Amalgamation of Life

Jive

When cast members don’t jive together, even when a show.. forces them to do so together!

I’d like to say that it isn’t easy being forced with people onto a stage to memorize lines, directions, dance in itchy costumes and have relationships that are supposed to be years old. It’s this surreal mix of reality and fantasy on stage, and either a cast has it or they don’t. Sometimes it’s a worry for directors–what if it’s never believable to an audience that these folks work together in their faux business or families?

What do you do?

Little.

You can’t force the issue and you can’t ignore the issue. Sometimes it takes Group B longer than it did Group A. Sometimes, and this is no one’s fault, it’s easier because of the content of the show. It’s depressive nature might encourage groups to come together and be joyful and full of camaraderie. It might not be possible.

I think this is highly likely as a show gets larger or smaller. Large shows, cliques form and segments between leads or dancers or tenured and new actors can happen easier. You’re all in this together but only for people like you. In smaller casts, it’s easier to get and stay lost in your own problems as there are less distractions and every one is usually focused on their roles solely (or what cues another actor has for them and vice versa).

Group encouragement can work but it can come across forced. Getting casts to remain manageable and yet in sync, is this careful balance to achieve success for your show. It’s important to invest in the individuals, the group, and the show–a director has to ensure all persons (person including the show as an entity of itself) are heard, honored, and glorified. I think it comes down to a valuing combination–persons will be successful when their opinions don’t fall in deaf ears, recognized for trying something new/coming out of their shell, and are recognized for their great moments.

It can happen. Don’t let these moments discourage you from trying to break through–but listen to those around you and be the malleable one. Be the ear, the medal, and the pedestal for your cast and staff–they are there to make you look good, you need to be there to make them look good, too. ‘Til next time.

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