Directing is hard.
Throughout my career thus far, I have encountered (for the most part) really amazing directors. In film, television, and theatre, I’ve been pretty lucky. However, I’ve also learned the differences between a good director and a BAD director.
-make sure you know what the script is about
-ask you a lot of questions about your character
-let you find the character for yourself
-give you actions
-help you find your objectives in a scene
-give honest feedback
-give line readings
-direct by result. Example “Be more angry!” PET PEEVE PET PEEVE PET PEEVE
-say things like “Well, we don’t really need this scene I guess.”
-sugarcoat or, conversely, throw salt on wounds
-tell you your character is “just different from the other characters.”
So as some of you may know, I am co-directing an original work titled, “Blessed Event,” written by Jim Hetrick. He is co-directing the show as well. As a whole, I like to think with me focusing on emotional content and how to suck it out actors, and him focusing on the overall arc of the show, and characterization, that we can somehow direct it well. Of course, it’s more than that, and certainly isn’t black and white.
However, on the VERY first day of rehearsal I found myself saying things like, “Yeah, you really wanna be like, ‘LINE READING HERE.'” Suddenly, I had become my own worst enemy. I hated myself in that moment. HOW DARE I. I just betrayed my actor friends. So since then, I have made sure to carefully choose actions rather than say things like “Yo, do this. Like I do.” No way!
Sometimes, though, I like to yell things like, “BE BRILLIANT! Like THE LIGHT!” Just to confuse everyone and sound pretentious.
It’s been interesting directing with Jim as well. It’s strange because sometimes we open our mouths to say the same thing at the same time! At least it’s good to know we’re on the same page about our actors and where they are taking their characters / the scenes.
This play is hilarious. But it’s also so terribly sad in certain parts. It’s been wonderful to see the actors go to really vulnerable places, and then experience it myself on the outside.
http://www.windhamtheatreguild.org for more info about the show. We have a one-weekend run: March 4th-March 6th, 2011. BE there.
Verdict: Directing is fun and awesome. But I’m an actor, baby.
P.S. I cast my ballot in the SAG Awards today! HELL YEAH.