Working on The Walls has been an eye-opening experience. Because Melissa Grande is away, I, as an assistant director, have to step in and take over. I have had to take every single thing I have learned the past 8 years of my life doing theater and put it towards directing. Honestly, I still don’t think I have all the answers. I get terrified when actors ask me questions because I don’t want to let them down by not having the information they need. That isn’t to say I’m not confident in myself. I’ve done my research, I’ve read the script (what seems like) a hundred times. I have all the information floating around in my head and I’m ready to work.
So far, I feel like I am doing a decent job. There are a lot of things that I’ve learned about myself and my own directing style. I always want the actor to express their character, and I try to let the actor express that themselves. Some actors get it perfectly, others need a little more help. There are a few actresses to whom I have had to give very few notes because they have sunk into the characters. I see one person walk up the stage stairs of Beeghly theatre and as soon as the lines start to be read I see a totally different person. And I love that about the cast. Each one of them can make a change into a character.
There are some challenges. We have some very new actors in this cast. This is the first show for one actor. I am so happy to have this opportunity to work with him. For not taking any acting classes or being in any shows he has great instincts and is a great actor right out of the gate. There are just a few theater basics he is unfamiliar with. It brings me back to the first time I was in a show and all the things I learned. I remember during rehearsal I had him move to the back of the house and I whispered to him from all the way upstage to show him how to project his voice at lower volumes. It was actually I really fun little exercise.
I know that as I continue this production not only will I learn more. I will learn more about the script. I will gain more answers and become less terrified when actors ask me questions. I will learn more little exercises to explain little things. I will learn more about my cast, I will learn about my crew. But most of all, I will learn about myself. With all of that I know I will become a better director.