WHOA this summer has blown past. At the end of June, we held auditions for SPIES!, a process that I had previously only experienced from the other side (as an auditionee). Going through this process reminded me that so much of the art of being an artist is accepting that things are subjective.
I was also reminded that an audition is the time to give 110%, not to hold back. The actors that did this showed us just what they could do, and it was impressive.
We lucked out. Our cast is incredible. These brilliant, clever, talented, HILARIOUS people are taking the characters I wrote on the page and bringing them to life. I don't have the words for what a fun experience it has been.
From the novel-writing perspective, we writers often "dream cast" our book characters, or dream of the day it would be a movie... but for 99% of authors, that will never come to pass IRL. For playwrights, it might happen that there are many different people who will embody your characters over time, with no two actors ever handling the words on the page in exactly the same way. Part of this process has been about me letting go of the version in my head, and embracing what the actors are bringing to the scenes (and also learning FROM the actors about what makes their character tick). The characters have gone from 2 dimensional (on paper) to 3 dimensional (in reality), and I could not be more impressed.
With approximately a month until show time (OMG), we are hard at work running scenes, uncovering extra humor, digging into character pasts, and tightening the action. Prepare to LAUGH a lot (we hope).
This has been one of the most challenging writing projects I've ever undertaken. Writing for eight characters who are all equally featured, writing a ninth "character" that exists only via text message, building the chatbot, and essentially editing in real time ("oh! change that one word from this to this" or "let's just take that phrase out, because I realize you can't say that line in a single breath if it stays in") ... all things I had never done before.
I'm so proud of how far we have come since starting rehearsals in early July. And I am looking forward to where we will be in a month's time, waiting to open the doors and welcome you to the world of SPIES!