Friday, November 10, 2006

Directing

Am I directing this play? I am no longer sure. That is what I was asked to do by my friend and colleague. She is a very capable, trained, diligent actor and doesn't need much hand-holding. I watch, listen, reflect, pull her in new directions vocally and physically. Help her keep the frame around the story clear. We frame one room, then the next, then the next, and build a little house.

She has ideas, and they are good ones. My tendency is to say yes and incorporate, as you might throw a ball to a juggler in the midst of their routine, so they can include it with the other things in the air. I "direct" it - incorporate it and say, "Okay, this way." Occasionally I say no.
She says, "I am used to Ed and Peter who give me pages and pages of notes." On a twenty-minute piece? Yes, probably so. I've worked with those guys, too. They direct you down to their pinky; and they do it well enough, provided you have the ability and willingness to realize their vision.

Not me. I don't like directing that way. You're not here to realize my vision. You're here to tell the story your way, with everything you've got, and I'm here to assist you.
Especially with the material we are working with, this bit of agit-tainment, this rollicking satirical piece about politics, this rock and roll song of a play which we perform sitting on buckets wearing Chucky Taylors (me) or barefoot (her).

Then I notice that I'm not really in charge of rehearsal anyway, and have to struggle to get the floor back for - well, for giving her those notes she wanted. May I steer this boat?

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