Reminiscing My Directorial Debut

Long time no blog. Well at least not here. I have been blogging from time to time as a guest blogger. But you could say I’ve been taking things more slowly. Oh, I’ve been writing, I have piles and piles of paper at home, but I’ve been producing less films and making less videos. The reason is that I’m recovering from a burnout and healing from PTSD. It’s become quite a relief to be able to speak so openly about these things. There is nothing to worry about though because I have not stopped doing ANY of the things I love doing. I have simply slowed down a bit.

What does that mean? Well, for instance, it means I can’t direct for the time being. Not enough energy to be on set. However, I do have a film in production and I am the producer and since I am also the writer, I intend to take care of most of post-production too. All I need to do is find people to take care of the directing part for some of these projects. But you see, directing is innate within me. It’s in my blood, like writing is. It’s in my genes. My maternal grandfather, when he still lived in Poland, used to write plays, build the set, because he was a carpenter too, cast and direct them. So you can remove the girl from the set, but you can’t remove the Director within the girl.

Right now, I can handle directing parodies. So that’s something. The only question is, which film projects, from all the scripts I have, do I produce while recovering and healing? So letting someone else direct. And which ones to I save for later, for moi? Meaning I have to wait before I produce those. Oooh, tough choices.

I was thinking about this today and I found it was a good time to mention it and also to share about the my directorial debut. Someone I was speaking with recently asked me if my first film was my directorial debut. Nope. I started way before, like, way….way before.

I was in Grade 3, or maybe Grade 4, hard to tell, we had the same teacher those two years. She had listed some art activities for us to do throughout the months that would count as part of our final grade. I, out of the blue, decided to write a play adaptation of the story ”The Queen Who Stole the Sky”. I wrote in dialogue where it was missing, put in direction and blocking notes. So I asked my teacher if my play could be one of the activities. She agreed 🙂 Yay!

We held, I held, auditions. Of course, all the girls wanted to be the Queen. Some preferred to not be in the play for that very reason. I cast the play and directed my friends. I’d say things like: ”Stand there. When he says this line, walk to here.” Or: ”Say this line more like this…” The basics really. Some people felt they had too few lines, or that they were being upstaged by someone else. Kids, eh! Well, I gave everyone pep talks about how important their role was and how vital their character was to the advancement of the story.

After several rehearsals, we performed the play in front of some of the other classes and our teacher marked us on performance, me on directing. It was fun. I was in charge. Telling people what to do!

In High School there were those few English class presentations where I’d come up with some silly theme to whatever I needed to be talking about, similar to some of the parodies I do today and that was a lot of fun too.

So it’s no wonder that today, I do a lot of silly videos and love to make films. In CEGEP, we got to direct each other as some of our class and acting exercises in the Professional Theatre Program. So my first film was only the first I did professionally, or at least to the best of my knowledge at the time.

So there you have it. A directorial debut at 10 years old. And this director ain’t retiring any time soon. As soon as I am back to full energy, watch out, I’ll be directing again and taking the set by storm. I just really need to figure out which screenplays to save for later. A debate to have with myself another time.

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