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Directing from the Heart

After my mother passed away I clung to order. Organization. Sense. Meaning. Structure. In a world that defied logic, a world that took my mother away at such a young age in such an unjust way, I was determined to control what I could.

I thought directing would support this shift in me. I thought it would allow me to lead the charge towards sense– of organizing and structuring a rehearsal process and the vitalization of text. I would be in charge of how things ran. I would be able to press stop and start and use all of my newfound obsessive compulsive quirks for the better.

I was not always this way. I used to light literal fires to communicate my feelings about art making. I love Sam Shepard and dysfunction and chaos, screaming and tearing my hair out onstage. That was me before tragedy. I know I still possess all of that capacity for pyrotechnics, but somewhere between death and the beginning of my thesis rehearsal process, I had subconsciously decided that there wouldn’t be room for that.

stoppretendngartishard

I am my own stage manager, production manager, set and costume designer. Trying to control all of those factors and being creatively flexible and alive is not sustainable. My grief-stricken, ordered self has to let the light shine in. Clutching to only providing structure for actors is not enough. Deciding beats and actions is not enough. Making a ground plan is not enough. Calling breaks and making rehearsal schedules is not enough. The Lucy who set things on fire needs to come into the room. The Lucy who is larger than life has space here. She’s being beckoned fiercely and with open arms.

I want to make art from the ground up with a small company for a long time. It’s much harder than I ever dreamed of. However, I’m no less determined to continue. I simply need to make space for all of the jagged edges and compulsive organization and electricity that I am capable of. For now I’ll quit the bitching and do my work.

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