Saturday, June 14, 2008

Directed musings.

So I've gotten to an interesting point in my petit career. It seems like I already have a couple AD gigs for the fall, they're in various stages of gotten-hood, but they've been loosely confirmed, plus a good shot that I could pick something up at a few other companies with the connections I've recently realized I have.

However, I think that due to my love of structure, enjoyment of things well-organized, and a desire to be around quality work, I have gotten addicted to ADing. It's also been an invaluable experience in terms of learning how professional theatre actually works, in addition making really awesome connections and having a ridiculous amount of fun. When I started ADing, I was a bit at sea, having trouble answering questions like: "Where would I direct?" "What space would I use?" "What shows are both good AND good for a small space and small company?" "Do I really know what I'm doing?!" I'd poured a lot of energy into The Importance of Having Men Audition at Gazebo Players, and I was feeling a little let-down and deflated. I had a few ideas, but I mostly wanted to tag along somewhere until I'd learned the rules.

I haven't learned 'the rules' yet, per se, but I have learned a general outline of the rules. I have ideas now, a desire to produce my own work, and a desire to get into grad school sooner rather than later which requires, you know, actually directing.

To that end, I contacted a small local company to which my friend and co-worker has mucho connectiones. I had noticed that there were only three shows in the season, so I asked if they might consider hosting me some time in the Spring of 2009. He wrote back promptly saying that I had an impressive resume and he was glad that I had gotten in touch, but that they had no more room in the season, and that I should AD or design something and then we'd talk about next season. This I understand, and was actually quite excited about, because they're a relatively well-established small company that rents space in a great location and has press coming to see their shows.

But then I realized .... it could be as late as Spring 2010 that I'd get to put this play up, and that's way too late. If I have a show I want to produce, I should found a company and produce it. The problem is there are SO many small companies with no funding floating around Boston right now. I don't really have administrative support unless someone reading this wants to comment and volunteer. I'd rather not spend all my time incorporating myself, booking space, and making sure people actually see the damn show, when I could be working on actual things pertaining to directing a play. Can't all these tiny companies play together? Weren't they all started because someone wanted to direct something? It seems egregious, and I can't help but be jealous of actors who want to act ... pick a company, any company. I know, I know. How's that for an over-simplification? But still ....

Anyway, these are all excuses probably born out the fear and sort of isolation I feel at the prospect of having a Cottilion Ball sort of thing for myself as a director here in Boston. Which is all the more reason I should stop whining and do it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"I am in 3rd grade; I am a GROWN-ASS WOMAN!!" - Paraphrased from the Maury Povitch show, circa July 2007.

Below are some key musings from my recentely-recovered 3rd grade journal, in which poor Mrs. Houston was forced to write back as a way to motivate to us to practice our cursive. Apologies to those of you who have already been subject to my jenius, but it's just too good not to share with those of you have have not yet encountered it.

January 6, 2004
I can't wait til my dentist apointment! I know I've been brushing well! I hope I get a good report.
(Even at a young age, I was eager to please AND delusional!)

Jan. 11, 1994
Over the snowdays I went sledding with Rachel and her sisters. I went to the book store and got a bible.

Jan. 14, 1994
I like learning multibucation. it is fun. And it's a little easier to do the subtraction.
Mrs. Houston: A lot of people agree with you. Still, you have to learn subtraction. You'll need to know those facts all your life. If you know subtraction, then you'll be sure to always get the correct change, and you'll be able to balance your checkbook some day.
(Really? REALLY?!)

February 2, 1994:
My mother is helping with the costumes for Harriet Tubman [epic school play]. She will be backstage too -- if it's all right with you. I am child number 2. I am very excited!
(My mother begins exercizing her theatre jones, and I find my place in the Best Supporting Actress club).

February 3, 1994
I can't wait til all this snow melts! I can't go outside to play, I can't ride my bike, I can't ride my horse. Actually, it's not my horse, it's the stable's. But I can't go see her or go ride her.
Mrs. Houston: You must miss her a lot. Unfortunately, the groundhog saw its shadow. I hope it's just superstition and that we won't really have six more weeks of winter. What do you think?
Me: I think the ground hog is probably right. I wish he weren't. But I'm happy we finally got to go to the pond. Last time we found a dead rat. I thought it was pretty funny!
(I have no words ...)

February 8, 1994
I can't wait til we put on the play! But I'm glad this not the day before it, because I forgot my script! I'm such a nut [drawing of a nut].

February 10, 1994
I pretty much have all my lines memorized for the play. The first line I have to say is, "You see, our teacher told us to a report on a famous black person, and we chose Harriet Tubman."

