Bizarre Directing

Since I have a scene for my directing class coming up, I am thinking back to my past directorial experiences to study my quite bizarre directing style. During our 10th grade one-acts, Dean and I co-directed our co-written 15 minute version of The Marley Show. And I’m trying to think what impression we gave to our actors. Dean and I were involved in every aspect of production, from useless publicity materials to the (sometimes nonexistent) sound design. And I really wonder what Mark, Eileen, and JR thought of their two giggling classmates, rehearsing in character as Bill and Slim, then instantly switching to some bizarre production or script concern. I don’t recall giving much feedback to the actors; they did their thing, while we stage managed as necessary. We were happy with their work, but did they know it? Were they satisfied? Was it weird to act with two people who play off you at one point, then make bizarre cat noises offstage, then say simply “I like the way you moved there; that’s great.”?

I’m sure I’ll do something similar with my actors now. They may not get the cuddling and care they want or need. Daddy director loves his staging, lighting, sound, and audience, and he may treat his actors’ gestures like his light cues: they either work or they don’t. But what if the actor doesn’t feel confident or anchored in his work, even if it’s great? A light board doesn’t need reassurance, but actors do. Can I give it to them?

PS: Geography jokes!!! Remember all the complaining I did about the worn-out joke categories of religion and the theatre? Well, zingers are popping into my head based on state nicknames and postal code abbreviations. And these zingers fit perfectly into my theatrical full-length I am planning! So what geography isn’t vital in the plunge to the depths of man’s soul? It’s something different! Humor is better off in its service than in the tired employ of church, stage, and relationships.

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