It was an absolutely awesome experience and I can’t thank the staff of the Falcon, the crew, and my terrific cast (Jules Willcox & Jason Dechert) enough. Special thanks to my director, Andy Barnicle, and the Godfather, Garry Marshall. (all pictured below with me. Notice, how as the playwright, the light is shining out of my ears?)
I’ve also enjoyed sharing the process with you dear blogniks. So as a wrap-up I thought I would post 25 things I learned from the experience.
The first thing you do is scope out where the local bars are.
As in every form of show business, casting is the most important decisions you will ever make. Everything else you can fix.
At some point you have to lock the script, although if I had my way I would be rewriting after every single performance.
As the playwright, be ready to defend and justify every line and bit of punctuation in your script. Trust me, you will be asked. This, by the way, is a good thing.
Actors can see and function in the dark. You must be part cat to be a theater actor.
There’s no editing afterwards.
Things will go wrong. Zippers will break. A cue will be missed. But considering how many little things all have to happen with complete precision it’s a wonder that most of the time everything comes off as planned. Let me amend that: It’s a wonder that everything EVER comes off as planned.
I’m canceling my subscription to the Los Angeles Times. Not because they gave me a bad review. Because they never even bothered to review it in the first place. Better they should review New York plays than productions that take place in their own city.
People laugh more on weekends.
Lighting, sound, set, and costume designers are not technicians. They’re wizards.
Actors are very aware of the audience. They see you sleeping in the third row.
Tech week is like binge-watching C-SPAN.
For a comedy, rewrite the pre-show “turn off your cellphone” announcement. Put some jokes in it. It helps get the audience into the mood and it’s nice to get a running start on laughs.
The stage manager is like an air traffic controller but under more pressure.
Listening to the actors and director talk, I realize I know shit about classical theater.
Green rooms are never green.
There are a lot of good actors out there that no one has ever heard of.
Staged readings are really helpful. Even when they suck. This from personal experience.
Use plastic glasses for props. Real glass breaks. And backstages are dark.
The one question everyone asked me when I greeted them at the theatre was: “Will there be an intermission?” The answer they were all looking for is YES.
Understudies have the most thankless job in theater.
There are a million details you never think about. Like somebody has to wash the wardrobe each day. God, my heart goes out to the guy who does that for CATS.
There is usually one skeesix in the audience who coughs through the entire second act.
Working in the theater is a labor of love. But not by choice.
Thanks so much to everybody who came out to see my play. Hopefully it will live again someday somewhere.