MONKEY SCI-FI HORROR THEATRE is now closed. Directing Dead Manâ€™s Party was a completely new experience for me, having never directed before. Granted, I had always wondered if I would be a good director, but until the Monkeymen approached me, I had never really though seriously about directing.
All in all, I think I learned a lot. I donâ€™t know that I am a particularly strong director. I approached this particular show without a strong vision for the show. Rather, my approach was pretty simple: I just wanted to be clear about the story. Not that this is a bad thing, but I think perhaps a stronger â€œvisionâ€ for the show would have helped. Additionally, I donâ€™t think I was very good at expressing what I was looking for, nor am I completely certain that my notes were very helpful. That said, the Monkeymen (and all the other performers) were good about it, and didnâ€™t complain.
The performance space was the backroom of the Imperial Pub, on Dundas in Toronto. Not a traditional performance space by any stretch of the imagination. It presented some interesting challenges. Hereâ€™s a 180 degree panorama of the space, before we set it up as a â€œtheatreâ€. Click (as the kids say) to embiggen).
Iâ€™m certain that I could become a stronger director with practice. Iâ€™m not entirely sure that I want to do it regularly, though. I think Iâ€™d rather remain focused on performing.
Now that Iâ€™m done with Zombies (not that Iâ€™m completely done with zombies. After all, the zombies could rise at any time, and we must all be vigilant), its on to Out of Character, a Bring your Own Venue for the Toronto Fringe. Well, Fringe and some Keystone Theatre planning. Looking at my June schedule, I am seeing that Iâ€™m doing one or the other almost every night of the week. Its going to be an exhausting month.
Continuing to direct Dead Man’s Party.Â We’re heading into tech week, and there’s still some blocking to be done.Â Yeah.Â A little stressful.Â Its worse for the actors, though.Â I’m sure it will all come together, though.Â I could be a bit of a wreck by the time we open, but I’m sure it will all come together.
I’m shooting a bit of video as we go, and when the show’s up, I’ll probably edit it together and throw it up here.
In the meantime, here’s a rehearsal shot.
As Iâ€™ve mentioned previously, Iâ€™m directing Dead Man’s Party for Monkeyman Productions.Â This is the first time I’ve ever directed anything, and although I’ve had some ideas in my head about what it is to be a director, and what makes a good director (what actor doesn’t?), I’ve never actually had to put any of my ideas into practice.
And so, now that I’m directing this play, each time I get ready to walk into a rehearsal, I get slightly terrrified because, this being my first attempt at directing…I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing.Â I’m hoping that the things I say to the actors is helpful and that I’m not getting in their way.Â I suppose I’ll be happy if when its all over, it can be said that I’m not a “bad director”.Â And if people enjoy the show despite my efforts (or even better…because of them), then I’ll be even happier.
I do plan to start shooting some video as things get more interesting and we start putting things on their feet, which I will eventually edit together and post here.
On another topic, yesterday I went for a walk at lunch.Â Mount Pleasant Cemetary is closeby, so I ended up walking there for a bit, when I came upon this:
Yeah.Â That’s a Fu Lion wearing sunglasses.
A while back, D.J. From Monkeyman Productions asked me to direct a one-act play as a part of a double-bill of his plays entitled MONKEY SCI-FI HORROR THEATRE (which is appropriately typed in all caps. Only all caps. Ever). I said yes, and so I am directing Dead Manâ€™s Party, a play about Dungeons & Dragons and the Zombie Apocalypse. Which, you have to admit is pretty awesome. If a play about Dungeons & Dragons would be pretty cool, and a play about the Zombie apocalypse would be awesome cool, then a play combining both would be super awesome cool (what can I say, I gotta let my geek flag fly).
This last Wednesday, we had our first reading of the play and next week we will begin rehearsals in earnest. I quite like this play, and so Iâ€™m very much looking forward to having it as the first entry on my directing resume.
For those interested, MONKEY SCI-FI HORROR THEATRE runs May 22-23 and 29-30 at the Imperial Pub (54 Dundas Street East, not far from Yonge Street) with special LATE-NIGHT second performances on Saturday nights at 11pm!
In other news, on hoping to be appearing in a BYOV in the Fringe Fest this July. Details on that when they become available.
On the writing front, Iâ€™m working on a one-man play right now. This is going to be a long-haul kind of project, but Iâ€™m liking the process so far.
I have to say that it was fun.
It was a strange thing, though. Turns out the whole “crapshoot” idea went beyond the performers. The audienc in the cabaret space rolled a 6 sided die (of course only a gaming nerd like me would need to specify that it was a six sided die) and the number that came up is the amount that you paid. So getting the audience inside took a half hour. When they were all inside, there were 138 of them. So, yes the place was packed.
Adam and I were called up third, and the crowd was receptive. They laughed where we hoped they would and seemed to enjoy the scene. So that was good.
But there was one other thing that they were doing that I didn’t know about. After all the acts had performed, they had the audience fill out ballots to vote on their favourite, who would act as the headliner for the next edition of Crapshoot in month.
The upshot: our scene didn’t “win”. But the performed that did was great, and I was happy to “lose” to her.
So, a good night. But now I am tired and on my was home to sleep.