We’ve come to that time in rehearsals when I think about giving up. Not “throwing in the towel,” but giving up control.
The scenes are blocked, the songs are choreographed — now the cast must take the reins.
It’s always a bit of a shaky transition. There are the first wobbly steps as everyone gets off-book. Lines will be dropped, entrances will be missed, staging will be mangled, and dance steps will go awry. It’s a time of mistakes, of self-deprecating expletives, and of sympathetic laughter.
But the cast struggles through, from beginning to end. (I think it’s important at this point to run the show from beginning to end.) They own their mistakes, beat themselves up a bit, review their notes, drill problem areas, and then do it all again. And with every iteration the show becomes more confidently theirs.
I’m still watching; still taking and giving notes. But now my notes are mostly reminders of existing rules rather than introductions of new concepts. And even those notes will become fewer and farther between.
Slowly but surely I’m giving up control. And they’re taking over.