8. Control Freak-ish

I think I might be a control freak.

I’ve always struggled with relinquishing control of any creative projects to far more competent people than myself. It doesn’t make sense at all. I’ve been trying to work on it.

Before I started writing Octets, I had written several plays on my own. I had every bit of control over creating the characters, everything they said and did, and every aspect of the world around them.

That type of power can go to your head, ya feel?

Even when I asked Nick, an already accomplished singer-songwriter whose music I loved and respected, to write the music for the show, I had trouble not overstepping my creative boundaries. I had trouble trusting that this major aspect of the show would be okay if I wasn’t the one creating and controlling it.

Of course, listening to the music that Nick composed quickly quieted my inner control freak.

As I was putting together the production team and cast in preparation for our first production last April, it became absolutely essential that I learned to let go and be a good collaborator.

Of course, I wasn't always successful in this. As some people could definitely attest, there were times during the production process when I let the control freak in me out, getting too anxious or too intense about certain things instead of trusting the people around me.

But on the whole, having to collaborate with 30 people on creating a piece of art taught me to trust first, and control from there.

At its core, creating theatre is about trust.

As an actor, you have to trust your scene partners to remember what to say and do, and that they will give a good performance.

As a designer, you have to not only trust that the team around you will not bring your ideas to life, but also that their abilities will enhance your creativity instead of overshadowing it.

As a director, you have to trust that the ideas you’ve developed and communicated will be carried out and represented by the designers and actors on stage.

I don’t think I’m all the way there yet, but I think I’ve definitely simmered down to control freak-ish