Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why We Rehash & Revisit


Follow up meetings are essential. This is where I get to know the directors I work with as artists & and people.

What do we talk about? Well, there’s a formula of sorts. First we chat, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. I love hearing about all the other projects these artists are working on and hearing a bit about their lives. And of course I enjoy telling people about me too :)

Then we get down to business and discuss the other artists involved in the project. [See my previous blog on this subject:]   It's important to get this part done at the top and out of the way so we can move on to more artistic subject matter.

Here’s where it gets more loose and fun. We discuss the show; how it went, what went right, what went wrong and what the director might have wanted to change. I give what feedback I have after I’ve heard what she thought. It’s great to know when we already agree. Sometimes I really have something relevant to say that speaks to the process. My notes are informed by having seen a stumble through, had a discussion with the director right after it and two weeks later seen a performance. Being inside the process means that if we both know that actor “A” was a last minute replacement there may not be much reason to critique his performance. In this case we can hopefully focus on more relevant issues (such as how to avoid this problem in the future!).

Of course just as often this mostly feels like a chance to hear what went on from the inside. To understand how things went and why the chips fell where they did. In these cases most of what I have to say falls in the category of “yeah, uh, huh, oh,” Which is to say that listening and understanding the director’s goals is quite important at this stage.

I often get the chance to discuss what the director’s hopes are for the future. Not just “I wanna make a living as a director” but what kind of project(s) would you love to sink your teeth into next? What areas are you hoping to delve into in your work? This way I get an idea of what kind of artist she is or aspires to be.

For myself lately (this year at least) I’m feeling like telling stories with a point of view that is challenging. I want to tell stories that are not necessarily easy to agree with. I need to tell these stories through theatrical language. I do love realism of emotion, character and relationship and the truth of existing as a human always has a place in my work but I need to feel Why my work is on a Stage as opposed to being a novel, film or TV show. I need a touch of “Theatricality” with a capital T. I need to combine my love of Meisner technique and deeply real acting with my love of the avant-garde.

I happen to be right in line with what I hear from many of the talented inspiring ladies I have the privilege to work with and discuss our art with. My desires echo a lot of what I hear them saying lately.

Justine Lambert
Artistic Director
The Looking Glass Theatre -
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