Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: my involvement with Directors Lab West
Last week I tendered my resignation from Directors Lab West, a group of devoted volunteers who run workshops, round-tables, etc in
Los Angeles every May for stage Directors and Choreographers.
As I take a few manual shifts to re-direct my artistic mission, I am sorry to say that this commitment would not get the attention it deserves. If you'll forgive a dangling preposition, it is also just time to move on. I am very happy with all I gave and all I received during my time and wish the Lab continued innovation and imagination.
My participation in 2008 as a "Labbie" directly contributed to a great step in my career, working at the Antaeus Company (Academy Associate 2008 & Artistic Associate 2009-2010) as well as friendships and new colleagues too numerous to mention.
Soon after that, the Steering Committee invited me to act as Associate Producer for the 2010 Lab. Being tasked to imagine what our peers need at this specific time in the industry, to motivate "the future of American Theatre," as Anne Catteneo first said, was daunting, exciting and thrilling. I still remember leading a round-table (my first) with Steve Julian, sitting among some of the most intelligent people I know, who were all hesitant that they could or should use social media to build audiences. Throughout the week, many requested private sessions, and I'm happy to see the fruits of those first meetings in practice today.
When they asked me to join the Steering Committee, it came at a wonderful time in my life (another "shifting time" from Antaeus to freelance outreach consulting) and one blog post cannot contain all of the invigoration, aggravation and new motivation that only four years within the Directors Lab West can offer. I learned so much and grew as a moderator, listener, person, artist. Everyone was incredibly gracious last year as my son's due date coincided with crunch time for the Lab, allowing me to partake in as much as I was able and always welcoming Lil' Pirate Dude to meetings, and the eventual Lab.
Ernest Figueroa, Kappy Kilburn, Brendon Fox, Che'Rae Adams: it was an honor to work beside you all. Different people, experiences and points-of-view are so necessary to this world and our art. You taught me how to handle disagreements gracefully and with more of an open mind than before the Lab.
Doug Oliphant (the "herder of cats," or Production Coordinator who is also an incredibly talented Director himself): You taught me how gentle and necessary those "gentle reminder" emails really can be. I loved watching your work and career develop to the point where you couldn't be at the Lab last year, because you were rehearsing!
Courtney Anne Buchan (intern & Co-Production Coordinator): meeting you and subsequently working with you on Gracie and Rose and other projects was a huge pleasure! Thank you for all of your talented work to make our 15th year more visually appealing and the website more......well, just much better!
Doug Clayton, Diana Wyenn, Richard Tatum, Janet Miller: you all stepped up so beautifully as Associate Producers this year, and brought a wonderful energy to my last year. The 15th anniversary would not have been nearly as strong without all your input, support, and very very hard work.
Lab Alum, Guest Artists, Interns: you are all such a special breed of artist. It's difficult to work in such isolating fields such as directing and choreography. There is usually only one of you in the rehearsal room, and that fact makes it even more exciting and that much harder when there are 30-50 of you in one room.
I needed the Lab every single year to re-invigorate my love of exploration, rehearsal, community; to feel like there is hope for an ever-transforming art; and to meet such passionate people.
Now it's time for me to take what you've given me, and put that energy towards a new vision of our art form.