Snapshots from Green Victoria (tedwords) wrote,
Snapshots from Green Victoria

I thought I'd share this...I liked the way I phrased this response. A friend of mine just asked me to sit in on several rehearsals of a play she's directing, and had the following comment: "Although you could have been frustrated at times during Oklahoma! you appeared calm and collected. I have to learn to chill out.I've never directed for @@@@ and realized I will be producing aspects of this as well. Does this happen to all directors?"

My response was:

"I'd be more than happy to stop in to a rehearsal or two and talk you about what I see! Just let me know when you think it's ready to be shown to the likes of me :)

As for getting all tense about managing all the different components of a show, I think it's quite common. Corb will tell you that I freaked out at least once a day during the rehearsal/production of
Oklahoma...even leading up to auditions. That's why I take it REAAAAL easy after the shows over...just to learn to mellow out again.

The trick, I've discovered, is to focus on the organization and the process, and clarify, as best you can, what your vision for the play is going to be. You don't have to have all the answers; in fact, you
shouldn't have to. It's the foolish director, I think, that thinks they know it all better than anyone else in the production, because a production SHOULD be collaborative, and should involve input from the
actors as well as the other designers involved in the production. But, you do have to have a sense regarding what direction you want to move in.

Think about all the different components you need to handle, or meet with the appropriate designer to discuss. And write down your thoughts, so you can articulate them, either verbally or in a written
format, as necessary. Start putting together the rehearsal schedule. Contact sheet. Costume design suggestions. Lighting suggestions. Set. Props. Beforehand, read the play, over and over again. Secure sources. If you're like me, make certain that the structure of the play in its written form is what you want (I am notorious for restructuring plays...for example, for Kiss Me Kate, I am seriously considering opening the show with "Another Opening, Another Show"
and THEN moving into the overture. Will that fly? Probably not, but it's something I am considering at this stage.)

Each night before rehearsal, think about what you want to accomplish. Review your schedule, but be flexible to make changes, if needed. Think about what you're going to say at the start of each rehearsal. Develop bullet points, five or six, each night.

And, above all, try never to panic. Actors don't need to see that. They're like sharks--at the first sign of blood in the water, they'll eat you alive! No, seriously, remember: everyone involved in the show has one desire--they want the show to go up. They want a successful opening night. So, keep that opening night in mind, and the applause that will accompany it, and also, keep in mind that you are an artist and want that play to be an expression of your artistry. And then, remember that classic quote from Frank Herbert, from Dune:

I will not fear
Fear is the mindkiller,
Fear is the little death
That brings total Oblivion
I will permit my fear to pass
Over me and through me
And where it has gone
I will turn the inner eye
Nothing will be there
Only I will remain.

Hope this helps, my friend! ~ted
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