Country Directing Country: Showing

Can’t believe we’re at the end of this phase of the journey. It is a very short phase but it has been quite intense. My body has just begun to get somewhat acclimatized to the below zero temperature and Eastern Standard time and it’s hard to imagine that I’ll be headed to Hong Kong to meet Danny Yung from Zuni Icosahedron to continue onto meeting another mentor under the Substation’s Directors’ Lab program.

For me, this project has been defined by collaboration. I thought I knew what it meant, I have been guilty of using the word cheaply in the past. I now anticipate it is a process that requires constant clarification and experimentation. Collaboration is deliberate and I have found that every collaborative process has different dynamics that requires learning and sorting through regardless of experience and familiarity with the collaborators. I posted previously on Anne Bogart’s thoughts about collaboration, that the relationship between a director and a collaborating actor doesn’t have to be unilateral. I concur that isn’t about agreement. It can be, but as an actor I thrive on the dialogue with my director. I’ve been often chided for concerning too much, as an actor, with matters more suited for a director’s worry. I agree. The actor is best in the present moment. And since looking closer at the director’s craft, I’ve begun consciously compartmentalizing the two practices. The oxymoron is true: you don’t know what you don’t know.

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In this process, I asked a lot of questions. Sometimes as an actor, I might not have a clue how to tackle what the director asks, or the director is unable to communicate. Clarification is not synonymous with getting an answer. I’m learning to ask better questions in my practice.

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The showing tonight went well on most accounts. Many Singaporeans living in New York showed up, friends of the Singaporean directors mostly. It was good to have practitioners who asked good questions. For now, we’re going to put the project into incubation mode, it will return next year April. Stay tuned.

Now off to Hong Kong! I have a flight to catch.

Photo credits: Danny Yeo

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