It has been weeks and weeks and weeks since I have left Ithaca and the crew at the Hangar Theatre. My last two weeks were so packed with my producing duties that I never got the chance to do a final blog post during my time there. After leaving Ithaca, I traveled to Tampa Florida to direct a show. This job was a direct result of my Drama League Fellowship. This amazing gift that I received this summer is already paying dividends!
I am actually really glad that it took me this long to get back to my blogging duties. I really needed to gain some perspective from my experiences in Ithaca. I’d love to say that everything went perfectly, but that just isn’t the case. I came up against things that challenged me and sometimes I didn’t live up to the expectations that I had set for myself. I made rash choices based on fear, I didn’t always utilize my time effectively, and there are a bunch of moments in my work this summer that I wish that I could have an adolescent “do-over” on. All of that being said, I wouldn’t trade a minute of what transpired for anything on earth. I learned, I grew, and I came out a better artist, person, and leader.
As a person, I am afraid that I usually focus on the negative in any situation or production. It is just how I look at my world and my work. What I have to remind myself is that so much went right this summer! I directed 3 shows that I was proud of, helped lead a company for the first time, and got to see so many people grow exponentially in many different facets, both on stage and off.
I got a chance to engage the community at large and try some things that I would have been too afraid to experiment with anywhere else. I made some amazing friends who I will keep in touch with and stand by. I also picked up a few talented collaborators along the way. People that I will STRIVE to work with in the future. There is so much to be grateful about. I have to hold on to that. I challenged the Lab Company, at the beginning of the summer, to have a long memory. I have to do the same when the going gets tough. I have to remember what I learned at the Hangar, sometimes begrudgingly, when I get scared or stressed.
I found out that I love to work at a fast pace and relished being challenged by different classifications of shows. I worked on a TYA show, a musical, a new play, and something from the classical cannon. All new experiences for me. However, if I learned one thing this summer it is that I love “the classics” above all else. I had never even touched Shakespeare before and now it is all that I want to do. It challenges and scares me more then anything else. Probably a good sign.
As far as accomplishing what I set out to accomplish, I did that. I reaffirmed that I want to artistically lead a large regional theatre some day. Artistic Direction is in my theatrical DNA. I have the tools necessary to accomplish this, but I have a LONG way to go before I reach my goal….and that is ok. The Drama League and the Hangar staff have given me a great opportunity/start, but I have to keep building on that.
I wish I had the opportunity to thank each person who was in Ithaca this summer for making this experience the amazing epoch that it was for me. Everyone from Peter Flynn to Sparkles played an important role in my maturation as a leader and a director this summer. It was one hell of a ride. Thanks for being a part of it.