No, no, no. Hold your head like this, then go Waaah. Try it again.
November 28, 2012 9:35 AM Subscribe
First rehearsal was last night. My cast member is already making me crazy. A little help?
posted by Infinity_8 to media & arts (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm directing a local community theatre production. We had our first real rehearsal yesterday and we go up on January 11. I told my actors since we have such a short time for rehearsal, I'm going to ask them to try their roles a certain way and if it works, it'll be really good. If not, we need to very quickly find another way to do it.
All the actors save one were able to take this note and were able to give me back what I was looking for...and if I do say so, the concepts worked very well for the show.
The lone actor who didn't gave me some signals that troubled me.
When I gave my notes, he nodded the entire time for the most part, but when he played the scenes I saw nothing of what I had asked for.
I rephrased my notes and asked him to try again. Still the same.
I frankly started to wonder if he was gaslighting me as I not only did not hear what I was asking for -- I didn't hear any differences between his readings. I also didn't hear anything usable. It was all monotone or if a choice was being made, boring choices.
I intend to take this actor aside and tell him the above (minus the "gaslighting" and probably "boring" language) and ask if my notes were clear, and especially ask if he had a problem with doing it the way I was asking, and invite him to provide other interpretations which we might agree on, or maybe even "help me understand the choices you were making the other night." I can see how I might have come across as steamrolling and even if my interpretation was a good valid one, I know how steamrolling can prompt resistance.
But I wonder if I'm missing something. Another actor after my 5th or 6th time started giving notes -- I stopped that after a few sentences when I realized what was going on. I thought it was very inappropriate and it actually served as a signal to me to move on to other goals. However it also helped reassure me that I wasn't simply failing to hear the first actor's doing what I was asking for.
Have any of you encountered a situation like this? I don't want to come down on this guy. I prize open communication and good relations in this kind of situation, and hey, he's a volunteer as are we all. When directors have told me, "You're not giving me what I asked for," I don't experience it as an attack. But...I've never worked with this guy. I don't know how he's receiving me. What did you do?