A character is the heaviest burden in the world to carry. It’s someone that sometimes thinks and moves and feels things that you have absolutely no reference for, that you need to empathize with and cater for and allow to move through you. That always creates some room for some awkward moments, for the performer that is figuring out how someone else can move in their body, and for the director, who almost always sees something get to someone in a serious way. I’ve dealt with a lot of folks who have personal issues that they were afraid to reveal, or had some hangups about revealing too much of themselves in a character or getting into a character that was so far removed. I’ve had people cry big bad tears in the middle of rehearsals and not be able to truly stop crying until the entire play was over. And I’ve as of recently, had some folks who couldn’t make a single step into character. Continue reading
So, a few months ago I embarked on my own solo playwriting project, called “Body=Barrier”. After working on yet another faith-based play, as well as getting a little directing and acting experience in the process, and after creating a few other things in the process, I finally managed to finish it. But just when I thought that I would get a breather, I found something else to do.
Right after I finished writing it, I decided that I’d try to direct it. For a show just short of two months later. Because I’m crazy.
And now here I am, one month away from my first staged solo directorial debut, for a play that I wrote myself, at the National Drama Association’s national theatre event, ‘The Festival’. Not only will I be performing on the same stage with the person I’ve co-directed with for the past three years, but I’ll also be sharing the title of ‘director’ with three of my directing and performance mentors. Because you can never have enough pressure.
The entire idea is to build an opportunity for me and some of the other passionate young thespians I’ve been sharing space with for the past few years to have a place that they can built and experiment and challenge and critique through their art. Because that’s exactly what art is – constructive, experimental, challenging, critical… Interestingly enough, that’s exactly what we want to create – artIS…but more on that in a future post…
Anyway, just letting you folks know I’m in the coliseum, taking some friends with me, fighting the lion. And as Basdeo Panday once said, “When you see me and the lion fighting, doh feel sorry for me…”
Shawn Smart and I just finished ‘2 Creations’, and I must say it truly was a spiritual experience… The production tested some wills, had it’s own fair share of trials, almost made some folks sin their souls, and at the end the entire play came down to faith. We had never done a full run of the play, had no idea of some of the cues, never even had a real dress rehearsal. But at the end of the day, when the lights were on and showtime began, it was a blast.
That’s the first lesson I’ve learned from directing – have faith. Continue reading
When I jumped on board a project to write and direct a Christian play with a mentor and friend of mine, I knew it was going to be hard. I signed on, because it was already something I was doing as a personal project – ‘Body=Barrier’. I was excited to see whether my own writing was up for the challenge, and whether I could direct something that was not only outside my experience but was an experience that I rejected in my own life so long ago.
Turns out that’s not the problem at all… Continue reading
So, I’m officially on board on yet another theatre project – another play, produced by one of the teachers at my former school, to be directed by my friend and mentor and co-directed by myself. It’s a play much like the one I’m writing now, Body=Barrier, but a lot more…Christ-focused…and I’m not sure how to handle it. Continue reading