A preliminary poster design for Speech and Debate. One of the many projects that happen in the time before rehearsals start when I should be doing other things... like studying.
"Hey, do you have a copy of Speech and Debate I can borrow? I thought you had a copy and I want to read it." It begins with something as simple as a thought. I'm remembering a play I saw done in a staged reading that seemed to somehow stick in my head. I only vaguely remember the plot but if it's as good as I remember, I think we might have something here. "Yeah, it's over on my bookshelf. You can borrow it if you get up and get it. I'm not getting it for you." I tell myself that tonight's the night that I'm finally going to sit down and read Stephen Karam's Speech and Debate. After all, I went out of my way to get a copy of it because I naturally had some inclination towards the piece and a desire to seek it out. Why wouldn't I have read it yet? I begin to justify the fact that I haven't read the play yet and try to convince myself that it doesn't mean the idea and the intention wasn't good, I just haven't had a chance. I sit with the play and begin to read. My creative juices are flowing as I put down the play. My mind is buzzing with thoughts about set design and costumes. What kind of musical theatre shirt should I get for Diwata in Scene 4? How can I place the actors for their isolations? Where should the projector be? After the first read, I jot down a few notes and let the play sink in. I haven't gotten to the actual realization of Speech and Debate yet. I haven't made a decision if I'm going to produce it or not. I begin to muse on the final echoes of Karam's words and characters. The play is slowly becoming part of me. With that in mind, I cautiously begin my second read of the piece. The characters have sunk in and I'm in the middle of my second read when the fear begins to set in. I try to ignore it but the voices in my head are getting louder and louder. They whisper things in my ears as I try to ignore them. Slowly the vampires begin to creep around in my thoughts and more are coming at a vicious rate. They begin to chant in rhythm. "You can't do this. You suck." They're chanting in my ears and all I want to do is read the damn play. I begin to swat at the vampires and they slowly, one by one, back off my groove. I'm settling into the play and my confidence begins to grow. I can direct this. I can totally pull this off. I've made the decision and set the wheels in motion for a Spring 2012 ISP. Suddenly, I feel a shift. Something's not the same. I've made the decision to direct this play and, in my mind, there's no going back. Here's the thing: when I make a decision to set forth on a project, my brain starts working immediately. I'm not talking about the faint thought of the project gleaming in the distance; I'm talking about the concrete decision of producing and directing this damn thing. It starts my brain in motion and once that ball starts moving, there's no stopping it.
Don't show this again.