Thursday, 27 November 2014

Steel Magnolias PART 1 - The begining of a shaggy dog story - it's all about me.

Drama Drama
I have been a bit busy for the last couple of months. Bryan and I have been directing a play. I have also been producing, finding props, finding costumes, finding people to do the props and the costumes and the producing so that I would not have to do them with limited success. Want to know why? Because I am a useless producer. EISH. And fraying my nerves in the process. And yet.....It has been bloody brilliant! In my mind I have been a Martyr for months. There is really nothing better for a “woe is me” type like me.  Move over Eeyore. All my favorite things all rolled into one. Stress , feeling sorry for myself, combined with self-righteousness and feeling like I have the moral high ground, for a few moments. Who needs calm and sanity and peace of mind? Clearly not me. Now I don't want you to think that I have been an island of suffering, well actually I do. But in the interests of full disclosure (don't you just loath the truth) I did get help from all sorts of people and places and I am most grateful.

suffering for my art.
I have an announcement.

I am a control freak. I never knew that. I did know that I really, truly, deeply, (down to the bone marrow, life blood deep) hate being controlled and react very badly when I feel even a tiny bit manipulated. Even for the very best of reasons , with the warmest of intentions. What I did not know was that, as a counter point to that, I am viscerally controlling. IT IS NOT A PRETTY THING. For someone who reacts so badly to being controlled you would think I would not be the thing that I loathe the most. All I can say on this point is that life is cruelly ironic. It is all too deep for me right now. I will revisit this revelation in my mind in the months to come. I will either make peace with it, and be a better person, or change and be a better person or completely freak out and you can visit me in Bedlam.

And I am sorry.

I know that my way is not the best way all the time or even all that often, for that matter. It is hardly relevant. I am controlling because I feel comfortable having my way. No surprises there right? And if I royally mess things up, I much prefer it if it is my fault rather than someone else’s. I can't hold a grudge against myself. I should just quit while I am ahead shouldn't I? “You are not ahead” I hear you think out loud? Oh well.

Back in April (wow  - was it that long ago?) DDG sent out a call for Directors for the upcoming season. Fresh from having dipped my toes back in the directing pool with DDG's "Chekhov’s Cigarettes" I was ready for another project. HA! Ready? HA! Fat lot I knew. By May the choice of "Steel Magnolias" was settled as being a play that would be well known and had a good cast for women. What a clever thing I am for suggesting the play and how wise DDG is for agreeing with me. Auditions were set for August. Hurry up and wait time. What it should have been was hurry up and get your ducks in a row time. But let’s not go there, okay?

In the meantime I was asked if I wanted to sit in on auditions for the DDG production due on stage before mine, "The importance of Being Ernest", as I might find potential cast members at the auditions. Yes, I did indeed want to sit in the Ernest auditions. And there my problems started.

Another Penelope playing Lady Bracknell

At the auditions, as you do, I landed up reading in for various roles against people auditioning and off the back of that was asked if I would consider auditioning for Lady Bracknell. What a silly question. In a very short space of time I was totally in love with the idea of getting back on stage and being Lady Bracknell. I so saw myself as that magnificent dowager. Another thing to think about. But back to the point, this left me with a dilemma. How could I direct a show and act in one where there would obviously be overlaps in terms of time commitments. I was like a teenager confronted with two great parties on the same night. And what does that foolish teen do? It goes to both. That is never a good idea, just trust me on that. I could not let go of either idea. I wanted it all and I wanted it now. Damn, a dilemma and a pickle. What to do? I did what I always do. I ran to Bryan. "Fix it Bryan. Fix it." I implored. "Help me. You know you want to." You know he did not, but what can he do? Give in or suffer an eternity of my sulking. Bryan agreed to co-direct so that I could act and direct. YAY.
"The Importance of Being Earnest" was postponed. I was crushed, really crushed; it has been a long time since I have been even a little tempted to act. SIGH. I was gutted, not least because I had used up a great many brownie points on getting Bryan to help me out of a tight spot. And now I was stuck with him. I would have to share.
It was just as well for Steel Magnolias. There is no way I could have done the show without Bryan. As it was Bryans job, with the travel he undertakes, combined with the fact that I could not get a producer meant that I was up to my eyeballs with Steel Magnolias.
And that is the story of how I landed up co-directing a play with my husband.
Do I recommend this?
To find out,  wait for my next post.........

"The Classic masks of Comedy and Tragedy or as they're now known, emoticons"

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