so, i'm directing a scene from Shaw's Heartbreak House for my Directing 1 class. and i hate it. the scene i picked is very wordy, natch, and the actor i selected is a complete dumbfuck. my instructor suggested i pick this guy. and boy, i shouldn't have listened to her.
first of all, i find the guy creepy, and don't feel comfortable being around him. neither does my actress. not to mention that every time i tell people who i cast, all their reactions are the same
then, when i ask both of them if they can have this many pages down for the next rehearsal, and they both say yes, he doesn't have them. actually, for the first viewing for the class, he had the script in front of his face the whole time. not that he's even understanding the lines he's saying. he doesn't even see the humor in Shaw's writing! honestly!
now, i'm not even going to pretend i'm a good director. i suck. but the level the instructor wants us to be is more a full-time intense director, and that's not what i want to be.
but still! even my instructor said i should fire the guy and replace him. which is easy for her to say, since she doesn't have to do the looking. and i did. believe me, i asked one friend i knew wasn't doing the directing scenes and inquired with a grad student the teacher suggested. both are too busy. and i *know* that any other guys that would be capable of doing this are too busy; they've been cast already!
and i told him that he needed to start getting his lines down. he then had the gall to imply that it was because we weren't rehearsing enough! nevermind that his counterpart in the scene has ALL of her lines. and that i gave them permission to run lines with other people on their own time.
and last week sucked majorly. i emailed my actress to see if she could change rehearsal days, in case i had gotten my friend to step in. but i didn't tell her that. so she thought that i was switching permanently, and made plans for when we usually had rehearsal. so she couldn't come, and i ran lines with him alone.
and then the next day we're all supposed to meet, he stops me in the hall as i'm trying to get to class to tell me that he can be there at the scheduled 5pm, but has to leave by 5:20!! i was livid. i said "You know we're supposed to have rehearsals these days 5-7" and he replied that this was something planned from teh beginning of the semester.
so not telling me about it until the day OF was your intelligent idea!?
he then made the situation worse by asking what i had meant by "i would have to make a decison" if he didn't start getting his lines down, so i decided that the time to be nice was at an end and bluntly told him that i would fire, and replace him. he asked if it would be bad for me if he didn't get his lines, which is obvious since this is for a *class*, and i respond that it would be worse for him since he'd basically never be cast in any show the remainder of his time here. he still might not be, since i am sure to spread all of this shit he's doing to my colleagues.
i ended up cancelling rehearsal, cause the only one who'd get a chance to really work already has a good grasp on this. plus, the weather was sucking and i was soaked.
he just sent me an email:
"I have wanted to talk to you for quite a while about the terrible exchange
that happened recently in the hallway of the Arts Building. That conversation
was terrible - it was not polite of me to 'take out my bad morning' on you. I
am certainly not the only person having a rough semester, but sometimes I
feel this way -
I apologize C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E-L-Y for my words.
The longer that conversation went on, the worse it felt. It went completely
sideways. I have looked for you in the halls since then in order to talk to
you - and I cannot wait for our next rehearsal in order to set things correct
First and most importantly - your play is EXTREMELY important to me.
Secondly - Performing well for YOU is EXTREMELY important to me.
Thirdly - I am very pleased that you chose me to be in your play and I
respect you as a director AND as an actor should respect his director. Having
your play 'present' well in front of the entire Theatre Department is
EXTREMELY important to me.
I will ask you to please keep in mind that when you threaten to replace me
becasue I am not as fast as you might like in learning my lines - - it just
kills me. I have tried to coordinate rehearsals, class, and 2 jobs this
semester and I have made certain to be present and on-time for each of your
rehearsals. I have done this out of respect to you as my director and to you
as a person. Please keep this in mind as you read this and consider how very
sorry I am for any unkind words that I sent in your direction.
I am prepared to rehearse on Tuesday, Nov 21st at 5 P.M. and I have been
working very hard at memorizing my lines and to be ready for your direction.
Please accept this apology and let me know that we are back in good standing
with each other.
My very best regards to you"
i am seething. i appreciate that he's trying to make things right, but i'm not just mad that he's not learning the lines as fast as i'd like; i'm mad that he hasn't done what i ASKED if he could do and he said YES. i'm mad that he lied. that reflects negatively on me.
he could have said, 'i have all this other shit to do' and we could have found a way to work better, but he didn't. and while i am not working a steady job, i'm doing 19 credits of classes, including one that has me spending just about all my spare time in the costume shop-and i still turn in those assignments late. i've barely done any of my work for this scene, since i don't have the blocking solid, since he's still clinging to his script. and i'm not even sure if i'm going to be able to finish my project for my independent study.
and then my actress has been working on other things too; she has classes, she was in a show, and i think was even doing a third show. she has her lines down almost perfectly. she's read the full script of the play i made copies of for both of them so she could understand her character better.
he hasn't. he "doesn't want to mess up the lines in his head."
i feel kinda bad about broadcasting this, but i need to get it out, and doing it anonymously is probably better than my near-shouting in the halls of the theatre dept.
honestly, i would be perfectly willing to replace him with a girl if that wasn't shot down by my teacher already.