Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In Less Than A Day: A Director's Perspective

The below blog entry is courtesy of ETD Artistic Associate Jason Economus. Jason is directing our upcoming world premiere production of In Less Than A Day, which features five true stories about mental health issues and is presented in partnership with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Read about Jason's unique self-discoveries during the rehearsal process, and then come experience for yourself the transformative power of these remarkable stories.


So, Jen asks me to write this blog post a few days ago, and I put it off. I think, I am not going to get to that. Too much going on right now, ya know.
And then it hits. Right now. I have 5 minutes and I am here and focused and I am going to write this blog.
And what I want to write is that working on IN LESS THAN A DAY is hard...but not for a reason that was first obvious to me.
I think the reason it is hard for me is because just getting to a rehearsal is hard; biking, sweating, and coming from appointments and random gigs and getting weird text messages and trying to deal with my own anxiety about this month's rent or next year's goal and when I come to these rehearsals I am a little spent, a little frazzled, to say the least. And then we start. The rehearsal. And we chat a bit. We check in, about our days, what not. I never really say that I am spent, or frazzled. I put on the social mask: "I am here to work! Take me seriously!" And writing that now, I can chuckle at myself, but in the act of it I feel fake. I feel fake a lot of the time. And I just mean fake, like, I don't really know what I am supposed to be doing most of the time. And I feel like I can make some huge mistakes and hurt people I care about and waste a lot of time in my life.
And then an actor begins to speak somebody's real story. And I stop worrying about how fake I am. And I, by the grace of Something, really start to listen. And it is this act of Listening - as truly and completely as I possibly can - that I begin to become better and I begin to stop feeling sorry for myself and I begin to think about somebody else's situation. Somebody else's struggle. Somebody else's tale. And I can literally feel my heart stretching. Stretching more open. More reaching and more caring. I am not perfect, none of us are. And that is ok. We each struggle and we each have a story to tell. And quite frankly, I am healed a little each time I listen instead of demand that I speak.

IN LESS THAN A DAY is presented for one night only: Monday, June 25th at 7:00pm at Center on Halsted's Hoover Leppen Theatre. Seats are filling quickly, so be sure to get your tickets today.

1 comment:

  1. This performance was so real I could almost feel what it might be like to be inside each character's head: to feel the pain, uncertainty and aloneness. So, Jason, you did a wonderful job at producing this show.

    If your input helped actors improve, you did your job very well. If you made people push harder or further into themselves to find their soul, you did your job. If you made them forget their insecurities, you did your job.

    And Erasing the Distance did their job by choosing you as this show's director,

    I was impressed with the final product! The standing ovation was for everyone, including you.