“God, why can’t I always feel this alive?” I screamed this phrase at my husband (my favorite How I Met Your Mother quote) after I finished my first rehearsal for The Baby Maker. This was not the first time I’ve screamed that phrase while bouncing off the walls with glee. I scream it after almost every single rehearsal and every good audition. I had just screamed it a couple days earlier after my first rehearsal for Crawlspaceblog, another play I’m directing. But this particular rehearsal seemed even more spectacular. I suppose it is because I’m not just directing the play; I’m also producing it!
As a director, I need to know the play inside and out. I need to understand the characters. I need to have an image for what the set, costumes, and props will look like. I need an overall vision for the show. And all this happens before I can cast the show. This is very different from what it is like as an actor. As an actor, yes there are preparations I need to make before auditions, but most of my work doesn’t begin until rehearsals. And once rehearsals begin I am the one person I need to worry about. I need to focus on my lines, my blocking, my choreography, my notes, and my character. I need to know where my props are, but I don’t need to buy or make those props. Those are things the director worries about. And I certainly don’t have to worry about how much my costume costs. That is something the producer worries about.
But now I’m in the position where I have to worry, not just about everything in the play, but also the budget. How can I get all the props and costumes I need on an incredibly small budget? How do I design set pieces that not only work for the show, but also are lightweight enough to be carried up all the stairs that lead up to The Bard’s Town? Now I have to plan how to sell enough tickets to cover the cost of everything. It is a lot to think about, especially for a new director who reluctantly had to become a producer.
Which is why, before rehearsals began, before I even cast the show, I had already started my marketing campaign. Before rehearsals started, I had launched a successful fundraising campaign raising $2,370 so I could not only pay for the set, props, and costumes, but also so I could pay my hardworking cast and crew. So I suppose that is why the first rehearsal seemed more special than any other rehearsal I’d ever attended. That is why I was grinning like a fool the entire rehearsal. And that is why I will continue leaving every rehearsal feeling energized, like I drank an entire pot of coffee.
This show means so much to me. The story itself, which looks at the struggles of pregnancy and how easy it is to lose your identity when you become pregnant, hits so close to home. And I know many other people feel the same way. But beyond the play itself, this production is also important to me because it is full of so many firsts. My first time producing. My first time launching a fundraiser. My first time holding auditions by myself. My first time designing a set. My first time marketing for a show. I am growing so much as a director and I’m so excited to see how much more I grow by the time this show closes. I look forward to every rehearsal and I can’t wait to open the show and see how the audience responds. With such fantastic dialogue and an incredible cast, I know the audience will love this play as much as I do.
Tickets are on sale now! https://www.tickettailor.com/events/thebard/641538
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