#3 Giving Acting Notes that can't be Obeyed
As an actor I can't believe that I was one of the biggest breakers of this rule when I started directing. Maybe you've given an actor a note about something that isn't going right in their performance. The next time you run that scene they mess up again. And then yet a third time. All you know how to do is roll your eyes and ask your assistant director to write the acting note down yet again.
But wait...before you do look at what's going on in the scene and see why the actor might be getting it wrong again and again. Does it have to do with something outside his control (a set piece isn't being set in enough time for him to make his cue on time) or could it be that you are just (gasp) wrong and their choice in acting is valid?
Quick Fix: Make a hard and firm rule. Don't give the exact same note three times. Either give it in another way or schedule a "bits and pieces" session where you work through all the sticking points in a scene so that one actor doesn't feel like they're being called out all the time. In a session like that you'll find that all the squeaky parts of your scene get fixed better because they're "in the moment" and you can start and stop and rework the action on the stage.
|The way you're acting is making the walls too white. Can you say the lines more bluish?|
#4 Trying to be a Hero
I know that this is your show and you're probably working in a less than professional setting. I know that you want this show to be the best show that showcases all of your talent. So you may be tempted to open your wallet to pay for the best posters out there and donate all of you or your family's time to make sure that elaborate set gets done. And when one of your actor's get sick then you just know that you can step into the part and do it better than he ever could.
I know a director that I used to work with who did exactly that. She was not only the director and acting coach but she made the poster and designed most of the costumes. And when a certain set piece wasn't taking the kind of shape that she wanted then she stayed up all night and made her own version of it.
But when you play the hero and try to do everyone else's job do you know what you suck at doing? Youre OWN JOB!!! And if you're not at the helm as a director then all the rest of the outfit is like a horseshoe for want of a nail. If you lose the nail the horse suffers.
Quick Fix: Take a step back and breathe. You have a group of people here who are as devoted to getting your show up and running as you. Accept the show as it is and realize that you're not directing Broadway. What happens in the show happens. Don't hamstring your already hard work by trying to add more to it.
Look out next week for part three