Thursday, February 28, 2013

How to Direct a Play

1. Agonize for months over what script would be best for your group of actors.
2. Eliminate all of your favorite choices because the cast parameters are too large/small, too expensive, or require too many guys.
3. Settle on your third-favorite script.
4. Hold tryouts.  Realize you will never have enough guys. Considering casting your cat as the male lead.
5. Cast some girls as guys.
6. Invest in sticky-on mustaches and spirit gum.
7. Teach blocking.
8. Teach actors how to say lines without sounding wooden.
9. Shoot darts at anybody who puts his back to the audience.
10. Teach blocking again. Stitch up the kid who falls off the stage.
11. Re-open tryouts to replace actor who has moved/been expelled/suffered a psychotic break.
12. Invest in more darts.
13. About a week before the play, come to the conclusion that sleep is no longer necessary. If you absolutely must sleep, be sure to have long, detailed, exhausting dreams about the play -- dreams that involve none of the cast showing up for opening night, all of the cast forgetting their lines, all props being replaced with wheels of cheese, etc.
14. Twenty-four hours before the play, contract intestinal issues.
15. Ten hours before the play, begin eating your own hair.
16. Two hours before the play, wake up backstage wondering how you got there and if it's all over.
17. An hour before the play, succumb to the eerie, fatalistic numbness associated with realizing that there is no longer anything that you can do.  Hide in the props closet and yearn for the end.
18. Lurk backstage during the performance, rocking back and forth while clutching your walkie-talkie and wondering why the audience keeps clapping.
19. Refuse to take any credit for the play's success, saying, "Oh, it was nothing -- the cast are the real stars of this show."
20. Sleep for a year.

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