Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Notes and Shared Energy

  The easiest and the most difficult part of directing in the One Acts was watching all five of the productions.   It was easy because I was finally in a position where I didn't have to do anything.  The rehearsals where over and I had placed a lot of time and effort into creating the production and now all the responsibility of the show was now in the hands of the actors and I could relax.  This was also the hardest part because now I simply had to observe with no control over the show, and watch the fruits of the labors of the cast, writer, and myself be received by an audience for five times in a row.

 I had made the decision early on during the rehearsals of La Vie en Rose that I wouldn't give any notes after any of the productions, which is a decision influenced by my athletic background.  Rehearsal is the time for preparation and the show nights are game days, and you don't coach on game days.  All that is done before hand and it is up to the players to decide the outcome.

Now I'm going on record saying that I was very happy with the productions of Rose, and that my actors all did great.  I'm happy that all the actors worked hard and put in all the practice and effort that made a wonderful show that didn't require me to make any changes or remind them to do anything.  It was my philosophy that with enough rehearsal time the cast would be confident enough in running the show that any problems or subtle changes, good or bad, that happened to the show during the productions would be noticed and addressed by the actors.  I saw this as a learning experience for the actors with less performing experience than others, and for veterans to not hear any more notes and take care of things by themselves.

Though they were great performances I did notice a few things that I would have liked to change, and though I didn't give any notes on the production there were a few things that I could have said.  I'm happy I didn't though, and I believe that proper prep and planning and no notes during the show is best way to go in the future.  There are some things that can't be changed however.  No matter how many notes I can give, I can't change the all important energy of the show. 

I noticed that the One Acts have a shared energy and that the tempo and dynamics of one show had an effect on the other shows.  This is all part of the collaboration of theatre.  In a single show, the energy level of one person can have an effect on everyone else.  If you're in a show or have seen it multiple times you can notice the differences that a change in energy can have.  Sometimes lines are dropped, sometimes the pacing is slower, sometimes lines are delivered drastically differently, and dozens of other little things that make the show what it is can be changed from a previous night.

I saw that these things happened in my show, and also in the other shows in the One Acts.  I wasn't thrown off or displeased by this however, since I knew going in that each night would be different and that shared energy would be a cause of that.  The show's were still great, and it was a good learning experience for me to see all the performances and see the differences from the other side of the stage.  I'll take this new knowledge into my future performances as an actor, and hopefully as a director as well.    

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