Friday, July 24, 2009

A Love Letter to My Director

Now, I'm not saying I'm all that as a director, but...I take what I do very seriously...

"Directing is a search for truth: truth in movement, truth in voice, in reaction, in facial expression, body position, physical location, and juxtaposition to others near you, etc., etc. When I’m watching, I’m watching for what rings true and what appears false. So when we say, “Does this work?”, we’re really saying, “Is this true?” The difference between what is true and what is false can be as slight as two steps this way, looking down instead of up, tone of voice or inflection. And sometimes it’s true one time; and it’s not true the next, because everything is always moving..."*

As a director, I'm mostly self-taught. I've used trial and error, instinct, and my sense of 'how it should feel' to guide my direction. I've known for awhile now that there was room to grow and I was looking for the time and the right experience to make that happen. Amazingly, it landed right in my lap.

I can't begin to share what this experience has been for me. Walking in the shoes of the actor, being on the other side of the clipboard...has been AMAZING. I know now what it feels like (per our previous director) to be yelled at, to be...disregarded, to feel frustrated and blocked. I also know now what it's like to hang on the every word of the director, and to wait--sometimes in vain--for that dog bone of praise.

And then, that director left and we fell into the hands of a legend. How could we get so lucky?

I’m not sure I can put into words the exhilarating rehearsal we had last night. We got some direction—some REAL direction—and it was all I had hoped it would be and more.

He took the blocking of our previous (non)director and completely revamped it. Put his thumbprint on it. Made it his. He fined-tuned us, talked about character and motivation and what we, in the role, should be thinking and feeling. It was...awesome. I soaked it up like a sponge, like a thirsty man in the desert. His style, I think, validated mine, and he TOTALLY met MY needs as an actor to run it, and run it again; the need of an actor to feel valued; and the need of an actor to front of him and in front of others.

I so much wanted this experience to go beyond just having fun with my theatre buddies. Because God only knows when I'll have an opportunity like this again. Thanks to our director, my One Director, it is all I'd hoped and more.

*from "The Show Turns the Corner"


  1. I was just getting into directing when I started having kids. I'm still on sabatical, so to speak, so will most likely start back at the beginning when I do return. And I find that the best way to learn about directing is to act.

  2. I've read this post like a hundred times and it makes me cry every time. You are SO right. :-)