Friday, March 31, 2006

ON ACTING: "The Director"

The student asked: "What is the function of a director?"

My answer: The director function is (1) establish the vision or overall 'meaning of the piece'. He asks and answers the basic question: "What is the 'point', or lesson to be drawn by the clash of the scripted characters in the piece?"; (2) s/he acts as group organizer and head cheerleader (the director = manager) of the various film or play workers; getting everyone to offer their best efforts to the project (after all, they all know more than the director about their functioning specialty RE manifesting that theme); and (3) to act as the physically mounting ('blocking') specialist of the play. This includes maintaining consistency in the overall physical style of the piece, the manner in which the director thinks the theme can be best carried to the audience.

One thing the director is NOT...And should NOT be expected to do is... help the actors act!!! The director is not their acting teacher or coach. Insecure or confused actors should not wait for the director to tell them what to do or how to do it. Imagine if the director came up to the actors on the set and asked them how s/he should direct! Writer's write, set decorators decorate, property masters master props, wardrobe wardrobes, and actors act....And directors manage them all, stimulating and encouraging them to do their unique tasks excellently and efficiently toward a unified purpose.


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