The Adventures of a First Time Director: Halfway There

Wow, I can’t believe that our show is only one month away from opening week!  It’s so crazy to think that soon everyone will be seeing all the hard work that the cast and Emily and I, have been putting into our show.  As excited I am for everyone to see what I’ve been working on the past couple of months, at the same time I’m nervous.  I’m nervous because I’m afraid it wouldn’t be good.  I say this knowing, that it isn’t look bad, in fact I think it’s really shaping up to be a great show. Even though others, who have directed before, are telling me that I am doing a good job and that the show is looking good. But in my head I’m still nervous, unsure, and hoping that those people aren’t just staying that to me and that our audience will love it and be telling all their friend about how they missed out on this great show they saw the other night.  (Boo stress and nerves)

This week was the first week off book. For those of you non-theatre folk, that means the cast had to have all their lines memorized and couldn’t have their script on stage with them anymore.  It’s a crazy, scary time for actors because they don’t have the security blanket of their scripts anymore.  They now have to remember their lines and figure out what to do with their hands since they don’t have their scripts anymore.  The theatre nerd in me somewhat loves the beginning of actors being off book because I secretly (shhh…) love to look for everyone’s nervous habits.  By nervous habits I mean like a tell in poker, do they grab at their cloths, fidget with their hands, cross their arms a lot, clinging to a prop, basically anything to fill the space of not having their script in their hands anymore.  It’s horrible that I find joy in this, I know, but it’s kind of like a game to me, “Spot the Nervous Habit.”  The great thing is though that since I am able to clearly spot actors nervous habits, I can let them know what their’s is and then they can recognize that they are doing it and correct themselves during their scene.  Its so fun to watch everyone start to grow into their characters, relax, and watch, most times, their nervous habits drift away.

I’ve been so proud of our cast this week with how well they have been doing with getting off book.  We actually have had a good chunk of them already off book for the past couple of weeks and the ones that weren’t off book quite yet, have been doing fairly well this week with it.  We haven’t had to terribly many people calling for line during practice. Also this week our elves learned their elf dance and I have to say for only learning it on Monday, they are doing very well with remembering and executing it.  The dance is looking amazing and it wouldn’t have looked this great without the help of one of my dad’s college students.  She did amazing job of making the dance look great but at the same time keeping it simple enough that our non-dance taking elves could pick up on it easily and remember it.  I think this part might be my favorite and will steal the show!

Overall I’d say that our show is right on track to being a great success.  Now we just have to make it through the next month and make sure that our cast takes care of themselves and doesn’t get sick.  We can’t afford to loose any of them.  All of them together are what makes our show, no one person in our cast is not valuable to the team.

“Without wonder and insight, acting is just a trade.  With it, it becomes creation.”   -Bette Davis
Emily and I on our Halloween costumes for dress up night. Alice and Wednesday Addams.
All of the cast that dressed up for our special practice.

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