How is coaching different from directing?

It’s a really good question, and one that I continue to unravel for myself. There are similarities and crossovers, but there are also some distinct differences. Here’s what the Venn diagram feels like to me between directing and coaching:

When I’m directing:

  • My role is to offer an outside eye as we move toward a shared vision of the play or film.
  • I am constantly asking myself, ‘Is the story we want to tell being communicated clearly?’
  • There’s a timeline and part of my role is to guide your work in such a way that we stay true to that timeline.
  • In the balance of process and product, I am responsible for ensuring that there is a show or a film or whatever the end ‘product’ may be.

When I’m coaching:

  • My role is to offer an outside eye as we move toward your vision for your own creative practice and needs.
  • I am constantly asking myself, ‘Is the growth I am seeing moving in the direction of their own, self-determined goals?’
  • When there’s an audition timeline that’s present, I am working at the pace of your overarching learning journey. Meaning, I am seeing your work on this audition as only a small part of a longer journey toward your own growth goals.
  • In the balance of process and product, I am responsible for helping you gain clarity on a creative process that works for you.

Whether I’m in a director’s role or a coaching role, I’m acting as an outside eye, offering you feedback on what I’m seeing from your work. For me, both directing and coaching are collaborative processes, although not all directors may work that way. And finally, at the end of the day, whether I’m your director or your coach, it is vital to me that you feel seen and heard throughout our time together.
A Venn Diagram showing similarities and differences between coaching and directing.
Coaching is also more expansive than directing, in terms of what we can work on. Yes, we can work on your audition pieces — AND, we can also:

  • Talk about how perfectionism is inhibiting your work.
  • Explore exercises for bringing joy back to your process.
  • Bust some industry myths and restore your sense of agency in your career.
  • Disrupt cycles of burnout.
  • Craft your love ethic, a set of principles designed to radically shift how you approach work and rest in your creative practice.
  • and so much more…

So: tell me about what’s got you creatively stuck these days. What’s your vision for what you’d like to be doing, and what’s in your way?

I’ll respond in the next email of ‘Rest & Love in Creative Living.’

Until then, seek ease and rest today.

With love,