When you're living in a constant state of 'holy crap'!
It only took a week to realise this little theatre company had passion but lacked a culture conducive to producing this massive musical theatre project. I should have asked more questions.
In the first week of rehearsals I would have to find a choreographer and an acting coach for them and later, make a major decision to avoid the show running off the rails. HOLY CRAP! I didn't want to step on toes but I began to realise there were no toes to step on. Everyone was flying blind and about to crash into a mountain. I will spend my entire life sorting my shiz out when it comes to wanting everyone to like me. That stuff will mess with your head but, for now, I had to push that aside and take charge of the project. I fought the decision for another week. I dug my little girl heels in and waved my fists at the world. "I came here to direct a bloody show not run a company." I was pissed. Know the feeling? I eventually got over myself and got to work.⠀ That project taught me a lot about the value of company culture and its effect on cast, creatives, and the quality of a show.⠀ > With a strong protective and positive culture, one that expects courage and hard work, a cast develops confidence in themselves.⠀ > They learn that when everything hits the fan someone is looking out for them.⠀ > It gives the team a framework in which to create.⠀ I'd like to say that I was wearing my Wonder Woman pants all the time but in all honesty, I spent the entire project in a 'constant state of holy crap'. All I could do was put my head down and keep pushing forward. I felt so overwhelmed by the enormity of leadership that, when tech week came, I nearly lost my shiz all over the place. But this team of actors and creatives were fearless - a tribe supporting each other and the result was spectacular. The show exceeded expectations and won the company an award no one expected. ⠀ I truly believe that great and surprising work comes from courage. Face up to the hard stuff, surround yourself with your tribe and look out for each other.⠀ And wear your best Wonder Woman pants.
Sherryl-Lee Secomb is the creator of An Idiot On Stage.
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