Look Back in Wonder

One of the projects I’m currently working on is further development of a play I co-wrote during much of this year, a play I then directed in a production this summer. I videotaped a performance of that, even though I knew that such tapings of shows are usually unsatisfying. Not surprisingly, this was fairly…unsatisfying. The lights aren’t right to allow for it to focus correctly from the back row, and there was no real opportunity to try and move the camera without really messing things up because the show clipped along with little break, it couldn’t be taped from a better location because the house was packed (!) so it’s kind of a wide framed, slightly out of focus, archival recording.

It’s not like I can take some clips and add it to a DVD portfolio. Oh, well.

But it is a reminder of what we did and how it went and how it looked. I decided to watch the recording, and follow along with a copy of the script and note ideas and thoughts of where things should get added, deleted, moved around. I already have a list of things to insert, and I figured watching the flow of the whole piece would help identify where those things go.

I made a bunch of notes and it was helpful, so I’m glad I took the time to do that. There was another thing that was valuable—it made me realize that I did some pretty good work on that show. I mean, not to toot my own horn, although let’s face it this is my blog, I had felt very confident in the show at the time. But I was working so so so hard, getting it ready for an audience, doing minor re-writes and trying to keep so many balls in the air, that I couldn’t be entirely certain of what I had. Even when others had such positive reactions.

And now with the space of a few months, revisiting it again allowed me to see it in a fresh light. It’s not perfect. I see where the weaknesses are, both for the script and for the performance itself. But….I brazenly told some folks before it opened that I thought it was some of the best work I’ve done, and that it was going to be a highlight of my (so called) career.

I think I was right. It was some fine work. And this happy feeling is just what I needed this week.

Now I hope to make it better.



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