Last week I was fortunate to have a short stay in London with nothing to do but watch theatre. I saw three shows: the somewhat mediocre writing but beautiful music of 'The Human Comedy' at the Young Vic, the excellent 'Blood and Gifts' at the National, and the work of one of my favourite writers - Simon Stephens: 'Punk Rock' at the Lyric. Three very different shows, three very different experiences, but a real inspiration.
At the moment I am undergoing what can only be classed as a Learning Experience. I am in the full throes of casting for my next show - which itself is still not completely written, attempting to plot my next year in terms of balancing my own projects with the necessity of getting paid work, while trying not to become overly obsessed with the tv show 'Criminal Minds'. Of the lessons I am learning (script writing & editing, casting, dealing with agents, fundraising, tax, professional relationships), there are three that I am finding particularly important, and difficult to accommodate.
1. PATIENCE - waiting for the emails/letters I've sent out, as well as job applications to bear fruit is a long process - one that I never really appreciated before.
3. COMMUNICATION - I thought I was a good communicator, and I am, but more important than conveying ideas is the effectiveness and efficiency of communication. Happily my email inbox is improving in this respect.
But I have already learnt two very valuable lessons, one from a very good friend and fellow director - Matt Lloyd Davies. That is:
All will be well. It's not rocket science, we're not curing cancer...it's just a bit of storytelling.
And the other is what I would call a mantra if I believed in such things:
Play the long game.
So. Who wants to play? :-)