When I get to it today, I hope, I'm going to consider the Millennial generation. Most of us live in a generation ghetto with little opportunity to cross the boundaries of age, occupation, status, income and so on, unless we happen to be related to or live with or- best- work with a person of another generation I have been fortunate enough recently to crross the line and meet with a few Millennials almost as if we were contemporary. Almost because I was just visiting. I'll tell you about it.
LATER: I left you with a promise to consider Millenials. Well first, the age range:
Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 22-37 in 2018) will be considered a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 onward will be part of a new generation. (That would be Generation Z, I think.)
My grandchildren are Millennials. I have a pretty good relationship with them, especially with the ones who live in Toronto, but it’s family not peer.
I think I told you last week that I attended a gathering arranged by the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, of which I am a member. This one was set up for playwrights to meet designers, ten of each. We introduced ourselves, explained our purpose and tossed out ideas, if any, then we mingled and chatted. My purpose was to meet some people who are still active (alive). As you know, I am so old I have lost most of my contacts: producers, directors, publishers, agents, etc.They are dead, retired or have lost their marbles. I’m up here, all alone with my marbles.. So I wanted to meet some live ones.
I talked to an interesting writer/director/manager/designer? Alex Dault has a theatre of his own; he's A.D. of Theatre by the Bay in Barrie. I wrote him the next day, telling him that I had lived in Muskoka for 16 years and had a play written for a rural (not rustic) community. He told me that he has lines on appropriate (new) plays but he graciously invited me to attend a play-reading evening the following Monday – in Barrie, of course.
I don’t have a car any more so I needed to find a driver who cares about theatre and who might be interested in seeing what this generation is doing. Three plays were up for reading that night. We left before the last and longest one because we had to get back to Toronto. But we had a good, interactive time, listening and sharing, even daring to make the odd comment in the discussion following each reading.
Now, about those Millennials. I’ll give you a capsule generalization I picked up online.
“Generations exhibit similar characteristics—such as communication, shopping, and motivation preferences—because they experienced similar trends at approximately the same life stage and through similar channels (e.g., online, TV, mobile, etc.). Generation-shaping trends are most influential as people come of age, which means that members of a particular generation will develop and share similar values, beliefs, and expectations. It is important to remember that at an individual level, everyone is different. But looking at people through a generational lens offers useful predictability for those trying to reach, inform, or persuade a large cross-section of a population.”
They have a sense of entitlement, which is supposed to be their general recognizable characteristic. That’s because their parents, the Boomers, wanted to give them everything and make their lives better than their parents'.
Mind you, theatre minds are different again, but they profit by their cohorts. That sense of entitlement gives them confidence; love of theatre gives them passion; their expectations give them high hopes (glass half full).
“Instead of complaining about adapting for millennials, it’s imperative for leaders and managers to acknowledge the role of millennial behavior as an indication of the needs of the modern workplace to attract, leverage, and retain modern talent.”― Crystal Kadakia, The Millennial Myth: Transforming Misunderstanding Into Workplace Breakthroughs
I really enjoyed the evening discovering current talent. It’s a good thing we went on Monday; the weather and the roads since have been dreadful. As it was, the driving was easy and we had a good time.