February 14, 1994
Today is Valentine's Day! To celebrate in my house yesterday we made cookies and dumped frosting on them! [Again, how little things change ...] Then we exghanged presents. Today I'm going over to my friend's house who lives in Norwood, and while the grownups go out to dinner, we are stuck in the house with my friends 8th grade sister. But I still cannot wait to see both of them. I just hope that Kaitlin -- that's the sisters name -- will let us play Netendo.

February 15, 1994
I am so so exited about the play. I wish we could just get it over with, because I know all my lines and I want to still remember them by the time we do this thing. [Hah!]
Mrs. Houston: You know your lines very well. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready yet. More practice will help make the play extra terrific. [yeah right.]

March 4, 1994
I am so mad that it had to snow! I want to have the play!! But at least we will get to rehearse in the gym! [.... great!!]

March 9, 1994
I hope the play is not posponed. I really hope that there is school tomorrow. You are right. Alot of people are getting sloppy about singing songs.

March 10, 1994
I am going to get Doofus [stuffed penguin, class pet to be passed around nightly] over the weekend. Tomorrow I want him to see the production. [Hah!] So maybe you could hold him in the audience?
Mrs. Houston: I need both hands to be free so i won't be able to hold Doofus. Maybe you could put him behind Andee's chair so that he'll be present but not visible. After all, I don't think Harriet Tubman ever saw a play in her life.

March 11, 1994
I had lots of fun in the play. But I was so embarassed when I forgot to turn on the mike! [Classic ...]

March 16, 1994
I am diasppointed that the play is over. Oh well, at least I still remember everbody's lines in the play! [Oh you have no idea, 3rd grade self]. I also remember the songs. I sure had a lot of lines to learn myself. [Hah].
Mrs. Houston: You have an amazing memory. I have a suggestion: How about using that great memory to learn your math facts? [NOT BLOODY LIKELY!!] You'd zip right through those time tests!

March 21, 1994
I am the mother pig in The Three Little Pigs. I am wearin ga pig mask, even though Matt said I already looked enough like a pig! [Let's hope Matt was flirting ....]

March 30, 1994
Friday is April Fools Day, it's also good Friday. I think while I am at the doctors office I will think up a few practical jokes to play on my parents. I've only tricked the with words before.

April 5, 1994
I had a good easter. I found out who the easter bunny is. It is my mom. This year I shared the egg hunt with my dad. He is Jewish. But he was pretty good anyhow. (HAH!)

April 12, 1994
My mother is the producer of a play called Hello Dolly. That is her next play in the theater company she belongs to. She also has a place in the chorus where she belongs, she says. I am very excited about the show.

April 29, 2004
Yesterday I went to Mom's brush-up rehearsal. A brush-up is when you have on rehearsal to brush you up. To help you rememebr the show. Beacuse there is two more shows to go. At brush up you play jokes on people.

May 2, 1994
Yes I went to all the performances of the play. They were all good. I am thinking of being in the next preformance that has kids in it. I like theater a lot. Do you? This July I'm going to see Phantom of the Opera. It is my favorite play. My favorite part is the music.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Sono Commosso!

Although I am back, screwed out of my job and totally broke, NJ Shakes did a lot of good for me. I think I finally learned what the job of a director is of a large cast, large tech show in a resource-laden theatre. Essentially, it appeals to me, and I finally know that I want to be a career director, and not an academic one (primarily). I also want to do some auditioning because hey, theatre is theatre, and I kind of miss being in a cast. Basically, it cemented my identity as a Theatre Person, the last dregs of "Maybe I'll become a Baroque opera star after all ...." faded away, and I am very, very grateful. It was wonderful being around such a positive group of people who wouldn't rather have been anywhere than where they were. Plus, they all loved me as much as I loved them, and that never hurts.

While in NJ, I began living an inadvertantly healthy lifestyle which I intend to attempt to keep up while back in Boston. Although I was working 12 hour days for no pay, I walked to work, walked to all my errands, ate Lean Cuisines with more regularity than regular food, and rarely ate out. Not a lifestyle that is really condusive to urban living, considering it would take me an hour to walk to work and beer and fried fish are essentially this city's mainstays .... but something to learn from at least.

I was just offered and accepted the position of AD on New Rep's production of Cabaret. Rehearsals began December 22 and it goes up January 11, so my head might explode as Margaret aptly put it, but I think it's going to be *spectacular*. I'm also psyched because I have this huge burgeoning interest in the different ways theatre and music can be used together, and this will be the first musical I've ADed.

Finally, if you know or are yourself a 32-year old early career actor in Boston who wants to Adam Rapp's Nocturne with me, let me know ..... It's a beautiful play. Too bad A.R.T. figured that out only 7 years ago. No one ever said my timing was good.