Opening tonight: My directorial debut! (Well, my co-directorial debut — my co-director Sarah Shaver is AMAZEBALLS.)
Over the last couple weeks I have had the pleasure and the panic of trying to shape a series of short scenes and monologues about motherhood. Motherhood Out Loud is a beautiful collection of pieces written by some of the best playwrights around. I’ts striking to me because there’s a great mix of hilarity and tear-inducing emotions.
So there I am: in an open theatre space filled with talented actors, armed with this strong script.
Annnnnnd I’m scared to death I’ll fuck it up.
All of it.
Which makes me think that directing is not so different from motherhood.
As a parent, I really really really hope I’m not fucking my kids up. I hope they feel loved and safe. I hope they feel like I’m someone they can talk to. I hope no one ever hurts them. I hope they are happy. I hope they are healthy. I hope that when I give advice or discipline that it’s helping to develop their character and make them stronger human beings. Most of all, I just hope for them.
With directing, there are more specific concerns — concerns about if the story is being told well, concerns about lines, concerns about lights burning out.
But as a director, I really really really hope I’m not fucking people up. I hope the actors and the technicians feel able to create in a loving, safe place. I hope they feel they can approach me with problems or observations. I hope the audience loves them. I hope they are happy. I hope they are healthy. I hope that when I give notes or assign tasks that it’s helping to develop their work and make them stronger performers. And mostly, I just hope.
I also think that directing is like motherhood in the fact that, a lot of times, you just have to bluff.
Yes. I do know what I’m talking about. Really. Just trust me.
Then hope to God I’m not wrong.
In the end, you have to trust that your kids and your crew will take care of business. You just have to set them free and say “I did my best.”
If you’re in the Springs, come check out this lovely piece of theatre. I’ll be thrilled to hear what you think.
Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.