About a month ago I finished what is sure to be but one of the many opera magna in my time – at least, I like to think so. I may be wrong. Don’t hold me to that.
When I chose to put on a performance of Lysistrata, I had no idea who I would cast, no idea how much funding I would have to work with and no idea how on earth it would go. I scarcely knew what I was doing, I could just about book rooms for rehearsals and I never did put a staple in my script. However it worked out I suppose…
For my auditions I got those who did turn up to give me a dramatic reading of Ignition (Remix) or some sweet One Direction. It was just a lot of guess-work at that point/throughout really.
Fortunately for me though, I happened upon a vastly talented cast who were good at putting up with me, even when I was grumpy or delirious. They interpreted my copious gesticulations and ramblings, and actually managed to form something quite remarkable which the audience actually laughed at. This is a good thing because Lysistrata is a comedy. It may have been less of a success had I been staging a tragedy instead.
I have never been as proud as when I sat on the sidelines – giving lighting instructions into my sexy and authoritative headset – and watched my cast enact the vision which I had been cultivating and trying to express for a whole year. I was not only proud of myself, but also everyone else who had been involved in any capacity.
Further to this, and the only thing which I found more satisfying, was putting my male actors in drag. Contouring my own face is one level of pleasure, but contouring the face of men transcends anything I could have ever imagined.
I also got a message after the play from someone who asked whether they could borrow my large, inflatable penises. I didn’t ever actually respond to this, however I can tell you now that the answer is no. Unfortunately one of them has a hole in it (innuendo somewhat unintentional but still fully intentional) and the other just now carries with it far too many fond memories and sentimentality for it to be lent out. Apologies for the late response, but as I said; no, you can’t have my penises.
It wasn’t easy. I lost weight, I got extremely stressed and even more anxious. However now, with the gift that is hindsight, I’m proud and I don’t regret it for the world. The gauntlet has now been passed on to the next director and I am forthwith liberated of any responsibility; not that I won’t be there every step of the way for the next 12 months.
So what did I learn from this who experience which can be summarised by 3 uniform and interesting points?
- Everyone wants my penis
- I have the capability of being inordinately proud of myself and everyone who helped me
- It’s not my damn problem anymore and I never have to book a damn room again