Armin Zaphiratous

Director's Pet

Can anyone get respect in this business? Armin answers that with a big pshaw!

published Friday, October 15, 2010

Dear Armin,

Is it more respectable to do established theater or alternative and original theater?

First, you should ask if it's respectable to do theater at all. During Bible times you would get stoned for merely repeating a joke you heard. It was just too close to theater for their tastes. I pretty much base all of my decisions on things that happened 2,000 years ago so I'm going to vote that theater is, in general, not respectable. But like so many things that aren't respectable, it's just too fun to care. Do whatever theater makes you happy and screw respectable in the ear. — YOURS, ARMIN

P.S. Comedy is the most difficult and somehow the least respectable theater. Go figure.

Dear Armin,

My director seems to have taken a shine to me and it’s making my co-stars jealous. How do I navigate the balance between camaraderie with my fellow actors and pleasing my director?

Dear Pet,

The Green-Eyed Monster is such a great tool for the unscrupulous director! Here's how it works. Pick out one of the actors, preferably the least likeable one, and praise his every move. Really lay it on thick so the other actors can't help but notice and grow hatefully jealous. The thinking is that the slighted actors will then pick up their game to try and match the teacher's pet. Then you start slowly giving them strokes and they'll feel much more confident in the work they're doing. They will feel like the really earned your praise. Ideally, you can use the Green-Eyed Monster to get more effort from the majority of your cast and/or ruin the life of the person you pick as your initial pet. Ooh, that's you. — YOURS, ARMIN

We invite you to Ask Armin via email at Go on and ask. When he doesn't have enough queries to ponder, he bothers the hell out of the TheaterJones editors. Also, we don't stand by or even agree with all of Armin's advice. So don't hold us responsible if things go terribly wrong. Thanks For Reading

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Director's Pet
Can anyone get respect in this business? Armin answers that with a big pshaw!
by Armin Zaphiratous

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