I feel like there’s an attitude being cultivated in the community of “if you don’t get it screw you” which really bothers me. In a place where people are coming to learn something to be shot down for not being in the know seems wrong and counterproductive. Do you see this cliquishness too and how should it be addressed, including when it comes from people higher in rank like teachers? I find it especially disturbing coming from people who seem like they have been the outsider themself.
You’re not the only one who’s mentioned this - it ranges the spectrum from theater owners to teachers to coaches to fellow performers to audience members - and it’s pretty troubling.
I don’t know what to say but… people ask questions because they want the answer. They make so-called mistakes in improv because they’re still learning the artform, and it doesn’t do anyone any favors by give discouraging or dismissive “help”. (I feel this is an artform where we learn best from mistakes, so it’s even worse to act this way.)
I don’t know where it comes from. I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt and say maybe it comes from frustration of seeing the same things over and over again (in which case maybe it’s burnout and they should take a break for a while), or there’s the sickness of giving notes just for the sake of notes, but some people are kind of jerks and use their opinions to make them seem superior. Seeing that happen too often is a big reason of why I started this blog, in fact.
I don’t know what else to do. I’ve tried mentioning it (privately and as gently as possible) to people who were being jerky to their groups/classes, and I was almost without exception given reasons why I and the student were, in fact, wrong. And that leads to students not wanting to speak up, so nothing really changes.
My main rule of thumb is “Don’t be a dick”.
Everyone breaks that rule every now and then - we’re only human - but some people don’t consider it to be very important, and those are people I don’t work with and don’t recommend as a teacher or coach or performer or human being to spend time around.
What else can you do?