They’re marvelous beings, actors.
They’re highly creative, intelligent people who like to tell stories and become other people.
They can be chill, they can be insane, they can be any number of things, but I’ve never met a stupid actor.
The cast of POC’s production of Radium Girls are nine of the most talented and clever people I’ve ever had the good fortune to get in a room with. I’m impressed every day by their level of committment and their willingness to collaborate. We have an amazing script, a slightly crazy venue, and 9 actors playing 38 roles – it takes patience sometimes to make things make artistic sense, but it always works out and usually ends with giggles and a better answer than we originally came up with.
The grand director lesson I’m learning working on this show is how to deal with a group of people who work in entirely different ways. Some are incredibly method; Some just throw it all out there and take huge risks; Some need a little persuading; Some are seriously so chill and effortless it seems like they’re not working at all. Radium Girls is such an awesome script because everyone has scenes with everyone, so everyone is working together. Chill-boy and Method-Girl go head to head. It’s neat to watch how people adapt.
I’m sure it could also form the basis of a pretty good quality psychology paper as well.
As a director, I am mad fortunate to be more-than-ably assisted at rehearsals by a triple-header of awesome and competence.
First, there’s my amazing costumer, Amanda Bobbitt, who is literally drowning in fabric and polka dots and having fun despite herself. She’s making everyone look pretty and perfect and precise on a tight budget. Amanda is a freshman at Loyola in the theatre department and strikes me as one of those kids who’s going to do well because she works her ass off and doesn’t start unnecessary drama. Always a good thing.
Then, there’s Betsy Morgan, who plays multiple roles in the show including Marie Curie, but who has also come to my aid as a rockstar acting coach – and soon, warm-up captain. Betsy has that instinct of knowing how other actors work and figuring out how to help them find the trait or feature that defines their character. She’s awesome sauce. Truly.
And last, but SOOO certainly not least, there is my brilliant and unshakeable Assistant Director/Stage Manager, Mr. Eric Prahl, who I feel like I’m married to at this point – and on September 18th we get to have a baby called Radium Girls. Eric is whipsmart, totally honest, and the best second set of eyes a director could ask for. That, AND he makes the most amazing spaghetti I’ve ever eaten. Seriously, I can’t stop talking about it. I think I even mentioned it on the new podcast episode (coming soon!) Theatrically, I am head over heels for Eric.
Radium Girls opens in 13 days.
I couldn’t be more excited.