So, the first thing I have learned about myself since starting my Drama League fellowship is that I am intimidated by blogging. There. I said it. I think I am the last one to post and I have been worrying about it for close to two weeks. But the time has come to face the fear and just do it. Here goes:
I don’t know what I expected out of Professionals Week, but the thing that most surprised me was how inspiring it was – both artistically and life/career-wise. Many people over the week pointed out how lonely directing can be. It’s not something I often think about, especially because I am lucky to have a wonderful community of artists and other directors in my life (to which I can now add my incredible fellow fellows), but it’s true. Being part of a group of directors all week made me realize how much I have missed the kind of sharing and problem-solving that you can only do with other directors. Since finishing graduate school I have been actively working to find a balance in my life between being a confident working professional while also continuing to learn and explore new ideas and ways of working. Being with the other directors made me realize how easy it is to stop interrogating your own process and stretch your imagination outside of the structures of a program that asks you to do so. I found myself talking about my work and process in a way that really helped me to think about where I am as an artist and where I am going. It also, quite frankly, just made me excited to work. I am about to go into a workshop process to devise a piece about Mollie Fancher (The Brooklyn Enigma) with Dreamscape Theater and the fantastic playwright Ricardo Perez Gonzalez, and talking about the project and my work in general with my fellow directors really energized me to tackle it with new fervor. I have been reading about Mollie obsessively since. I also got great ideas of things to try (devising is quite new to me) from directors who work primarily in that way which was helpful and also gave me more confidence that I can do it well.
But the other thing that was inspiring was simply the dedication and genuine enthusiasm for all of us fellows from everyone at the Drama League and even in the larger community. Directing can also be lonely in that it can feel like no one is really invested in your success or forward motion. Now, suddenly, there are all these people who want me to succeed, who want to be there and be a resource and who, as corny as it sounds, really believe in me and my work and my ability to do well. It took me aback how much that meant to hear and feel. It really has changed something in me and given me new energy to move forward.