I thought that I had already arrived at this realization after Jenny and I had our first one on one meeting.
"Actors aren't stupid. Actors are good."
And while I silently nodded, "Why yes! Yes they are!" to this statement, I never fully acknowledged what it meant. I just smiled and kept writing lengthy, descriptive stage directions (man take left hand and grabs right cheek of woman slowly pulling her to kiss him for 3.832 seconds then breaking away, etc...).
But only when I started working new monologues for main stage auditions did I stop to analyze what I as an actor was doing with the text I was using.
I was tearing it apart: throwing in lines that came before or after the chunk of monologue I'd chosen, slashing out portions of the text that I didn't need, and changing a tiny word here and there that completely changed the meaning or purpose of the piece.
I realized (for real, this time) that I'd never be able to micromanage every actor's performance of my script. Do I want to, anyway? NO. Because if I had playwrights breathing down my neck for everything I ever did... well, I probably wouldn't want to act anymore.
So I think I'm just going to write from now on. I'm trying to keep my stage directions down to a phrase or two, and not write in emotional verbs like "speaking angrily" because hopefully my actors can gather the tone from the writing. If not, I have more work to do.
Also, I think our class today with Erin was really helpful- it's always interesting to have new perspective on stuff that you've been talking about for a long time, you know?
-Raising my stakes/upping my level of conflict.
-Deleting a character. ;)
-Reinforcing the journey/change that has taken place... making it more prominent.
Once those are done, we'll see where I'm at. Still won't be perfect, obviously, but I have a feeling it's going to be a lot better. And a little shorter.
Have a great Easter weekend, everyone!