Armin Zaphiratous

A Snitch in Time

Advice columnist Armin on questioning the director, opera and tattletales.

published Friday, February 18, 2011

Dear Armin,

What's the best way to tell a director that he's wrong? I know you're not supposed to, but I firmly believe that in my current situation, he is.

Dear Person,

If you're a star then you should just try to get the director fired. If you're not, try blurting, "I think you're wrong!" and then running out of the room. Seriously, though, when I was playing Stanley Kowalski, during the lead up to the rape, the director had Blanche lighting candles, turning on soft music, and speading rose petals into a warm bath while she was struggling against me. He wanted to make sure the audience knew Blanche wanted it. I told him he was wrong and he split me in two with a bread knife. That's not a true story. But I do think you should be careful and put your concerns in the form of a question. Like, "Do you think all this crucifixion imagery is appropriate for The Diary of Anne Frank?" That way he gets to think about it without feeling pressured. — YOURS, ARMIN


Dear Armin,

The theater I'm working in is Equity, and they are breaking some rules. Minor stuff, but I feel like I should be fair and report them. Good idea?

Dear Tattletale,

Oooh! Equity! Congrats. Yeah, report that minor stuff. It's only fair. All the actors who get to work there in the future will appreciate the changes you started. Of course, you won't be one of them because you working there again is just as likely as a female NPR reporter dating a man.  — YOURS, ARMIN


Dear Armin,

Do you like opera?

Dear Opera Questioner,

The chubby chaser in me wants to like opera. I really do. I want to respect all forms of art, but I seriously have trouble appreciating any artistic medium while I'm asleep. It's like a loud, Italian lullaby. I also suffer from the sleep toots so it's extra embarassing. Somewhere in the middle of the fifth act, just as my eyes start to roll back in my head, I have one final thought as I slip into a semi-coma: "This one scene has a higher budget than the entire budget of almost every play I've directed...combined...dammit...ZZZZ...pfft." Listen, I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that genuinely love opera and think I'm simple-minded, but, you know, screw them. I just say nopera to opera.  — YOURS, ARMIN

P.S. There is one opera I adore: The Rabbit of Seville.


Ask Armin something, via Go on and ask. When he doesn't have enough queries to ponder, he bothers the hell out of the TheaterJones editor. Also, TJ doesn'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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A Snitch in Time
Advice columnist Armin on questioning the director, opera and tattletales.
by Armin Zaphiratous

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