IF YOU WANT TO DIRECT, STOP ACTING
On Friday evening during “Bye Bye Liver: The Twin Cities’ Drinking Play,” my 25th consecutive performance of the ‘smashed hit,’ an actor in the cast gave me a note from within the scene between the dialogue. When it happened, I didn’t think about it. The cast kept rolling through the scene and things were fine.
Later in the sketch, however, I thought about the note the actor gave me. Honestly, while I agreed with the note, it took me out of the scene and put me into my head. Then one of the worst thing that can ever happen to an actor happened in front of a sold-out crowd: I forgot my lines.
Luckily for the audience (and me), “Bye Bye Liver” is comprised with some of the best improvisers in the Twin Cities! The show didn’t miss a beat and the fun continued…
After the scene backstage, I told the actor that gave me the note to never give me a note — especially from within the scene, in front of an audience — ever again. Not because I was mad, but because giving notes isn’t an actor’s responsibility and the “note” in question could have adverse effects on the production.
What are your thoughts about this topic? How do you feel about giving actors notes?
Looking forward to your thoughts!
* = Full Disclosure: I’ve given actors notes before too. Sometimes it happens, but we should leave directing to — well, the director.