It’s Opening Night here at Cabaret Theatre! How I Learned To Drive by Paula Vogel is just finishing up its first performance. The crowd seems to be enjoying the show; this lowly Cabbie wouldn’t know, seeing as how they keep me locked up in the basement… typing away on the blogosphere… Forever…
But before the audience and the actors engaged in some good old communal storytelling, Inside Cabaret sat down with director Jordan Gochman to talk about the insanity of opening night and the long journey that brought HIL2D to the stage.
Inside Cabaret: How are you feeling?
Jordan: I’m feeling good… Well, I don’t know how to feel. A year ago I felt like I would be more nervous and scared. I always thought that this thing was just going to be mine, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get a bunch of people to get this show where I want to be. All these people here were able to just catch on to my crazy idea and roll with it. I feel fine knowing that all these people are helping me with the play. I’m a lot calmer than I would have been if I didn’t have their support and effort.
IC: Did you have directing experiences before? How does this compare?
Jordan: I directed a short scene for Directors’ Showcase freshman year. Oh God!!! I was going nuts over a 20-minute scene with no set design and minimal lights.
I don’t know why I’m not going nuts like that right now. Maybe I’ve transcended it. Maybe I know how much work we’ve done over the last few weeks, and I just feel more prepared. Maybe it just hasn’t come crashing down just yet…
IC: Why did you pick this show? How has your vision changed during the process?
Jordan: I couldn’t put it down the first time I read it. When I finished, I read it again. And then again. And again, again, and again. And every time, I fell in love with it. I thought, “I have to do it. I just have to do it!” There’s no other show that I could think of wanting to direct… except for Our Town… which nobody seems to want to do. Ever.
I realized during the rehearsal process that I would have to give up a lot of to the actors as they brought in their own ideas. They were already with my big ideas, but a lot of times they brought in new ideas, things that I hadn’t even come up with all those times I read the play. That’s the really wonderful part of the process—that evolving vision.
IC: Thoughts on opening night?
Jordan: I couldn’t have imagined this. I imagined the set. I couldn’t imagine all these people inhabiting it. All these crew members and actors. I still can’t imagine it. This is what it looks like.
When I’m watching it, I’m going to be very happy. It’s going to be different to just watch it, instead of taking notes or worrying about this or that. I might get overly reactive. It’s like a football game for me now. I know what each of them is capable of doing, and so I want to see if they can pull off the plays I blocked for them. And I’ll be cheering in the background.
Otherwise, I’ll be sitting with my head in my hands saying “No! WHY!”
IC: Anything else you want to say to the adoring people?
You missed opening night! Reserve your tickets for Saturday’s 8 pm show, Sunday’s 7 pm show, or any of next weekend’s performances by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org! Visit the facebook event page for more information!