I have been working very hard between several of my productions and it has been simply amazing. The cast and I have been getting ready for the eta reading of God, Do I Hear Wedding Bells? play, I have casting calls coming up for both Womanifesto (plus size women monologues) and for a lead female role in my new play, Karma. I now see on a smaller scale of what Shonda Rhimes and Tyler Perry go through working on several productions at one time.
Being a director is not an easy job. You kind of take on the role as the parent on set or stage because everyone looks to you for guidance and key decision making. As a director, you also have the tough job of not casting someone to play a specific role for whatever reason(s). I try my best to create a safe space with my cast, no matter the productions, to ensure that we maintain open lines of communication and I want to support my casts in anyway possible that not only enhances my production company but also gives them courage to go out in this big beautiful world and create dreams of their own.
I don’t have a dictatorship personality on set or the stage when I’m doing my job. I believe everyone’s opinions and experience is valued and matters. I tell my cast all of the time that my scripts are templates and are open for improvements, suggestions, add-ons, etc. Most of my scripts are written long before we go into productions so sometimes, words or phrases that were popular at the time, are no longer relevant so I always encourage my cast to make those lines their own.
In addition to giving guidance and direction on the stage, I study a lot of movies or theater performances to look at blocking, photography shots for my storyboards and a huge amount of note taking. I’m a writer naturally, so everything involves me taking notes. What I study, I believe, makes me a great director to work with (I’m ok with tutting my own horn on that). I always watch behind the scenes footage of the director interviews after movies or in theater, to learn from their wisdom as well as their trials and tribulations. That helps me avoid making those same mistakes in my productions.
If you are an actor or director, what do you think makes a great director to work with?