Saturday, May 8, 2010

A note about the obsolescence part...

I'm sitting in the back of the theatre, actors have fight call in 10 minutes and we open the house for the final preview before press preview tomorrow afternoon and Monday's opening.

Very soon now it will no longer be my job to tweak and change the things that are happening in the show. It is already taking on a life of its own. The actors are claiming the show, feeling their way organically through the tech supporting them, have asked me further questions for guidance or told me, yeah, they know what I'm talking about.

A good friend who is also a young director shared with me his metaphor that at this point in the process, a director doesn't have a place to put their stuff. I give the actors their backstage and dressing room space like forbidden territory - I do not belong there. The audiences come in and fill the seats, so I don't belong there. I sit in the seat in the far back corner, alone, gauge the audience response, try and appreciate the show as a first time viewer and scribble notes in the dark, often under the light of my cell phone screen, to find ways to improve the experience. These options become increasingly limited based on the corners I've boxed my designers and actors in through my direction in the previous weeks. So my notes are more sparse and specific. A few pages of this or that or more often than not, nothing at all. I've done my part and now the actors and my stage manager do theirs. When I come back, it will be as an audience member with a lot of insider information. 

There is a sweetness to this. I am tired from the constant expending of energy in coordinating the wishes and questions from such a large team. But there is an emptiness too in not having a family to be a part of anymore. And a vulnerability that comes from putting your art out for public consumption and criticism.  I often feel protective of my family in the week or so after an opening in regards to critical response but I've gotten better at that. I'm extremely proud of everyone's work and I am excited to share it with you.  This little baby has learned to fly, thus it must leave the nest.

The research on this blog may continue - there is always something new to share. For example, my dad, who saw the press photos I posted a week or so back, noted of Hunter's knife, a "kukri" style knife...
Even though it is native to Nepal, Tibet, and northern India it is based on the design of an ancient Roman sword - much bigger but the same inside curve and edge. Hunter would truly enjoy the Gurka tribesmen who use this knife as they are fearless and fearsome warriors. There is also the link to the English as they conquered this territory and brought the Gurka fighters into the royal army after learning how much they love to battle and how fierce and loyal they can be. Therefore it is no surprise on all kinds of levels that this type of knife would be in the hands of Hunter in London below. To me it also will emphasis its nearly sacrilegious use as a letter opener by Richard latter in the story.
Soon I will reverse the order of these posts so it reads more linearly and simply becomes a journal about our process retrospectively.  Thank you all for reading. I hope you enjoy the show if you get the chance to see it.