Saturday, February 04, 2012

A Special Note to ALL Directors Out There

In a previous post of mine, [click here to view] regarding an experience I had working with a certain director, I mentioned how important it is for a director to be part of the group, get excited with the actors and inspire them to be the best they can be in order to get the best performance out of them. In that post, I also pointed out how devastating it can be for an actor when their director is not involved.

I can now say from experience what affect an emotionally involved, caring, considerate and understanding director has on a cast of actors.

To all Directors out there who wish to inspire their actors, THIS is how it's done:

During the auditions, express your passion for the script, your outlook and expectations for the production.

During rehearsals, allow room for input from the actors. Ask them for their opinion and ideas. Prepare your own ideas and things you want to try at rehearsals ahead of time so that when it comes to start time - you can give the actors a clear picture of all you want to accomplish.

During the cue-to-cue, thank the actors for their time and keep them busy. Actors who are passionate are eager and willing to work and help. Actors love to be put to work as long as their assistance is acknowledged.

During the tech run, be as prepared as possible and keep record of all technical cues. Levels and cues can be set prior to bringing the actors in. Doing all the "technical stuff" at a time without the actors shows them respect. Actors do not help with "technical stuff" in a production. Doing all you can before bringing them in tells the actors that you value their time and do not wish to waste any of it.

Opening night, prior to opening the house and the handing over of the keys to the stage manager, write a speech. WHY NOT?! You have worked with your actors for months, told them what to do and where to go when. You have been watching over them during hours of rehearsals and cared for them by giving them direction. You have done all you can to ensure each actor gives the best performance they are able to. Before you hand the show over, take that opportunity to speak directly to your cast and crew. Give them words of encouragement, remind them of things they have gone through and things that have happend along the way. Remind the actors where they started, and where they have got to; all they have acheived.

In a recent allocution by the director to the actors of Treasure Island at the Palace on opening night, a sword was gifted to the fight captain, tears of joy were shed and a song was sung. Below is the song which the director sang to their actors:

"Is there more I should have said?
Back when you were pictures in my head...
I'm very glad you came to play
Cause you folks gave me laughter every day.
Remember when the stage caved in, cause you were rockin' out?
I rather think your lunacy will be hard to live without.
I'd like to go back to the start
See, you all have a place inside my heart.
And please don't take this as a dare....
But, there's nothing you can break, Mark can't repair.
It's great when we're together and you share your favourite quotes
And though they are unbearable, well, I still love Dean's jokes.
Though I'm looking forward to my bed,
When thinking of the end, I feel some dread.
I hope we do this all again
And you can make me laugh like you did then
I know you'll do your best for Joe
As he takes the reigns to run this show.
So now it's yours to take instead
Thanks for being pictures in my head."

[this Director was inspired by Kermit the Frog to inspire us all]

As I stated in my previous post, Directors have the power to break an actor's heart or fill it with love for them to share with others for years to come.

Don't ABUSE or NEGLECT this power. USE it!