I didn’t get a directing job, one I really wanted. I had traveled to a remote Southern community for a three-day interview, and fallen in love with the place and the people and the project.
To be honest, I knew I wasn’t going to get the job before my feet touched home soil. Apparently, my interviewers knew I wouldn’t get the job before meeting me. The playwright confessed to me, the night before I flew home, that one of the organizers told her the male candidate would, in all likelihood, get hired, because they thought a man would be able to get more done in the community, a pretty hard-core old school phallocracy (with, to be fair, pockets of wonderful backwoods radicals). In hindsight, I should have known–one woman, upon meeting me, didn’t even say hello–just hooted out, “well you don’t look near old enough to’ve directed anything!”
Yes, my competition was twice my age, and a man. He’s from a community grappling with similar problems of post-industrial depression. He was altogether the safer choice.
I knew I wouldn’t get it, but the actual rejection phone call did rankle. The rarity of the opportunity, the novelty of the community and the organization sponsoring the project, makes the loss harder.