Later today, 21 April 2012, the world will witness my directorial debut. And by “the world”, I mean a handful of family and friends. Other people’s friends, mostly.
And by “directorial debut”, I mean I directed a 20-minute play called Overtones, written by Alice Gerstenberg in the early 20th century, as part of Irene Dramatic Society‘s (IDS) One Act Play weekend.
I had decided last year to spend 2012 becoming the person I wanted to be. I’m furthering my education, exercising regularly… and getting involved in amateur drama (amdram).
The reason amdram is helping me be who I want to be, is because I used to love drama class as a kid. Sometimes, these days, when watching a play, I’d be struck with a weird sort of longing sadness. The I-want-to-be-up-there kind.
So, I joined the mailing list for the nearest amdram society I could find: IDS.
I got a mail sometime in March, calling for one act play directors (no experience needed).
A while later, there I was, director. Choosing my play, watching auditions, casting my roles. Rehearsing, rehearsing, rehearsing.
I’m proud of myself for taking the plunge, (normally I’d be the self-fulfilling prophecy type, the oh-I’ll-just-fail-anyway-so-I-won’t-try kind) but I’ve learned a lot about myself these past few months. Like:
I’m too indecisive. I was still trying new things, changing stage direction and umming and ahing just before the final rehearsal. Related to the first point, I learned…
I’m not nearly as organised as I thought I was. There was some basic stuff (costumes, props, music) that I should have been on top of. From the very beginning. But I left it to the last minute. And the final, most important thing I learned about myself is…
I’m really not very assertive. I often found myself telling my cast members to do what makes them feel comfortable. Apologising when I interrupted them to give direction. I wasn’t strict about line-memorisation deadlines. Oh, undoubtedly I’m nice, and I like to think none of my cast members hate me, but I really should have been more of a leader.
It’s just after 11:00. My play starts in eight and a half hours. In about ten and a half hours I’ll know what the adjudicators thought, and whether my play will be representing IDS at the Edenvale festival, EADS, in May.
I’m meeting my cast in five hours for some final rehearsal.
A curious calm has settled. The kind you get when there is nothing left to lose and, really, nothing more to do.
Last night was the first night of the one act plays. Despite the fact that selling tickets was a serious challenge to my very rusty maths skills, I managed, and was so happy to see the hall packed. The plays were great, and I had loads of fun. Whether Overtones goes to EADS or not, I’ve been bitten by the amdram bug. See you at the next auditions!