Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Taking Direction

I found myself giving direction today to my son and to a friend. Guess who took direction better?

If you guessed my son, because you assume kids are naturally more directable than adults, you'd be wrong. It was actually my friend, who was just in need of a little outside input. Turns out that we adults need direction sometimes too. And unlike kids, we are willing to admit it--well, at least sometimes.

I have worked as a director. I have figured out camera angles and character motivations and story trajectories. Yet, on a day when my normal routine is interrupted, I find myself as in need of direction as the actors and camera people with whom I have worked. Each of us knows our skill set. We know what we need to accomplish to get through a day. Yet, when we are taken off track, whether because of changes in our work or because of summer vacation or because of a change in scenery, we are left standing, skill set in hand, wondering where it will all lead us today. Or tomorrow. Or in a year.

Today, I gave some direction, and I also happily took some. Just like seasoned actors, we basically know our roles--it just takes a tweak here and there to help us perform at our best. And it doesn't hurt, when we don't quite know how the story will end, to have a little help--direction, that is--along the way.

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