that the buck stops with someone else, or to feel that you aren’t personally being invited to make change – but if we always wait for someone else to solve the issues, rather than pitching in ourselves, nothing will ever change.
Anyone who is in any way connected to actors before, during and after the casting process can be thinking about and contributing to making progress.
What we are prioritising?
It’s easy to blame the pressures of other deadlines or our general busyness for failing to take action; we have a fixed amount of time and generally more to achieve in it than possible. This leaves us to consider what we are prioritising.
Treating diversity as an afterthought after all our time and energy has been allocated elsewhere will mean we’re unlikely to achieve what we want. Making it more central to our thinking and budgeting proper time and focus will allow us to make more progress.
Building regular opportunities into schedules for you and your colleagues to think, plan and evaluate the ongoing work you are doing on this is crucial for ensuring it actually gets done, and in a thoughtful, considered and meaningful rather than panicked, knee-jerk and, quite possibly, tokenistic way. This work can’t happen in the odd intense burst when an opportunity presents itself or when a crisis looks likely. It should be part of your ongoing thinking and activity.
The tracker and accompanying discussion guides give ideas for the sorts of planning you can do, the conversations you can have and the milestones you can create for yourselves to make progress feel more manageable.
The prompts we’ve created can help you think about what that might mean for you in your role. Can’t find anything in the prompts that relates directly to your role? How can you use what we’ve created to put together your own list of things to be thinking about?
Don’t give up!
Sometimes you may feel you are surrounded by colleagues who don’t share your commitment to practical change. This can be disheartening but try not to give up. It’s better you work with them to make gradual progress than they make no progress at all because you’ve given up on them.
Remember that change can feel difficult to people for all sorts of reasons and can be complex to achieve but there are key things to focus on that can help you with this.
If you’re finding your colleagues aren’t open to the level or pace of change you are, can you focus your energy somewhere else?
Can you connect with similarly committed individuals in your professional networks, union or membership organisation? How could you play a role in influencing wider industry change which could, indirectly, lead to shifts in your own workplace?
Can you find ways to support organisations that are making change happen from grass roots level? Many of these are small, lack secure funding and have been established by people who simply want to make our rehearsal rooms more inclusive. If you agree with their mission, could you offer up your time, skills or contacts to help them get closer to achieving their goals?
More Food for Thought
“I’m pretty much on top of this – it’s other people who need to do the work”
In theatre we’re often used to thinking of what we doing as having a clear finish line: the last night of a run, or the end of a financial year. But the kind of change we’re requiring in terms of casting requires continual improvement…