As some of you may know I originally come from a history of performing arts. I was the actor rather than the director which looking back is quite weird I know. I believe my experience of being directed is hugely beneficial with the relationships I have with actors. I know what it’s like to be bossed around and I know how it is far from the glamorous and cushy job portrayed in the media for the people that I use in my films. My experience has however led me to believe that even on a low budget it is still perfectly possible to make an actor feel glamorous and most importantly comfortable. From my experience I believe it is very important for an actor to have confidence in the crew. There is nothing more degrading then being in a show that you don’t have any faith in and it is a similar scenario with film.
Having been on both sides of the camera being critical of performances is increasingly becoming second nature to me. There is most definitely more than a few obvious differences between acting for screen and acting in a theatre but watching stage performances not only inspires me narrative wise but allows me to think critically about directive choices and how different genres can appeal to different audiences in a variety of ways. I have noticed the more often I have been to see stage performances the stronger my opinions are becoming to what I believe is effective and what is less so and being able to transfer this across to film is very useful.
I am a big fan of the theatre and its multitude of styles. Just like film it is the director’s job to divert the audience’s attention to whatever they consider important whilst hopefully entertaining them or inspiring them for example. The major difference between the two however is that it is considerably ruder to walk out of a theatre then to switch off a film. A film isn’t live for a start. Which greatly reminds me of being on set and seeing the actors right there in the moment.
I have decided to put this passion for theatre critique into words with a primary intention of keeping a record for myself of what I consider to be the do’s and don’ts of directing and enthusing a cast but also to give honest and constructive feedback to those involved. I will be writing for the shows I see regularly and posting my reviews on here alongside film reviews. All requests will be considered and I’m looking forward to hearing from lots of different people in this industry.
First stop is one of my favourites ‘The lion, The witch and the Wardrobe’ at The Crescent Theatre in Birmingham tonight. Break a leg.