I don’t know why more people don’t elbow their way into directing.
I mean, I get that it’s a really coveted position and it can be tough to get that first person to trust you with their word children. But man, is it worth the work it takes to shape a show into something that tickles.
Several weeks ago, Michael Holmes sent me a delicious script called The Shitty Poltergeist for our company’s sketch show Serial Killers. There were 5 parts, and I knew almost immediately who I wanted to play them- imagine my delight at getting to cast all 5 of my first choices. That is so rare and beautiful.
Tomorrow I’ll have a rehearsal with 4 of these incredible actors and we’ll bring a script to life for the performance this Saturday night.
Here are some of my favorite things about directing:
- The fact that having a clear idea about what I want is valued. That might seem like a no-brainer but I sometimes wonder if my delight at being appreciated for my vision is enhanced by my long held anxiety about seeming too bossy. (Thanks, childhood!)
- I get to set the tone of the room. I really enjoy inviting people to my party. At my party, we don’t waste people’s time. We get to feel appreciated and supported. We get to make big, weird decisions. All the suggestions are carefully considered. Maybe I’m just high on my own supply here but I think the people I get to work with are aware of how much I adore them. Why do it otherwise?
- I get to fold in ideas from the best of the best. Yes, I try to come to the table with as much clarity as I can, but I’ll tell you, some of the ideas that come out of having a half a dozen geniuses in a room who are all focusing on the same thing from different angles is just so powerful.
- At a certain point, I get to just enjoy it. I LOVE acting, but I can’t let my proverbial hair down as an actor until every line, every look, every moment is authentically delivered. It’s joyful but it’s also a lot of pressure. As a director, once the encouragement and direction are given, I get to watch a professional live into it. I get to experience the performance as the receiving entity. It’s so much fun- so thrilling- to watch another actor deliver a moment I’ve suggested.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, I’m incredibly grateful and full of enthusiasm for this stuff. I can’t wait to see the next one unfold during the show. If you’re in town and interested, you can catch the show in this Saturday’s line up at Serial Killers.