As many of you already know, I work in the film industry as a stunt performer. I also work as a background performer in between stunt days, to keep gaining on-set experience, keep up-to-date about industry goings-on, and to make extra cash. In doing so, I end up being put in social situations to help manufacture the atmosphere of the film.
Since you don’t always get to choose who you’ll interact with and the ways in which you’ll be interacting, sometimes you end up having to be in social situations with people you might not be 100% comfortable. Now if all people involved behaved in a way that was purely professional, without crossing natural personal space boundaries, all would be good. Unfortunately, not everyone abides by the same code of conduct. While it is rare that someone would do something that was clearly crossing the line, a lot of subtle personal space invasions occur on set, ones that are harder to identify as such. I imagine this sort of thing also happens in the normal working world, but when you’re on set, people are more likely to do it in the guise of trying to “set the scene” and “act in character,” making it easier to dismiss as an innocent mistake, either in the mind of the recipient as well as in active defense of the perpetrator. (more…)