I believe I mentioned it earlier, but in case I didn't I was selected by my local theatre to represent it at the state one act festival; the same festival that I won last year. It was a completely impulsive move to submit a script (I was bored and browsing scripts online, saw one with two people and no set, read the preview page, and submitted it over the course of about 20 minutes. I never do stuff like that), and I had no intention of being chosen or having to add another project to my plate (I was working on two already). About a week later I was handed the script back (which I hadn't technically read yet) and found myself setting audition dates.
Last year I closed the festival. We were the final show to perform and found out about 3 hours later that we were going to move on to Regionals. This year I opened it, and was told by the adjudicators that it was a wonderful piece to start the weekend off with. We got a lot of compliments on it and was given constructive feedback, most of which I agreed with and already have plans on improving if we make it another round. People who watched the show complimented me countless times during breaks. Just as last year, I think the adjudicators were surprised to see such a young face step forward as director.
It was a wonderful experience. My big piece my final year of college was a two person show, and I've always had a strange fascination with them. I started out not fond of the script at all, and now it's one of my favorite scripts of all time. I chose two actors who I had never worked with before and wasn't familiar with their capabilities, and Wednesday on our final rehearsal I cried because something I had created became exactly what I had envisioned from the beginning. An old friend agreed to be my stage manager and I was able to work with her for the first time in years, and I brought back most of my running crew from last year. It was a good, tight-knit, supportive group. I enjoyed every rehearsal, felt the show grow weekly, and was able to shape and mold every aspect of it. I remembered why I liked directing so much. It reminded me that even though I don't get a lot of opportunities to do it around here, I'm good at it.
And yet...I sit here, still riding the high of presenting my art to a room full of people who simply enjoyed it, and I am content with the decision I have made to take a break. In the past 6 months, I have enjoyed very little of the local theatre I've done (with the exception of this show, of course). I am on the losing side of the politics that happen in any organization, the outside of a clique that has swooped in and taken over, and was turned down as director for a piece I wanted to try my hands at at a theatre that didn't even post a complete season. Before I left for college I was stage managing everything - I returned with a degree and can barely get off running crew. I'm tired of being asked why I'm even there. I'm tired of being with the people I've worked with for years and because of a select few elitists constantly feeling like I'm on the outside of an inside joke. It used to upset me because I wanted to belong. Now it upsets me because it's ruining my love for my art. And that's why I need to walk away for a little while.
This is in no way permanent, for maybe the handful of you who might tune in because there are a severe lack of theatre bloggers. It might last 3 months, it might last 3 years. I will still be stage managing at the RennFest. I will still stage manage the Christmas Show for the boys from faire. I will still go to theatre and enjoy it, keep art in my life, and create in ways that don't make me hate it. I have ideas already, and if I can get other people involved I am excited at the opportunities they may bring.
Tomorrow morning I find out if we move on to Regionals. If we don't I'm ok with it. I am proud of what I presented, and I am proud to walk away after this show with a full heart for those who came down and supported me and the cast and crew. I have finally directed a piece that I feel really reflected who I am as an artist. I am proud. And I have every reason to be.