Symposia review: K. Jenny Jones and “Consent Culture: Creating Safe and Brave Spaces”
by Amy Ippolito

Attending K. Jenny Jones’ workshop was something that I was illuminating, insightful and in my opinion the most important panel during this symposium. Jones talked about how as actors when coming into the rehearsal space, we are coming to work, “it’s business, it’s not personal its not “I” as the actor, it’s “I” the character.” I think it is an extremely important thing to keep in mind and something that tends to be forgotten in the rehearsal space by actors but especially as directors.

My favorite quotes from this panel said by K. Jenny Jones:

“actors strengthen human weakness”
“giving actors agency to say no in a ‘yes and’ world”
“you don’t owe anyone our story, it’s professional not personal, you can just say no. You don’t have to apologize or explain.”

What I love about those quotes is that it is giving control back to the actor and remembering that we are here to do a job and we shouldn’t be expected to do things we are uncomfortable with or do not want to do because the director wants it. Which is something that I personally struggle with because it is so ingrained in our community that if you aren’t willing to do anything that you are not castable. Actors are there to give a voice to the story not help the director with their ego.

This was an important workshop for many reasons, I did not touch on what the actual workshop entailed but it was so incredibly worth it. But one of the reasons that this workshop that was so great it was re-enforcing that just because the actors job is to “play” and tell the story it doesn’t mean that you should be expected to have your guards down and do everything and anything the director or your scene partner asks because you’re an actor even though you are clearly uncomfortable.

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