Thursday, May 16, 2013

A new level

Anyone who follows this blog and/or my Facebook page knows that my posts about This is Kirtland! are hardly infrequent. You probably also know that my involvement in this show stretches back to its beginnings. Outside the very first season of the show (2004) where my role was simply to assist my dad in setting up and aiming the brand-new stage lights and then taking them down and storing them, I've been in the cast. Every year since 2005 (except 2008) I've been in the cast. I've been about every male role in the entire show, with the notable exception of Joseph Smith. This year, though, represents a whole new level with the show as I'm directing it. 

Near the end of the 2010 show, I was asked to be part of the script committee, my first time doing more than just being in the cast, in preparation for the 2011 run. The following year, I was again on the script committee and also worked more with the music, as we made some more changes for 2012. Going into the preparations for this season, I had a feeling I might be asked to do more, but honestly never thought I'd be asked to direct the show. Sure, I had thought about the "what ifs?" but still, I never thought I'd actually get asked, mostly because this is a stake-level production and I am not a member of the Kirtland Stake. That said, I received an email that was gauging my interest in increased involvement, and answered back that I would welcome more involvement, but wanted to be on stage in some form. It was no surprise when I was asked a short time later to be the director.

The whole process has definitely been stressful at times, but not painfully so. In many ways it's a welcome distraction from the job search and life's other stresses. The biggest things are mostly making sure I have the right people where I want them and the commitments I need. I've noticed I have certain stages of development that I think "as soon as I get this taken care of, everything will be fine." I get it taken care of and then I realize there's something further down the road that needs to be taken care of that has me worried a bit. Step by step. So far, though, I can't complain. I have a fantastic production crew that has tons of theater experience and enthusiasm that has made my job not only easier, but fun.

I'm very excited about the show this year. The cast is great and I already mentioned the crew in place. This promises to be one of our best years in all aspects of a show: musically, theatrically, and in all the details. Those of you who know me personally know I'm a details person and that hasn't gone by the wayside in the least, even as we've just been doing music rehearsals.

Our first blocking rehearsal is scheduled for this coming Saturday. Since May 4, we have been doing just music rehearsals after having our informational meeting May 1 and our read-through May 2. Our dance rehearsals start May 21. Hard to believe we are already in our third week of rehearsal...time flies!

Special thanks to Nate Johnson for the photos, both of which come from our first cast meeting on May 1!

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