June 3, 2010

36 hours, 36 lessons

This is gonna be pretty disjointed. Don't say I didn't warn you.

  1. Putting together an improv staged reading in 36 hours is doable, but at least shoot for 48.
  2. Concessions are a great idea. Even if you're doing a free show, at least have bottled water available.
  3. People really appreciate having cold water available to them in a hot space in the summer.
  4. Even improvs need rehearsals.
  5. When writing the script, it's easy to forget that the stage is empty except for what you put on it. Remember that while rewriting.
  6. Concessions should be profitable. You don't have to go movie theatre crazy with prices, but you can go higher than the bodega around the corner.
  7. Limit the props you need. Remember - you'll have to haul that shit if you want it in the play.
  8. When choosing concessions, go for cheap and non-perishable. Anything you gotta keep in the fridge is probably not a good idea.
  9. Insect repellent = good investment.
  10. If the schedule says 4:00, you're probably going to start by 4:30.
  11. Plan to go half an hour over time.
  12. Clean up after yourself.
  13. Write the script as though real people with real bodies have to pull it off in a real space.
  14. If non-actors with little rehearsal can make a script work, imagine what actors and rehearsals can do.
  15. Sexuality - even suggested sexuality - is way more intimate on stage than on screen.
  16. Perhaps the kink circus is a bit much.
  17. Actors should have a reason to be on stage. Don't force them to do nothing.
  18. Take a piss before the show starts.
  19. Stage lights are bright. Wear shades. Besides, it makes you look all artistic and hip.
  20. Stage lights are hot. Combine stage lights with summer weather and . . . yeah.
  21. "If you build it they will come."
  22. There is no such thing as an actor-proof script. Thank God.
  23. Make an effort to be inclusive. You never know who could rock the shit out of a role.
  24. Do not put yourself in the performer's and director's seat at the same time. Just. Don't.
  25. Kill your babies. Yes, that line was funny. Yes, that part sounds poignant, but if it doesn't work for the piece it has to die.
  26. Keep several versions of the script on hand. You never know if you said something better in a previous draft.
  27. You don't get what you don't ask for.
  28. Remain open to sudden changes.
  29. Ask questions. Especially stupid questions.
  30. Find the right people, and most of the work is done for you.
  31. If they're not getting paid, thank them.
  32. Everyone likes brownies.
  33. Actors love food. Feed them.
  34. You'll probably do this to yourself again because you love it. So stop complaining.
  35. You will be tired, but it's the good kind of tired.
  36. I'm only putting this here because I said I'd do 36.

1 comment:

  1. I like this: "Write the script as though real people with real bodies have to pull it off in a real space." I'm not immune to the charms of the unstagable stage direction, but I think I prefer work rooted primarily in the possibilities of the actors bodies, and not just the pristine text...