My friend Kate has given me an amazing opportunity: the chance to direct again. I’m not just directing any play. I’ll be working in the theatre for young audiences realm, specifically for kids 5 to 9. Wheee!
I feel like Kate and I have a special bond. We have daughters near the same age. We both did the single mom working theatre contract to theatre contract thing. We both have twisted, and often dirty, minds. (Which we would never bring into our theatre for young audiences work, of course. Ahem.) We’re both hard-working, driven women with nice faces and yummy gooey emotional centers. Nom.
We recently got together for our first brainstorming session about the new play. I’ll be honest, the first time I read this piece I put it down after the first page. It did not grab me, at all, but I gave it a second chance. After all, I trust Kate. She wouldn’t give me a bad piece to work with. Right?
I’m always a bit intimidated when, as a director, I meet up with an Artistic Director because I want to make sure I impress them. Confirm that they made the right choice in hiring me. Reassure them that, though I couldn’t remember to bring a change of clothes to my daughter’s daycare, I’ll most certainly meet all deadlines with verve and creative gusto. I had no real reason to be worried about meeting with Kate. Within a few minutes, I confessed my original uncertainty with the script and she told me she felt the same way. The more we talked, the more I realised we had a lot of the same questions about the narrative, the characters motivations, about costuming… I mean, really, does he need to have a full-body fish costume? I mean, can’t he just say he’s a fish and we’ll believe him? Anywho, I digress. The point is Kate is an artist and a being an artist involves having a lot of questions, and worrying that you’ll never find the answers. The creative process ends up being trial and error mixed in with random silliness in an attempt to make sense of things. And often the end result is an artist’s best attempt at making the answers interesting and beautiful enough for an audience to soak up.
I love doing all these things with Kate. I think she’s a pretty talented lady and, when I’m around her, I feel just a bit more talented too.