Monday, April 28, 2008

Clay Continent Post Production Random Ruminations and Excessive Aliteration

So, Thoughts now that it is over?

Well, the first thought is that no matter how wonderful and fulfilling it is to put up a show, it is always a magnificent relief to close the show as well.

Our average audience was 15 people. Largest house 25. Smallest house 3. There were at least a dozen folks who said that they were only able to make it out on the Saturday that we had to cancel due to double booking (check out Don's blog for some details about that).

I hesitated to put up those house numbers. If you think of the Mammals as a theatre company that has been producing theatre since 1999, then those numbers are discouraging. But, if you think of them instead as the numbers after a 3 year absence and drop off from the radar, well then the situation is almost like starting over again, and in that regard the numbers aren't so bad. There are a lot of successful theatre companies here and elsewhere that upon seeing those numbers might bite their cheek trying not to smirk, but I know there were dozens of houses across the Chicagoland area who would have been thankful to get the same number of folks to their show.

The truth is that, I am starting over again. As a producing organization, as a producer, it is all new again, even if the work is a remount of a successful production from 6 years ago. The key should be to not let the ambivalence of others lead towards the cynicism of the self.

I had a couple dozen inquiries from folks since Saturday's curtain fell about how I felt, about how the run was. The answer is fantastic. But, that isn't always how I responded. My brow would furrow, I would stutter and stammer. No matter how good the show was...and let me tell you without apology, the show was excellent;) matter that, I found myself focusing much more on those things especially from a producer's standpoint that need to improve with the next show. However, I will not bother focusing on that too much herenow on the blog.

We had a photo shoot this weekend, and looking at the pictures afterward, I was filled with this weird sort of wonder. I felt like I was looking at pictures from someone else's show. I was so pleased with the composition, the images, the colors, the emotions that we had captured, and I realized that we had not only captured them in pictures, but we had also captured them in performance. I saw a level of craft and skill that I couldn't have held claim to ten years ago. I felt pride in my work and in the work of everyone involved. It isn't cockiness, or patting oneself on the back, it is instead confidence...confidence in oneself that your actions have worth to you and others.

Back to beginning of the run...Whereas we had a shaky start due to a arduous tech week (although I should hesitate to call 2 nights of tech...a tech week) by the second weekend everything was in total sync and all the pistons were firing. The cast I had was and is a dream cast. I would and will work with all of them again and again and again. Also, I have made so many new friends as a result of this production. Juan and Jesus from Halycon are the first who come to mind... All the blogofolks who I've only known til this show as a pixelated text.

Three years ago, I left Chicago. I was exhausted. I had felt that my dreams and my destiny were phantoms meant only to haunt me rather than sustain me. Now, thank the lord...a new day has dawned. Doors are opening and opening. New avenues are appearing. And through it all, this morning I feel invigorated. I am full of the same sort of enthusiasms I felt as a younger man just graduating from college, I am full of the same hope I had when I came to this city with big shoulders.


RLewis said...

from one producer to another - i feel ya - the rush of up and down, over and out thoughts are part and parcel. but after the post-prod' letdown, things only get roseier. Congrats on the show! And on to your next success. -RL

GreyZelda Land said...

I'm happy for you ... having a cast of people who enjoy working with you, working with each other, and, simply doing the work is one of the greatest joys I've experienced as a director and producer ... and as an actor thinking back on it. When they're supportive of you and the process, it's amazing. It doesn't matter if you have 1 person in the audience or a full house, good reviews or bad ...the group is still excited to work together and be there every day and I think that's the biggest sign of a successful production I can think of. We're in the same boat with The Skriker and I'm so glad to hear that you feel invigorated.

And, I don't think you should be ashamed of those numbers at all. You were able to do the show each evening for willing and excited audiences. That's why we do it.

Congratulations on returning to Chicago Production!!!!!


Jesus said...

Mad Props Senor Pescadero! I've never had so much fun when someone scared the hell outta me, (thanks Don) or when someone made want to throw up (thanks Jen and Dave). Awesome show man, eagerly awaiting the next one. I'll go on an empty stomach to that one.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Bob! So when is the next show?!!!

Mary Jo