Amalgamation of Life

Disneyland and Directing

Oh boy,

  • 7 blogs written for the Month of July
    • Focus only one on Disneyland trip

I TRIED SO HARD TO MAKE IT FIT IN ONLY ONE BLOG POST. But frankly, I thought it deserved two – and I have an honest to goodness reason – because I was able to segment what I wanted to speak to in about… 1500 words?  That’s a bit long in tooth for an amateur blogger.  I found *hopefully* the natural split and tada!  The first of two!

Part I

Can someone vacation while planning a show?  It wasn’t easy, but somehow I did it.  I think.  As if I hadn’t mentioned this enough yet but my directorial debut is coming up and I thought the best way to celebrate was… drumroll please … go to Disneyland![1]  If professional football players can do it, why can’t I?  It’s an achievement to complete a show.  Actually, I don’t know if I did it – at least not yet, the show doesn’t open until tonight but I’ve written this throughout my journey.

It may have been a mistake but I went on vacation during tech week.  Whoops?  We all know how stressful it is to partake in a tech week – especially as a first-time director.  I’m kind of OK that I don’t get to see my show until opening night – maybe that’s not for everyone but to me, it’s a bit of a relief.

While personality test tells me I am a Type B, my friends and I all agree that I am closer to a Type A personality.

I need to be in control.

I need to own the lights, the sounds, the actors and set.

This show became a bit of a cluster jam.  It is multiple one-act shows with a single producer-turned-director focused on various comedic themes and energies.  My two (yes two) can be interpreted as sad (what is the difference between a comedy and drama… a happy ending) but I find them to be quite lively and stimulating – that is, after all, why I picked them, right?  I scheduled out the rehearsals well in advance, aligning the schedules of five individuals was no easy picnic but I fortunately had a flexible cast which made it easier than most of the other directors.

I knew immediately that Tech week fell into the last leg of my vacation.  I did, however, have plenty of opportunity to cancel the vacation – three months of rehearsals for my debut or two months and a break before my debut?  I asked the cast, individually, how they felt about potentially have two tech weeks.  The standard one lead by the producer(-turned-director) where the tech and show is run to perfection to the brink of the actors and production staffs mental breaking point.  Then a second one, to precede the standard tech week, where my two shows rehearsed back to back.  Good idea, right?

It was.
Until directors realized their shows had not scheduled appropriate rehearsal time on stage and requested more time in the theatre space (yes, two months in and some were just realizing they needed the stage).  Mind boggling, I assure you. The stage plot of my shows was fortunately small, maybe a ten to eleven-foot circumference and up until a week and a half before the standard tech, we had rehearsed on the stage multiple times or in a space extremely similar that blended itself well to the actor’s blocking.

Pun intended: I let it go.
I let it all go.
I cancelled my tech week once I synchronized the lights and sounds, ran each show one more time the week prior to my vacation and I let it go.  There is only so much a director can do – you become so entranced with the work that you forget and lose sight of the big picture.  I was beginning to do that.  I couldn’t answer questions or develop new ideas when tasked with a problem from my tech or Stage Manager.  Fortunately, again, I had amazing ladies who had captured and developed the essence of their roles which provided them an opportunity to answer as their characters.

This is the beginning of success for directors.  My next post will provide some insight into my trip and how I believe I’ll use it in future endeavors, ‘til next time.

[1] The trip to Disneyland was planned before the directing opportunity developed – I had to work doubly hard to meet not only my personal agenda but the producers demands before leaving with a clear conscious

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