This is the worst thing I've ever made
When I was seventeen, I directed my first play.
It was the first time I’d directed anything. It was for my school’s House Concerts competition. We had around three or four weeks to write, design, cast, stage and choreograph a 20-minute original play.
Each year, I’d try not to be too disappointed when we lost. My house was notorious for being extremely sporty and not very good at anything creative (needless to say, I didn’t really fit in).
Year 12 was my last chance and being the director gave me a lot of drive to try and bring us a victory. Five days before we were due to perform, we had our first dress rehearsal.
It was a disaster. Actors missed cues. Stage managers fumbled transitions. There were several awkward periods of dead silence on the stage. I felt my heart sink as the perfectly designed play fell apart right before my eyes.
I went home and cried my eyes out. I couldn’t believe that something I’d worked so hard on looked so horrible.
Five days later, we performed. It was fantastic. I was really proud of it. Several people complimented me on how seamless and well put together it looked. By the end of the week, my house had won for the first time in over a decade.
The dress rehearsal moment
This remains one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learnt as an artist. I call it the dress rehearsal moment: whenever I’m working on a big creative project, there will almost always be a moment where I’m convinced it’s the worst thing I’ve ever made and it’s a complete waste of time.
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