What it's like to assistant direct The Best Brothers | www.gctc.ca
 

What it's like to assistant direct The Best Brothers

Here I am beginning the third week of rehearsals for The Best Brothers by Daniel MacIvor. This play is HILARIOUS, and so intricately written.  "Bunny" Best has become my new prophetess.  She affects me in my daily life now as I go to The Table Vegetarian Restaurant EVERY lunch and philosophize the meaning of life over delicious desserts.

The Table desserts

Assistant Directing is such a fantastic experience.  This kind of pure learning and the gift of the RBC Emerging Artist internship allows me the time to develop my craft and my new artistic journey as a director.  I haven't dived into a text from the "outside" like this since university eight years ago.  There isn't the same pressure as when I create my own work, or the one-minded path I have sometimes taken as an actor playing a certain character.

Funny enough, I opened an account with RBC last year and received the gift of a free iPad mini with which I now research and work on my current project!  Plus, their service is fantastic and we've just opened an RESP for our little girl.  Maybe she will become a director or designer one day....or an astronaut or architect....or a banker!  No matter what her choice we will help her along. I digress.

iPad and script for the Best Brothers

How about I let you in on some secrets.  Eric Coates is a lovely, funny artistic director, so relaxed and at ease.  As a director he is also this way and makes others around him relaxed as well.  But what I learned was that he is equally a diligent, hard worker, with a keen attention to detail.  He will work even the smallest section of a scene over and over again bringing the subtleties and subtext of these two brothers to the surface.  Allowing the relationship between these Best brothers to be richly layered and multi-faceted like a diamond.

Patience: this is one of the tools I am learning.  There is so much to get done with a project as a director, it can be overwhelming and everything feels urgent and important.  What I am seeing through Eric is to delegate your time and to keep every moment focused and with your full attention.  Also, the beautiful world of design elements!  We just did sound and light levels on stage this morning; so much fun.  It felt like an entire universe was being built before my eyes.  Working with Jock, Marcel and Roger (the lighting, sound and set/costume designers) is such a treat.  They are all the best at what they do.

I am also learning the relationship between the director and the actor.  It's the actor's job to know the character, and it's the director's job to know that character's journey in reference to the dramatic arc of the story.  The two come together to help inform each action so that no moment is played twice.  Every character choice is a new discovery and it all drives the story to the end.

We are all on this beautiful ride together and I can't wait to see where the team takes this project over the next two weeks.  You won't want to miss it!!