As I am sure you are aware, I have directed countless plays and musicals. Honestly, I quit counting when I was around two hundred. No matter how many times I direct, however, there are certain occuramces that I experience each time.
Now listen folks, I can save you TIME if you’ll apply my lessons to your directing experience. (I probably sound your mom, don’t I? Sorry.)
1. The play or musical will always be challenging in ways I didn’t expect.
2. I require the actors to remain quiet and respectful of me and others when rehearsal is in process. I can’t creatively problem solve if there is unnecessary noise around me. It distracts me.
3. Some props, costume or set piece will cost more than was budgeted. The miscellaneous money I set aside is for this purpose. Use the miscellaneous money, if you don’t, there may not be any the next time.
4. Someone in the show won’t jibe with everyone else in the cast, even if it is a one person show. No, really. Working with people and their many personalities is tiring and challenging. The bigger the cast, the more issues arise. Some actors only think of themselves. They aren’t team players. I can’t fix a person’s personality in the time I have to rehearse and produce a show. I just smile and keep my opinion to myself until I’m at home with a glass of wine in my hand. 😊
5. Usually, I can direct a particular actor in a creative and inspire manner. But, sometimes NOTHiNG will work until the opening night curtain closes. Just as there can be a nonteam player in my cast, it’s not unusual to have someone who resists my direction. Some people lack confidence and novices are some of the most reluctant to trust me. However, once a show opens I find that a person’s resistance to my direction eases. I wait for them to come to me, then I try to direct them again.
Diary of Anne Frank March 2012
6. Actors can be challenged to attempt far more than is asked of them and I require a lot. “People don’t care how much you know, until they know much you care” is a motto I live by. Socializing with my cast, asking them about their day, job, school life or family helps me. Creating a safe environment in which to take risks is essential. Just think about it–some people are never challenged at their jobs, complimented or acknowledged. I can do that for them. What a heady experience that must be for someone.
7. If I rehearse the cast in a methodical and steady manner, we will make opening night in good shape. I don’t like to over rehearse or if I am acting, to be over rehearsed myself. Usually play can be rehearsed in three or four weeks with an additional week for tech. A musical will take about six weeks to ready. That’s enough!
8. I always warm up my actors or ask that they warm up prior to the curtain each night. It is tough to focus at the beginning of a rehearsal. I ask my actor to socialize prior to rehearsal time, so we can begin on time and end on time.
I love to direct, I honestly do. My resume is proof of that.
Go to the next post and find the rest of my lessons I learned to make directing less stressful.
Contact me at Dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or Deborahbaldwin.net
You can find my award winning book at: https://www.amazon.com/Bumbling-Bea-Deborah-Baldwin/dp/1500390356/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476890703&sr=8-1&keywords=bumbling+bea