A few weeks back I participated in a short play competition. A 12 minute play, original or adapted, had to be presented in front of an audience and a panel of judges. My script was one of the 25 short listed to be staged, out of the 43 entries received.
The script I had sent was an original, written by me. The play had two characters and I had decided to play one of them. Given my busy schedule, the director was an obvious choice – Me! Having anybody else would mean adhering to their timelines… fixed timelines, which was going to be a challenge. So here I was – writer, actor, director, even the editor (to think of it, producer as well!)
The play was finally staged and while it received a few compliments, it was not short listed for the next round. Disappointing as that was, I enjoyed the overall experience.
My wife recorded the play and I watched it a few days later. That is when I noticed a number of reasons why the play was possibly not short listed. And that made me wonder – Did I do the right thing by taking all those roles up? Did the actor in me have an undue influence on the director? Or vice versa? I believe it did. I could see it did. Playing so many different roles, I had not done a great job at some.
It got me thinking about all the other roles I play in life. A father, a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, a professional, a consultant, a counselor, a counselee, a colleague … and many more. Often times I am required to play multiple roles at one time. While some of these roles I have to play (because I signed up for it), I believe I have a choice with some others. I need to choose which roles I want to focus on and do more of…and that is often based on what I enjoy more, what my strengths are. And as important as it is to take up things that I enjoy and do more of it, it is also important for me to let go of some of those roles that I don’t like. Success, I strongly believe, depends on both.
And so I have decided that until I become a good actor, I will focus all my efforts on acting alone. Of course writing is a passion, so I will write whenever an idea comes to my mind, but that will be it. So any budding directors out there, this is a good time to reach out to me. Next time I have a play, you might just get a chance to direct me. 🙂