And We Begin In Three Days…

just a dream

I have always wanted to try my hand at directing.  Partly for the experience, partly because it would be different, but mostly because I wanted to see if I could tell a story in a different way.

Almost exactly a year ago, I had asked the producer of “Sugar” about apprentice opportunities for directing and she said “I will put your name on our contacts list just in case something comes up.”  I was totally satisfied with that and happily continued the rehearsal when they were ready for me to pop back into the scene.  I had asked another company the same thing and got the same answer so it wasn’t unexpected.

Little did I know that three weeks later I would be asked to present an idea to sit IN the director’s seat of Jesus Christ Superstar.  Ever since I found out it was in the season, all I thought about was auditioning to play Judas one more time.  At first, I didn’t know what to say.  Do I jump at the chance knowing that I have never done anything like this and have no training for it?  I had a little dilemma. After taking a few days to think about it, I decided “Why not?”  Sure this could mean that if this goes horribly wrong, I may never get the chance to do this again.  But if it goes right…

Rehearsals are right around the corner, and to say that I am excited is an understatement.  I have been thinking about the show for the last 8 months! Regardless of my nerves, I really think that this is going to be the best learning experience of my life.  Not only is it a chance to try something new  and in the realm of theatre, but it will allow me to strengthen skills that I can use anywhere and in any job.

Listening:  I like to think that I do a pretty darn good job of listening to people.  In any theatrical endeavor, collaborating with everyone is essential, and that means listening to everyone’s concerns, ideas, and criticisms.

Problem Solving: Taking all that information and making it useful or addressing why the information can’t be used.

Decision Making:  I never knew how much planning and questions I would have to answer even BEFORE auditions.  I am usually a “feely” kind of decider.  So if something feels right or not is how I usually decide.  With a project like this, I had to learn to look ahead and see if the decision would affect anything else in the show.

Time Management:  Once the ball gets rolling, there isn’t much time to waste  getting all the ducks in a row.  I really need to be wary on how I use every minute of rehearsal time so that the actors aren’t sitting around. It’s not fair to them to make them spend their time waiting if I can help it.   Also, I have to make sure that all the pieces are put together well in advance of tech week.  My goal is to have the show running two weeks before tech.

I can bet that the management at the nursery will love this.  It’s amazing at how many skills one can acquire and/or develop in the Arts and yet the educational system deems them less than “academics.”  It’s a real damn shame.

Like I said, I never thought I would have this kind of chance this quickly, so I am nervous about this but once we get into the swing of things, I feel like it will be SUPER!!

Using New Eyes To See My World…

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The first rule of improv is to always say “Yes.”

Lots of things have been happening at a much quicker pace than I would like for them to do so, BUT I am taking a page from improv for the time being.
I have been given keys to the nursery! Not sure if it’s a promotion, but I have them.
There’s only three weeks before we open WVLO’s 9-5.
Only one more reading for The Killing Jar for New Play Development Factory over at the Dragon Theatre in Redwood City, then THAT ends.

Before I know it, it will be winter and my work on Jesus Christ Superstar must begin.

Keeping this in mind, I have begun to really watch “my world,” be it at the nursery or in rehearsals for any show, with a special emphasis on interactions.
How do people interact with each other? When they are having a conversation, are they REALLY listening? I watch the eyes so see if the mind is already forming things to say which means that the person isn’t fully engaged. I’ve personally experienced this. Where I have been the one that wasn’t fully listening, that is. When I find myself doing that, I try to have the person repeat what was said if it wasn’t too long.

I used the picture above, because in a way I feel sort of detached as I watch people. Being a “people person,” it makes it hard not to want to connect and be a part of everything.

But, I need to practice my watching skills.

However, in doing so, I have found that some of the interactions I witness are saddening.

In my theatre world, I have been taught that when people are working in the room, one must either pay attention (even if you aren’t the one working) or remove yourself from the room as quietly and without disruption. Anything else is disrespectful.

I am always trying to learn something new so I would be the type to pay attention. Should the need to talk to a fellow cast mate arise, either to ask or answer a question, it will always be done in a whisper so as not to disturb the others.

I would like to say that I find it surprising that people don’t seem to understand these little actions of respect for others are important. Weeellll, I suppose when I really think about it, I realize I shouldn’t be. Our digital age has brought us to the period of “Look at Me! Look at Me!” with the advent of youtube and video recording phones.

I guess what I miss seeing is simple manners.

Whatever happened to them?

All I know is that I am watching and I am going to remember come auditions for JCS.