I don’t like ‘night Mother because it’s long and capital D depressing. And for me it put the proof to that fact that I was never going to be a genuine good actress, performer sure, but not an actress.  So besides the ideal circumstances of the venue, the scale, and my job, I got over my dislike for the show because unless you are a high school teacher, directors don’t get to pick their shows.  So that’s that.  You have to take the opportunities that come. If you wait around for the board to pick just the right thing you may be waiting forever.

Another proposal

June 19, 2009

I think that I’m a glutton for punishment, because I put in an application to direct at TLT again this year. I really didn’t do much on the getting experience front because, you know I was feeling that generous to them, and they never followed through on, well, anything. And I’m here to report that that trend has not come to an end. I requested access to the scripts for the season and somehow they were all gone, so then I was going to have them emailed to me. Well today, one month after proposals were due, I still haven’t any scripts besides the one that I decided to go and get from the library myself.

Enough whining.

So I decided to do a proposal for (shhhh don’t tell the committee) one of my least favorite shows, ‘night Mother. But the confluence of circumstances made this show one that I was actually likely to get a shot at. First it’s being produced in the “Coffee House” i.e. lobby. That means smaller scale and smaller budget. The show itself has very few technical elements, a unit set, a semi-modern setting and a cast of two. I think that means that they will be less nervous to have a novice at the helm. And besides that I have performed in a scene from the show, and I work in mental health. So that seemed to work because I had an interview on Wednesday, one step further than last year when I just got a no thank you call. The interview went well, I felt very prepared. And it was pretty fun to just talk about my plans, my understanding of the show, the challenges that I saw. I was little surprised that they didn’t ask me more esoteric questions, like “how do you view your role as a director”, or my favorite from district talk backs for student directed scenes, when two years in a row I got asked “what were you going for in this scene?” Instead they talked specifics of my draft scenic design and what I would look for in auditions, and how I would get a stage manager, mainly very practical things. At the end they asked if there was anything else that I’d like to share. I’m still a bit conflicted about if this was the right thing to say, and I felt nervous and looked at the ground a bit too much I think. But I told them that I hoped that my lack of experience would not be the final deciding factor, I of course elaborated a bit about how I was prepared and I think that this was the right next step. I just hope I didn’t come off desperate. I took up my whole 30 minutes allotted, and hey I would pick me. We’ll see, I’m supposed to be getting an email any day now.

Theatre Drama

September 4, 2008

Today was the opening night of The Fantasticks, the show that I applied to direct. I went see it last night at the free preview. Now what to say about that? If I hadn’t been involved with it I’d probably say it was a great production. The cast was excellent. The girl who played Louisa is a go to belter (with a lovely voice) who I found surprisingly good with the operatic notes that she was required to sing. She was also really charming in a role that can easily be annoyingly fake. So all star cast to her. The rest of the show was populated by talents as well.

My problem was that the show was largely a rip off of the original production. I sent so much time thinking about how to make it inovative (particuarly the production design) that I found the choices (or anti-choices) to be pretty lazy. I’m struggling to come up with anything that was not found in the stage directions that didn’t deal with addressing the larger space and taking out the need for a trap door. I guess the only thing was the actors came through the audience about 4 times (not bad because it was used to represent a journey …most of the time. Other wise pretty verbatim from the script and the costuming as well was a copy of the NY production. That’s just boring to me. If it was me I’d want more of my touch on the piece. I doesn’t matter really to the audience who likely is not familiar with the original production, so its a good production that likely will not be criticized. But the committee who selected the directors picked her over me. My proposal was like 12 pages long describing my plan… but hers could be summed up as “I’ll do just what it says in the script.” Whatever. I don’t have enough experience.

I sent another terse email last week asking about how they were going to be providing me with experience that was promised. I wasn’t answered (surprise, surprise.) The ED came up to me and said “we were so busy with Guys and Dolls” (the show that’s been over for about a month) “and we’re still looking for a director for Crimes of the Heart “… blah blah blah, “I promise I’m not ignoring you” (right!)

I don’t know what to think really. They are happy to take my help to stuff envelopes and build set and house manage and run crew but they stone wall me on the things that I really want to do. I guess that’s why some people start their own theater companies. Three more weeks and then I think I’ll go to the board and see what they have to say. It makes me want to hit someone.

I’m going to a workshop at the little theater today. One thing about losing half of your funding is that you have to provide some more content that people will pay for. So today’s song selection for auditions will set me back 10 dollars. I think they had an acting audition workshop 2 weeks ago that was 25 dollars so maybe they are lowering the price to get more people to come. The readings of children’s literature seem to be going well too. The formerly free “Actor’s Workshop” (which is mainly a place to go and present work and your fellow actors critique it) will now be costing $5 per session. And I guess that doesn’t bode well for a free director’s workshop. I asked about it one more time and still no info is forthcoming. I even volunteered to help coordinate it. No wonder I can’t get a job… people won’t even let me work for free. Which reminds me that auditions for “The Fantasticks” are tomorrow. Announcements of the directors for the season were finally made, and there are still two positions open. I told the executive director that she should find some one with more experience but maybe less availability and we could collaborate. Again no word.

My totally unoriginal idea to get some cash flow… charge the actors. You could have audition or costume or production fees. Scholarship and fundraising opportunities will be available of course. Maybe they could work off their fees in the box office. It’s a supply and demand thing. I think there were like 50 girls who auditioned for Guys and Dolls, think of all that money.

I’ve been reading a new blog written by a NY theatre producer. He offers insight and opinion on all sorts of topics but my favorites are the ones when he gives us the blow by blow of what’s going on in his experience. So in that spirit (and since I haven’t written about theatre in a bit) I offer a glimpse into the trials of a stage manager from when I was putting out fires for “Once on this Island” a year ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Not so Fantastick

June 5, 2008

So I was not selected to direct the first show of the TLT season. I spent five or six hours working on my proposal but it all comes down to “not enough experience” Wow that’s familiar. How do you get experience if no one will hire you? The message I got was that they enjoyed reading my proposal but were going with someone with more experience. We’ll have to see who that is, and how they do. Experience certainly doesn’t make you easier to get along with, that’s for sure. So… they told me that I should AD a show this season and participate in the upcoming director’s workshops. I expect to have to be proactive on that point too. Maybe I’m just feeling bitter. But I’ll hold them accountable. I wish they had interviewed me. Oh yeah, and I didn’t go to the Guys and Dolls audition, so that is bumming me out too.

So here are some of my extra great ideas that TLT missed out on.

  • using a ladder as the tree
  • letting women play the fathers
  • burlap and rope everywhere
  • modern costuming
  • no hats
  • conductor onstage
  • fancy trap door box
  • Oh… and a swing… I mean how great would it be to have a swing onstage. You really missed out on that one. Come on… a swing!

So we’ll see if I have enough experience next year, if I’m still in Tallahassee that is. Oh and there is also supposed to be a new works festival so maybe I’ll crack out some pages for “Under the Greenwood Tree.”

Praising time

October 29, 2007

I was liturgist at the 9:45 and 11 service today. I forgot to lead the affirmation till someone reminded me but other than that things went great. One bone to pick Praise and Worship was boring. I mean it was fine but it was boring. And then the band forgot to sing the melody… I think that they realized it eventually but it was a bit awkward when all 3 singers where harmonizing with nothing.

And Dracula, SO cheesy. Please, please.