Fits and Starts

People ask me how rehearsals for “Ruddigore” are going.  And I say, “We’re at that stage in the process.”

Most theater folks know immediately what I mean.  For others I go a bit further….

Every production comes to life in fits and starts.  Some aspects go smoothly while others struggle to gain footing.  And then, what was going well may suddenly relapse while weak spots become strong ones.

It’s the nature of the beast.

As with any collaboration, each of the players will take turns leading and following; offering assistance and asking for help; succeeding and failing.  The struggle constantly fluctuates between victory and defeat but — as long as we all share the same final vision — we will get there in the end.

So, what am I really saying here?

I’m saying that some actors have their lines down and others are still struggling.  Blocking and choreography are set and notated, but don’t necessarily flow naturally.  Some cast members are still having to nudge or prod other cast members to remind them of when they need to move and where they need to go.  Harmonies and musical cues may be solid one day but then may fall apart a bit the next.

Directors work by fits and starts as well by the way.  I’m still seeing mistakes I’ve made, mis-directions I’ve given, and opportunities I’ve yet to explore.

What we have here is a large group of unique individuals each working towards the same goal.  Each of us works in our own way, at our own pace, with our own handicaps and/or advantages.  And with the same daunting deadline of Opening Night.

Lucky for us: Opening Night is still over three weeks away.

Some of us will be ready tomorrow. Some were ready last week.  Some still need more time and attention.

This has been the case with every single theatrical production I’ve ever worked on.  And it’s one of the many reasons I am constantly in awe of the down and dirty magic of live performance.

Confidence, focus, and talent balanced with patience, guidance, and hard work.

We’re getting there by fits and starts.  And we will be ready for you on Opening Night.

I guarantee!

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