So, it got down to crunch time and wasn't able to do the live-blogging as much as I was hoping that I would be able to (I know I did four posts but that was just for the writing!) Skipping the play festival and getting to when I went to bed at 1am Sunday morning, I slept until 2p the following afternoon. Then, I went back to sleep. Woke up, had three tours last night and then went back to sleep. 8am, back at work... well, I say work, I'm writing on my blog now...
The festival was a complete and total success! The fundraising, the organizing, the turn out to participate and the turnout for the show itself was awesome! I spoke to the audience before the show began and it was the first time that I was nervous speaking in front of a group in I don't know how long. Below is a list of the things that I loved about the festival and some things that I would change for next time:
JUST A FEW THINGS THAT WERE AWESOME
- People doing things that they had never done before and being totally successful at it. Bill Cooper and Morgann Daniels had never directed before. They had done some pretty impressive work.
- People moving out of their comfort zone and being totally successful at it. Ruby was pretty nervous about doing the show. But she pulled through and was a great success. You have to remember, that the audience doesn't want you to fail, they want you to succeed! That's why they come out, that's why they donate or pay for the ticket! It takes a sick bastard that wants to see the tight-rope walker fall into the net. You don't play for that crowd.
- Everyone, the audience and the performers were ENJOYING themselves. I think that the flaw of my early days in theatre was that I took everything so deathly seriously. I had a hard time enjoying myself and it stressed me out and theatre seemed to be more of a masochistic ritual than a pleasurable experience. And here I was, stressing out, getting even more gray hairs, but in my heart I was enjoying myself. Hopefully everyone else was too.
THINGS THAT SHOULD BE TWEAKED FOR NEXT TIME
- There should be stricter guidelines for the writers. The theme was okay (and a decision that I'll stand by), but the chance to the use the line was thrown away in some cases. This may sound strange, but if there was more consistency in the sets, the table and two chairs, the transitions would have gone a bit smoother and not have had as much to worry about. JinHi had also suggested that there be a dedicated stage crew for the set. That's for next time.
- I should have a second banana that can take over when I need to take a disco nap. I find that I'm more effective when I'm awake and when I'm not awake, things tend to go the wayside. A right hand person could take over for a little bit and that would mean that everyone would kind of have to know the schedule of everything that was going to happen. Which leads me to the next point...
- Things seemed to go a little bit better when I was very explicit and direct. Something that I know I find frustrating about processes is when the person in charge is kind of wishy-washy. I think that as the producers there were some moments, where I wasn't being clear and that can lead to frustration and whatnot. My concern was being too dictatorial when I really wanted everyone to express themselves and have a degree of destiny throughout the process. However, I think that there's a balance that can be struck. At least, I'll have a chance next time...
A common question that I got throughout the festival was "Are you going to do this again?" At first, the question was hinged on the success of MNPF, but when I arrived with Morgann to get everything set up, JinHi was already primed for a sequel. To put it mildly, everything with the MNPF was a success, so JinHi and I are planning The Winter's Tales (tentative title), another 24 hour 10 minute play festival slated for this January, kind of as a beginning to the theatre season of 2012! Stay tuned for details.
All said and done, I'm really pleased with the way that the event had turned out. This was a good coming out event for the UpStart Theatre Company and I can't wait for more events like it in the future.
Again, thank you to everyone who was involved in the event, directly and indirectly.