The first words – in fact, the only words – I saw were Directing Mentorship. Everything else in the introductory paragraph blurred out as my imagination took me on a wild ride. Me, directing a play, at a major theatre company in my own backyard.
For a brief moment, I considered applying after being tempted by some key wording:
- “opportunity to be mentored”,
- “experience [and] perspective on the craft of direction from a very specific viewpoint”, and
- “artists who would like directing to be the focus of their arts practice and theatre careers”.
But that moment passed when reality came back into sharp focus and I realised I didn’t fit all the stated requirements. Now, you might think I’d be disappointed, but instead, I was intrigued by the possibilities I saw down the line.
For my part, I have been thinking about theatre directing for a very long time – well, that and script supervising, and maybe broadcasting – because it seems to me that there is considerable overlap between those three things and my 25 years as a substantive book editor, and even longer as a storyteller in various guises. And while I didn’t have the experience the selectors were looking for in this particular opportunity, I am:
- a playwright – an emerging playwright with 1 full length play and 3 short plays to my credit, one of which has been staged, and 7 others on the drawing board, so I know about writing plays and have been told I’m pretty good at it
- a screenwriter – a beginner, yes, but I have a short film (done) and a full length feature film (in progress), and through that process, have learned how to think from a director’s perspective
- a director – okay, this might be a bit of a stretch, but I did direct my first play for one month before circumstances took me back to Australia for six weeks — hard to continue directing from the other side of the world — but I definitely got the feeling it was something I could do at some point down the line.
All that has to count for something, doesn’t it?
Anyway, while spending the next few months writing plays and scripts, stories and books, I am also exploring and considering other opportunities for my skills, like script supervising and directing, and yes, maybe even a stint as a radio host. And while I don’t know where any of that will lead, I am inspired by the fact that our community is actively seeking and then celebrating more people who deserve the chance to show who they are, what they bring to the equation, and what they can do right here in our own backyard.
And that is something we can all celebrate.