Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Patroness of the Arts

I'm directing a play right now - my first in a very long time. It turns out that it's not exactly like riding a bicycle. You remember things - remind the actors to pause here for a laugh that better be coming after that line, set up different levels so not everything happens on the same plane, use three-dimensional space, can that prop be used in a different way that what the audience is going to expect and so on - but so much of directing has nothing to do with the script. As is true of everything, it's about relationships.

Performing in any form is at least a little masochistic. You're putting yourself out there and, no matter what, when someone says they don't like it; on some level, they're talking about you. And that's tough to take. And heaven knows, everyone's got an opinion. However, it comes down to one person's take on things; their "vision," if you will. And in this show, it's mine. So if it sucks, well, that's my fault, but my actors are going to take the brunt of it, since they're the ones onstage. Of course, if it's a blazing success, they get the glory, since they're the ones onstage. It may not be pretty, but that's the math of it.

So you must, must, must work with people you trust. People who understand that a good show sometimes means shifting focus away from them and onto another actor. People who understand that backstage work gets little glory, but nothing happens onstage without the people wearing the stage blacks. And when it's an all-volunteer organization, all of this becomes heightened.

How will it all work out? Ask me in ten days. It's a good script and I have good people. But there's plenty of work to do. I'll see if I can add some pictures from rehearsals . . .


Stacked Librarian said...

It will be great! I've read the script and the little bit I saw during rehearsal made me laugh out loud, even though I remembered some of the jokes. Fear not. Or at least, try not to fear so much. All will be well.

Akin said...

Well, all I know is that I can't wait for opening night! I know it'll br great!