A directors prerogative. How did I decide that I was ready and that I was finally capable to direct a show?
I can honestly say that I don’t think I’m ready. Not 100%, to be totally honest. But…I’m ready to answer the calls made of and by directors. How do I know? I’ve spent the last year observing other directors and answering questions in my head. Okay, sometimes I answer them out loud and overstep my boundaries. I back up. It’s not my show, it’s not my vision. But sometimes my answer is used in the directors vision. It works for them and it works for me.
I like the idea of walking away from something that has a bit of me in it–that I can see myself on stage even when I’m not the actor.
I knew I was further along in my development to be a leader when directors, whom I was or was not yet working with, asked my opinion or sought my insight into their shows. I was valued for my eye and my suggestions were utilized more and more–and not just for costumes or make up. I was solving problems. I stepped into the shoes easier than I thought but I say this with the caveat, I’m still testing the size and seeing how I fit into the spectrum of being a productive director.
I decided that I should further test my capabilities by actually diving head first. It was my second year at my black box and I had sat on the board for a year. An opportunity was positioned to by our General Productions Chairperson to host a summer festival of one acts. I don’t know where his inspiration came from but it was brilliant and I wanted in. Fortunately, not only was I burgeoning in productive and production value, but I was also on good terms with the board and GPC–I got a slot as director.
In fact…I got two slots as director. I had two shows under my control. Now I don’t know how much you know about one act shows but they aren’t 40-60 minutes, they can be, but sometimes they are under 10 minutes. I had two, they averaged 11-15 minutes each and were centered on two women suffering a loss. One was a familial loss and the other was a loss of self.
I did everything that would’ve been asked of a ‘real’ director–set design (which was minimal since I shared the stage with several other shows), costumes (which I assisted or handled for all of the shows), make up (again…assisted with all of the shows), blocking, lighting, and casting. It was an whirlwind experience that only last four months but were some of the best moments of my life. I started this blog after the beginning of the end from last years OneActs. I learned so many new skills and opportunity areas within myself that I’m taking into this production.
So, here I am, providing my plan of plans and what I hope to accomplish by the end of October. This gives me a bit of leeway before auditions to change and fully relish and marinate with my designs. These will be done in no particular order but I hope you enjoy what I draw up:
- Show aura
- Set design–including lobby, seating, and flooring
- Costume design–this should be interesting, my mother and aunt are helping me with these items.
- Light design
- Musical intent–including entrances and exits (this means who all is supposed to be on stage based on preceding and following scenes)
- Choreography intent–including entrances and exits (” “)
- Production staff meeting
- Thank you gifts
- Director bio, note, live curtain speech
It’s not the biggest list but it contains a lot of minor details–should I use LEDs, do I need two baritones, I don’t think I want dancing here, etc.–that could make or break a show. Things will have to be weighed heavily and remain subject to change upon casting and any limitations I may or may not have considered once we are up and running. Flexible.
Damn. I knew I should’ve stuck with yoga. ‘Til next time.