November 17, 2004

The Question of Directing

OK, so I read the articles on Directing. And I guess I understand it all, in theory. But theory isn't much good in the real world. As far as application goes, I've never had the chance to really try to be a director and take on many of the roles a director does, and I think that that might allow me to understand these artices more. Like acting, I believe directing is a fluid concept that cannot be learned just by reading. But from my own experiences, I believe that the most challenging part of being a director (in the case of me anyway) would be to deal with the nonconformity of a production to your own personal vision. Granted, if you're good at what you're doing, and if you don't dream *too* big, then the disparity between the show in your head and the show on the stage could be effectively minimized, but it's still a concern in my view.

I'm wondering if a collaborative effort might serve to reduce even further this problem of the play not turning out according to one's vision, because with so many people directly involved in the creation process, the performance cannot be shaped towards a single end - it must be fluid and adaptable. In a way, the collaborative process is like taking the Play-Doh of the theatre and molding it to suit everyone's purposes, instead of making something conform to a predetermined vision, and judiciously hacking off any bits that do not fit the vision. But I'm still hung up on how one gets to make sure that it is a collaborative process - I guess I was drawn to the second article, "The Shifting Point," which dismisses the method of directors being dictators as "a sad and clumsy use of directing" but doesn't really mention how one is to go about balancing the "taking charge" and "maintaining in the right direction" with ceding control to the actors and the show to do as they will. The third article discusses this as well, but the focus seems to shift soon to the actor that the conditions necessary for their craft. And I'm left wondering how the director is supposed to do all this stuff. A guess I have is that the director is supposed to 'destroy' the work that they've created (or something like that...) and create it again; I guess I might be able to see how that would work, but I'm still thinking that it would be extremely difficult. Sadly enough, but not unexpectedly, the articles don't seem to have a solution for my problem: what do you do with an idea you're so incredibly attached to you're afraid to let it go?

Posted by holm0567 at November 17, 2004 11:22 PM