I Found Something Really Cool Today

Like a lot of people, I am a champion procrastinator. To that end, I use Pocket to save all the web pages I want to read later on. As I was going through it today, I found this entry on The Film Colony’s website, and it had the most amazing short film – a  behind-the-scenes video by MGM that takes you to all sorts of places throughout the studio in 1925, just a year after it was established.

If you’re at all interested in film history (or history in general) like I am, this is really a kick. I love the staff in the various departments that were all assembled in front of the cameras – it reminds me of the “happy holidays from all of us” messages that CTV News runs every New Year’s Eve.

Some of the things I just love about this:

Seeing all the authentic fashions of the day. We’re used to seeing the grand costumes that were put on film, but I love seeing the ladies with their hats:

Agnes Christine Johnston
Simple and lovely.
Carmel Meyers
Super sassy!

Or the carpenters who wore shirt and tie under their overalls:

Overalls and Ties

Take a look at the directors’ board. So many movies being made at once!

Directors Board

If you have a few minutes, take a watch.

This is What I’m Doing Tonight

The last 48 hours have been an emotional roller coaster which I don’t think I’ve seen before. Anger, tears, rage, sadness, annoyance…they’re all flying together at once like a tornado. So to give myself a break, I’m spending this evening watching documentaries about ancient civilizations and remarkable “nasty” women who took on the establishment again and again and again.

We are nothing, if not persistent.

 

Why I Direct

I love directing. I’ve loved it since I took my first stab at it back in 1990something.

I started in community theatre, where I watched others in charge of the shows I was in and said, “Hell, I can do that!” A lot of chutzpah for somebody who was only 22 at the time, but I didn’t let that deter me. In rapid succession, I took on some of the most complicated and known shows in theatre. I even put the Titanic on stage. I loved every minute of it. Then I took an extended break, and when I came back, was surprised to find that I loved it all over again.

There is something about watching actors breathe life into a script that you’ve read fifty times before auditions even start. Or a script that doesn’t really seem that funny on the page, but you cast the actors who can make you laugh while they read for the part. It’s even more magical when, just before you move into the theatre, they can still make you smile. Then make your friends laugh. Then total strangers. And, hopefully, reviewers.

When it works, you feel like you can take on the world. When it’s tough, you buckle down and do the best you can for your cast to figure out how to make it work. And somehow, it always does. It may not be how you pictured it, but not only does it all turn out, sometimes it’s leaps and bounds beyond what you first envisioned.

And then you turn over the reins, and let them go to work in front of an audience, where they shine. And while my job is done, I love watching them perform, and to see how an audience reacts to them.

That’s why I do it. And I’ll do it as long as the theatre will have me.