October 24, 2013 in Mach's Musings

Direct This!

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director_l3OK, what’s the big deal about directing a show?  It only requires 10 – 12 weeks of 24-hour-a-day commitment, followed by a brief glimpse of semi-satisfaction as others take the applause for what rightfully should be your success, all of which is proceeded by up to 18 months of planning and preparation. That adds up to roughly two years out of your life.  Again, what’s the big deal?

All kidding aside, I am puzzled by the dearth of directors following the Board of Director’s announcement of the eight possible shows for the 2014-2015 season.   The play reading committee did a thorough job. Next step: a call for directors.  Why so limited a response?

Way back (and I am talking way WAY back) in that decade of my life where I made my living as a professional entertainer, it seemed to me that every actor I knew really wanted to be the director.  Many of them tried their best to direct the show from inside the cast (not a good idea)!  So where are all those folks, now?

Seriously, I recognize that directing is a big commitment, both in terms of time and emotion.  Arguably however, the payoff is equally large as you watch your vision come to life on stage.  You craft the moves and the moments that bring joy, sadness, insight, awareness, and satisfaction to the actors and the audience.  I think VP actors respect the work of the directors and work very hard to bring the director’s vision to light through the characters they inhabit.

The BoD has a bit of a dilemma on its hands.  While some would argue that there is no urgency in declaring the season and assigning the shows to directors, at the same time it is not clear that there is any advantage in delay.  True, rights are not secured until the late spring.  It is also true that we are asking people today to commit to a project that might not conclude until May of 2015! But a commitment today enables us move forward with many plans and to build momentum for the season.

One of the rules of leadership, is “When in Charge, Be in Charge!”  This is my year for that directorso here goes: People, we need to step up!  If you have directed in the past, I am asking you to take a second look at the eight shows, get excited about one or more, and make a presentation on November 9th.  If you have been an assistant director, but not taken on the director’s role, this is your year!  Even if neither of these facts is on your resume, there is no time like the present.  Look, as noted, you could have up to 18 months to pull this off; plenty of time for the sleepless nights, the anxiety, the fear…and the satisfaction of having directed your first show!

–Gary Mach