I remember the first time I got to direct a play on my own. I had been assistant director for more times than I cared to document and I had been ready for quite some time. It was always something I knew I could do, instinctively but I am really glad I took the time to train and have the confidence and security behind me. There I was, getting a chance- it was what I always wanted. Sometimes when dreams come true, you just have to sit back and take a moment. Let it sink in.
There I was choosing my cast. I learned a lot of lessons out of that experience. Not a lot of people showed up for auditions, I didn't have a lot of choices with actors and I had not yet built up my reputation as a director.
I was handed a difficult set of circumstances with a couple of young actors who questioned every decision I made, never properly learned their lines and essentially gave me a hard way to go.
You wouldn't think I'd be grateful for that experience- it was a pain in the ass. I would go to rehearsal thinking- this is not what I expected it to be- I'm not enjoying this, I'm stressed out, freaking out, crunched for time and wishing I had better choices. Where was the fun, the joy, the play?
But, you know it all came together, and my mother was proud of me on opening night and I was pleased with the play and the reviews were not glowing but they were good.
I have a tendency to have an all or nothing attitude. I tend to pour everything I have into a much wanted experience thinking- this is a dream- I may never get to do this again! I have become to overcome that a little bit by bit as I have been fortunate to be able to do it again and again.
This was not my first film. Gosh I wish people would understand that. This was not even the first time I produced something I wrote. That first time was in college and I wasn't nearly as nervous about it. Still, lots of people are sure I just came out of nowhere. But I have been training for this for years.
I've been around all this time, plugging away, looking for a way in. And I found it, it's mostly believing in me and knowing intimately what I am capable of. So, as I go through this process, and it was a challenge and it was difficult- and I was so stressed out, I know that in a way, it was only the beginning of so much more.
I don't know that I have felt that prolonged level of stress for a very long time. And yet, there were moments of pure joy on this shoot. This is the life that was waiting for me. I feel awakened.
In so many ways, I will over the next few posts describe how difficult this experience was for me. When will it be easy? Probably never easy but I have to say, the last play I directed was such pure joy, it felt easy and this will get like this as well. It may not every get easy, and I hope it doesn't but it will become more effortless as I become more of the me I am meant to be.
I have never gone backward- I learned new strengths. I am ever more grateful and I will find a way to do this again, and again!
More of this journey to come...