“Dreams come a size too big so we can grow into them.” (Josie Bissett)
Soooooo I’ve stared at this screen a lot this weekend – mulling – It was a hard summer in many ways and a real triumph for Detour in others. Where/how do I begin? I just couldn’t figure out how to write this season. Thought maybe I’d skip it this once . . .but my hands and my heart won’t let me. We’re at an important pivotal point in the life of this company. We’re growing into existing dreams and creating new ones – that’s what happens with growth. There is far too much happening to keep it all neatly inside. These weekly “ramblings,” are the true story of Detour resiliency. None of us quite know what’s going to happen “down the road.” What we see on the stage is to be celebrated, definitely, but all this week after week journey? Well, I’ve come to see and appreciate, it’s the REAL drama.
I have to admit, I never believed that a full six months after we quit live rehearsals I’d still be writing about Covid. But, Covid, face masks, social distancing, sanitizing and washing hands a million times a day are part of the essential fabric of our lives right now and for some unknown time in the future. They are also part of the fabric of this and every theatre company’s plans. We don’t know what January’s going to bring . . . It’s only September – but we’ve decided we’re in it for the long haul. That’s the dream. We have begun zoom rehearsals. Yes, I’m doing zoom. In fact I’m doing it multiple times every week. There will be a show – no one has a guess at this point what it’s going to look like but it WILL be! Last Wednesday was Frozen’s first rehearsal and last Thursday was Lion King’s. One foot’s solidly on the path.
It is so heartwarming to see those precious faces on screen even though it is so VERY hard to make some of them get off their beds. (Sigh – a reality.) There are other challenges in this virtual approach to directing. Eye focus is hard to maintain and of course there’s the normal confusion with muting and unmuting but we’re working that out. (Thank heavens for Simon, Andrea, LaRiche, David, Jean and Stephen – directors who actually know technology.) Last Thursday I was doing intros and forget that there’s a whole other “page” that faces can spill over and onto. I’m personally a few steps behind in this approach but those talented others I mentioned have created incredible opportunity/community in the midst of what could be real isolation (or worse, giving up.)
We’ll see what the future brings – in many areas in the life of this company. Right now we’re focused on singing along with Stephen. I see MOST mouths moving – not everyone’s – but this is all change and for us change comes slowly. I can tell you Christopher was totally into it – LOUDLY! We have begun – with grand participation, real effort, and huge investment to forge ahead – no matter. There’s a fascinating thing about Zoom… there’s absolutely so much going on that you can sit there muted and simply observe. I found myself doing that – a little by accident and a little on purpose Thursday. Engagement is high – for both casts, both shows. We have to mirror every bit of excitement we want our actors to bring to the table – or I should say, bring to the screen. “Lean in” my daughter says. This season comes with a whole new set of skills and vocabulary.
Zoom it is – for this first month. After that there will be adjustments to the schedule, more bends in the road. This company is aptly named. We have tremendous directors and coaches, fifty plus daring courageous actors and finally the most loyal supporters. We know the dream, our destination – January – a performance – somewhere. But getting there???
We’re blazing a path – and that journey my friends – the one of hope, support, love for one another, and growing into this bigger than ever dream … that IS the story.
“When people keep telling you that you can’t do a thing you kind of like to try it” -(Margaret Cahse Smith)