Yes, yes...most blogs are nothing more than 'vanity projects'. (See Reasons for Writing), and this one is no different. I simply decided I wanted another format (other than my personal blog) for blogging the progress of our productions, the joys and despairs of being a theatre person, and keep a record of our craft, so I decided to create "The Director's Journal".
For my first entry, however, I'd like to post a cut-and-paste letter from a previously started (and abandoned) blog, called "Love Letter to KidsPlay" I wrote back in March of 2007. This is a declaration of my love for what I'm doing, and a good way to start.
I think in my whole life, I have just fifteen minutes to myself every day, and that’s the time it takes me to drive to school in the morning. So it’s no surprise that this fifteen minutes of unstructured time is the time when I reflect on what I’m doing, the speed of my life, and how I’m spending my time here on earth. For me, there has been no greater joy than the privilege of getting to do what I do with you and your kids.
Some reflections from this morning’s drive…
I can’t remember when we have all worked so hard and been so…freakin’ happy about it. Everyone, I mean everyone, is walking around with a huge smile on their faces. I know that some of you have added the things you do for KidsPlay onto an already full plate, yet everyone seems so happy about the 2, 4, 6, 12 or 20 extra hours you’re putting towards KidsPlay every week. Please know that it does not go unnoticed.
Dennis stopped up after rehearsing with Donna for the Variety Show last night. He told me that he thought it was really starting to click. I look at him and he’s just beaming. Good heavens, I think, what was he doing before he found KidsPlay and this outlet for his considerable creative side? I mentioned as much to Donna on the way out the door last night and she said, “What did I do before all of you found ME?”
Some of the kids have already started their songs for the song contest. I haven’t even mentioned it yet in announcements.
We’re getting some outstanding work from the kids. I’m thrilled with the extent to which most of them know their lines. Sam is a little weak on the vocals, and Joe is still shaky on his memorization, but the two of them totally make up for that with the innovative stuff they’re trying out at rehearsal. They’re so into being actors and I LOVE it.
I finally decided, probably too late, to try to transition Blair away from the cockney, to a more genteel aristocratic British accent. She absolutely nailed it in the first act. Amazing. And Blair. Good heavens, I can’t believe this is her last show. [Yes, I’m going down this road already…] She’s been with us since she was a baby fourth grader. She has bloomed into such a leader for this group. What will we do without her?
And Sam. We haven’t had Sam long enough, and yet, he’s an 8th grader. I think that rehearsal will be a colder place without his absolutely irrepressible good humor. I think I could give him constructive criticism every 15 seconds, and he would just smile, make the adjustment and go on.
I can’t get over Wesley on the peg-leg. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s amazing. He walks on it, spins around, sometimes wobbles (only a little), but he doesn’t miss a beat. I can’t wait to see the audience’s reaction when he walks out on that stage. Surely, most adult theatres would not try this special effect (probably because adult legs couldn’t take what Wesley can do with his…). And he’s so matter-of-fact about it—doesn’t complain, doesn’t say it hurts (it can’t possibly be comfortable!!). He’s…just…making sacrifices for his art, is all.
There are so many other things: the kids’ obvious delight in their costumes; their comments and suggestions for improving the show—they have more ideas than I can process in any one rehearsal; their willingness to rehearse a scene or say a line, over and over again until I think we have it right; and the parents laughing and enjoying the scenes and the banter of rehearsal.
Sometimes I think that the stars have aligned to bring us all together combining all of our energies and our talents to create this wonderful thing that we’re doing. All this energy, all this fun and happiness and pride in our kids and in our own hard work. This is a great time for us. We need to soak up these moments while we can. There will be others, to be sure, but these times are golden--and they won’t come again.