The joy of being a director comes from the progress you witness an actor go through, the process by which they begin to fight for what they want and the revelations that not only change the energy of the room but also the actor.
Being an actor has made some significant impressions on how I go about my work as a director. I don’t like to have my time wasted. I assume others feel the same way. And I’m a firm believer that, sometimes, there are rehearsals where everyone is much better served by not pushing through…just end early and go home.
I have directed a Tony-nominated actress in her late 70’s, as well as untrained 4th graders in plays they helped write just days before they were presented. There have been the challenges of directing a play that I wrote myself (people who do this should, perhaps, have their heads examined), and the joys of discovering subtle nuances in classic pieces of theater.
Directing is not a benevolent (and certainly not a malevolent) dictatorship, but rather a collaboration – a laboratory where every person in the room contributes work. It is the director’s job to make sure everyone knows what the final product is supposed to look like, sort and edit the data so it best supports that vision, and then release the results for the world to use however they see fit.