The Heart of a Director
The heart of a director is for others to see what they see. They breathe life into words on paper and turn them into words with actions. They add emotion, purpose, character, connection and that ‘special spark’ to a script. They are renovators, innovators, motivators, dictators (according to some actors), and spectators. They play the script through their mind like a captioned movie before they even set a casting. They search for their own connection to the story and add their heart and soul to it…. That’s why every production is different! The Director is like a business salesman to the writer; their goal is to sell the writer’s vision and story to the public. They take the time to cast the right actors to fit their vision. They ‘usually’ don’t intend to offend you if they don’t cast you as their vision is different to yours.
Directors are natural perfectionists and find it hard to compromise beyond their vision. When they expect perfection they can be difficult to deal with at times. You miss those tears of frustration when the star of the show keeps forgetting that pivotal line or when the blocking in that scene isn’t working or even when the stage set up they envisioned isn’t viable according the risk assessment. You miss those stressful moments when the director has to work with the background people and the personalities begin to clash. You miss those moments when they have to justify the actors they have cast, or the disappointment when they couldn’t bag the actor who they really wanted. You miss those nights of planning, scheming, note taking, reflecting, communicating with other cast, resolving ‘personality clashes’, and stressing about whether the actors will get it all right on the night.
But Directors do it because they have a heart for it. They willingly invest the time and energy into creating amazing work. They are committed, patient, resilient, organised, creative human beings. Their vision is beyond the actor’s, so take the time to listen to what they want and give ideas if it’s warranted. Some directors were actors, writers or backstage crew at some stage, so they know what goes on. Be grateful for the time and commitment they put into a show, be as patient with them as they are with you, and shower them with praise and thanks even when you feel like stuffing your script down their throat! Give them the space and positive vibes they need to tell their story, it’s always worth it when the curtain rises!