Friday, October 30, 2009

The Director's Lament

At our small group last night, I asked for prayer for the homeschool drama performance next week. Actually, I asked for prayer mostly for me to let go of it and stop stressing. (Although I'm much less stressed after our extra rehearsal yesterday--it was the best we've had yet.)

Keith asked on the way home if I'm worried about this play mainly for my own reputation and glory. And I had to admit that yes, that's a part of it. This is the first drama anything that I've done for these people, the homeschoolers -- and you know what they say about first impressions. It's also the first full play I've ever written and directed -- much more invested in this than in the skits I've done for Sunday morning worship.

But frankly, I think the moms involved in the show have already made up their mind positively about me and the experience, no matter what happens Tuesday night. I've been hearing so much gratitude from them all along the way that I don't expect them to turn on me if the performance somehow turns out to be a flop.

I'll tell you who will turn on me if it's a flop: ME. This was a big step beyond what I've ever done before. I've been struggling all along with whether I bit off more than I could chew. And truth be told, in my imagination I can see myself doing bigger things than this. So, to find that a small, low-cost, low-expectation kid's play was more than I could handle would be very disappointing to me.

In addition, I'm finding the director role to be much more scary than I thought. I'm quickly coming to the point where this show is out of my hands. Where I've done all I can do and it's entirely up to the actors now to make it happen. It's out of my control. Shiver. One of my least favorite sentences in the English language.

So many people have put so much time and energy into this show, it would be such a shame for it not to go well. And if it doesn't . . well, I'm the director. The buck stops here.

But it's not going to flop. It's going to be fine. We have lots of sweet children in cute costumes. Even if they screw up all of the lines in my brilliantly written and insightful script, they will have had a good experience overall. And everyone will think they're cute. Cute is enough in a kids' show.

Nevertheless, I'm still hoping for better than cute.

5 comments:

Christina said...

Take it from someone who has been in and seen plenty of mediocre children's theatre: even when it's bad, it's good, because it's cute. I know your production is going to be FAR better than that, and I can't wait to hear about how much of a success it is!

Ona Marae said...

Gwen, I think the hardest thing in the world sometimes is to be gentle with ourselves. If I had written and directed the play, you would probably be far gentler with me than with yourself. So pretend like it's someone else. It's kind of like along the lines of the hardest person to forgive is yourself...but we still have to do it. I'll be waiting to hear how it went!

Vianelli and Eastin said...

It's going to be ok mom. Nothing's going to happen. Promise.
Eastin

chief320 said...

Chill out! Lighten up! Don't be so hard on yourself! I have heard all of this... and often from myself to myself.

It is so hard when you are a perfectionist since you feel that if it is not perfect, it is a reflection of yourself.

First, remember it is not about you (I know that is hard). This play is to entertain. This play is to teach the kids something about themselves. This play is to give glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

As long as you have instilled in the actors that they are doing this for the Glory of God, that they should give it their all for that reason, you have done what God wants from you. Let His blessings flow through the actors. I have seen totally amazing things happen when I remember that. I have seen total disasters happen when I focus on me.

I wish I could be there to see this play!

S & V said...

They will remember what feeling they walk away with. Did they have fun? Did they think someone cared? My guess is "yes".