Sunday, January 6, 2013

Be a Director

I hate making decisions. I love it when life’s choices line up in a nice neat order and all I have to do is walk the path to success. When all I have to worry about is performing well and then opportunities present themselves in a nice neat order. Not only is this unrealistic, this is also terrible way to live. What ends up happening is that I am no longer in control of my future, and when actual decisions come up I end up waiting until the last possible moment and usually choose the easiest path. I put others happiness’s before my own.

Let me put this in perspective: I came to New York with the idea that I wanted to stage manage and then eventually work my way as a director. This makes sense right? Watch and observe directors and then learn from them. Well as it turns out, its not the 1950’s anymore. Directors no longer do this. There is no longer a neat transition from stage manager into director. If you work for 5 months as a stage manager, you are going to be known as a stage manager, and people will remember you as a stage manager, and you will get offered jobs as a stage manager. You end up pigeon holing yourself into a job you don’t want to do, of if you are like me, a job your not that good at. I want to direct. I don’t want to stage manage.

This is getting a bit deep... Here is Lenny
Kravitz in huge scarf to lighten the mood.
Until now, I had always been nervous when people asked me what I wanted to do. In my head the answer has always been “Be a Director”, but I always felt like I was being obtrusive by declaring this as my passion. So my typical answer would come across as week and non committal “oh, I want to direct someday, but right now I am working as a stage manager.” What if a rocket scientist said that? “Yeah I hope someday to be a rocket scientist, but right now I am working as an architect.” No! if you want to build rockets, you learn how to build rockets.  In the words of the glorious film Little Miss Sunshine “Do what you love, and fuck the rest.” I would rather work as a director and make lots of mistakes, than pretend to be a stage manager and take no risks.

If you haven’t gathered by now, these past few weeks I have been having a slight identity crisis. I thought I knew who I was and who I wanted to be, but all that has been coming into question in only the best of ways. I don’t know about you, but there are times where it feels like my inner identity is different from the one that people see on the outside. Machiavelli said in Chapter 18 of his guide book for young noble princes (The Prince  ca. 1532) that “Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.” I feel like this applies to me in only the negative sense in that, I am afraid to show who I am, so I show people what they want to see. I am afraid to share my opinion for fear of upsetting people or making them angry. This seems foolish, does it not?

So where am I going with all this rambling? Well lets bring it back to the beginning. Because I have been marketing myself as a stage manager, I have been getting many offers to stage manage many projects. And with all of these, I really do want to work on the projects. I love the stories, I love the people, and I love the message, because if I didn’t love everything about these plays, I wouldn’t want to stage manage them. But I am realizing that by saying yes to these projects, I am hurting myself, because I don’t want to be a stage manager. I want to be a director. So I have to do what’s best by me, and work hard at finding opportunities to direct.

This brings me to my next point. In case you have forgotten, Off the Kings Road, the play I am assistant directing, begins rehearsal this week! We just had a production meeting, and we are jumping right into rehearsals, so it should prove to be fun and exciting process. We will be rehearsing for all of January and then the show will go up in February. Check out the website!

This leads me to my next exciting piece of news. Remember on my list of goals for 2013 that one of them was to direct a play? Well seems I can cross it off already because last week I was brought onto an exciting new project as director! Thanks to an amazing friend who helped me get connected, I will be working with an exciting, young, passionate group known as the Rhapsody Collective. We will be working on creating an entirely new play from scratch and having it performed in May. I will be Blogging more about this as details emerge, but exciting, no?

And my last bit of exciting news: I was offered a Full-Time position at Actor’s Equity. My top priorities, before accepting this, was that I would have to have time to take my class from Wynn Handman, and that I would still have time to pursue artistic opportunities in theatre. After some thinking I decided that I would be able to do all of this, so I readily accepted the position! So now I officially have a full time job, with a welcomed pay increase, more hours, and health insurance. The Mom’s and Grandmom’s will be happy about that last one :)

A beautiful sunset out my window, for no reason.
Also, my friend Alison came and visited from Iowa and we didn’t waste a spare second. We walked through central park (beautiful), saw Newsies (amazing), went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (I would live there if I could),  went and saw Les Mis (also amazing), and even got to see a taping of The Late show with David Letterman! It was a busy week, but a lot of fun too.

So I think that’s everything… Existential identity crisis, check, job opportunities, check, and fun times with friends, check. Pretty much the typical week here.

That’s all for this rather lengthy blog post. Remember to make 2013 the year of creativity! For everything you consume, try and create something and then share it with someone. Write a poem or a book, or draw a picture, or make a movie, or cook fantastic food or create a sonnet, or devise a hiku, or build fort, or make a snowman, and spread the love. Until Next Time!

Cowboy: "You never know what you're gonna run into out there. If we're wearing our colors, we can't hide. "
Vermin: "Who wants to hide? "
The Warriors, 1979. Rip Sol Yurick (1925-2013)

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