Directing Erina Jamil Nordan's "Sitting" as a first-timer was an incredibly rewarding experience and while not without obstacles or moments of crisis, the buzz of the night was electric. I had to manage some anxiety around my own competence - was I really able to steer this play in a direction that is faithful to the writing? Could I also add my own creative flavour to it without compromising Erina's script? My anxiety spilled into my interactions with the cast and the dynamic wasn't always easy to manage: remember that as peers, we were now thrust into a director - playwright/actor - actor relationship. I was supposed to lead but was honestly not sure that anyone would or even should follow. But my cast (Erina, Olivia Penhallow and Eddy) demonstrated more resilience and professionalism than I could have asked for. By actively placing our trust in each other and focusing energy on the task at hand, we got over the hump and used the emotion to charge the performance. It was truly electric and I was so, so proud of the result - I was honestly in tears at dress rehearsal and on the night.
Perhaps we need some of that drama to be part of the creative process - emotionally, I don't know that we could have hit the notes we did without really exploring our own feelings. I'm eternally grateful to the cast, including the playwright, and the rest of the company. I think they would have managed fine without me, and ultimately they did - my job was over when the lights went up, and I got to enjoy the play - but I felt I depended on them. I'm more proud of what they have done than anything else. If I helped in any way, then I'm proud too.
I had no real experience in theatre production, but decided to give it a shot when I joined people's company in autumn last year. We are given plenty of opportunities to explore the production process in different ways, ranging from acting to writing to stage design. No rehearsal feels like another. For my first play, I was selected to play one of the mean bosses that own the factories where people protest for better working conditions. I had to put up quite a silly performance, which I absolutely loved! The idea of acting in front of an audience of 200 people surely felt quite daunting, but to my own surprise I found that during the performance I wasn't nervous at all - quite the opposite, I had an absolute blast!