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With the Academy Awards Looming

 With the Academy Awards Looming...(The DIRECTOR'S Mindset)

by Les 

February 1, 2000

“So, have you all learned your lines for tomorrow?” I asked. The responses were varied and some did not come to my ears. Those that responded affirmatively, I ignored in the main, simply passing them each a reward, a large candy, for having followed the norm of my expectations.  

Those that acknowledged that they had not yet mastered their lines, I admonished, for they had enough notice surely to fulfill this requirement. I gave one a glare and another; I shook my head at after making eye contact. A third, well I simply gave him my best "tisk, tisk," and, in front of the others for emphasis. To the fourth, a known laggard I might add, I turned my back conveying my disgust through my posture and my silence. Then I separated this group from the others and began my best motivational speech about how they were letting down the others and themselves as well. Did we not all rely on them? After all, had the script not been laboriously tailored to fit the characters and the dreams and aspirations of so many? Had not each one of them agreed to play a role to see this drama through? How was I, after all, to direct this crew if they were not willing to both do everything in their power to reach our common goal and fulfill my need to be in control with an adequate amount of peer recognition for my efforts!   

It is not easy being a director. Care taking all the logistics of costumes, catering to the moods of the actors, amending the lines in the script so that each could not only mouth the words but also have sufficient emotional contact with the lines, well, this was a major consumer of my energies, I can tell you.    

It was hard at times motivating these actors to stick with the play, my play, my way, but I did it for a long time. Ungrateful ones, some of them, walked out. Said they did not want to be party to my play. Well, I will fix them. I will blame them. I will take away their privileges. I will stop talking with them. Well darn it all, I may even have to write them out of my next play, because if they cannot conduct their roles as I say, then how can I expect them to treat anything with respect? Imagine the audacity of one who got really angry with me on occasion, finally stomping away saying “I never said I wanted to stay stuck in this play called ‘Expectations’ forever you know.”  Tell me film critic, what do you think of the actor’s behavior in that case?  

“I think perhaps you might have asked the actor to read your script and also to see if any role was really them, or just one they were really willing to play for a while. Not letting the actor know the full story or how long you intended it to stay the same, may have defeated their willingness to act in your drama.”

Les