It’s been a month since Professional’s Week, the first of many adventures as a Drama League Fellow, and every day I wake up with a little voice in my head affirming, “this is the beginning of the rest of your life.” Now many of you reading this blog post may be saying to yourself, this boy needs to stop watching re-runs of RuPaul’s Drag Race, however it’s not Ru’s voice I hear but Gabriel Shanks who warmly welcomed all of us to lunch on our first day. While sitting around the table at Etcetera Etcetera, Gabriel chuckled to himself as he stated this seeming cliché that simultaneously resounded so much truth. Upon hearing this quote, I remember thinking to myself and feeling that indeed, this is the beginning.
For me this experience marks a re-coming out to the professional theatre industry, but this time as a director. For years I have been blessed to be a member of this community as a costumer. I have built a solid resumé assisting some of the greatest designers off and on Broadway, but the whole time I longed for the opportunity to be viewed as a director. To balance my desires I began directing at The Movement Theatre Company [TMTC], where I serve as one of the Producing Artistic Leaders, as well as hunted down assistant directing opportunities in place of design. I had the great fortune to go to Williamstown Theatre Festival as a directing intern and started to carve out a new path for myself as an emerging director. However, earlier this year I was at a crossroads in my life, because I knew that I needed a big opportunity to really launch me in the direction of my dreams. Being accepted in the Director’s Lab has served as that catalyst.
Over the course of the last month, so much has already happened and my time with the program has just started. I became friends with 12 of the most intelligent, kind and diverse directors working in NYC and along the east coast. I met with many of the major leaders running both commercial and not-for-profit theaters and got to spend quality time with them talking about the industry. I was afforded the chance to experience first hand what is happening on Broadway by seeing several of the major plays running… for free (Thanks Drama League)! I walked down the red carpet at the Drama League Awards and Pam MacKinnon introduced us to the packed ballroom. I interviewed with Robert O’Hara to assist him on Colman Domingo’s Wild with Happy this Fall at the Public Theatre, and yes… I got the job! (more blogging on that to come) And most importantly, I realized that I AM a director and while I longed for some affirmation from the industry, what truly matters is that I believe in myself.
This year is the start of a new journey full of support, guidance and my own confidence. I am thrilled to be a part of the 2012 Director’s Project and know that this opportunity will launch a lifetime of exciting possibilities!