INTERVIEW WITH CONRAD ALEXANDROWICZ:
FM: What is your experience with/opinions on mentorship?
CA: My first directing teacher would essentially direct the show through you until he trusted that you were able to make some successful decisions. My actual mentorships (the Shaw Festival director’s mentorship as well as self-initiated mentorship) were so hands-off. I watched
FM: Are there limitations to mentorship?
CA: There’s this weird Canadian fear about getting someone’s hands dirty and getting specific with somebody about what they ought to do.
FM:What are your views on formalized mentorship programs?
CA: I think it’s much more developed in other art forms – I have a feeling that in music it is much more defined how this relationship is supposed to work.
FM: Why are mentorships not more readily available?
CA: It’s a function of marginalization and impoverishment…and operating as a form of entertainment that is secondary to film and television.
FM:What makes a good mentor?
CA: It turns into a battle of egos at a certain point. A really good mentor is someone who knows how to enter into a negotiation with somebody. You have to let someone find their way and, at the same time, be a guide.
Advice to those seeking an apprenticeship?
CA: You have to make it up on your own.
CONRAD ALEXANDROWICZ is a director, writer and choreographer, and the artistic director of Wild Excursions Performance. He teaches movement for actors, and continues his explorations into that mysterious territory where dance and theatre overlap.