• Victoria Hofflin

Writing & Directing: an introduction into hopefully a long-lasting relationship

So as you know I have just started at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.


I'm loving it and our cohort is working really well together.


I have been assigned to the creative team. With my main jobs being: writing the story we want to tell and directing the actual show.


I have NEVER done either. So bare with me as I learn.


Script writing has been a really interesting experience so far. I have been working closely with two others in my cohort and together we have been trying to write a character each. We fleshed out the characters together, but we have found that our unique voices and experiences work to our advantage.


We (the three of us, but also the whole group) have been telling each other stories and offering pieces of ourselves, which has been a really intimate thing, that I really didn't expect. It has created a bubble around us that I think is really quite special. We are already quite emotionally invested in our story and that is helping the process. The trust and respect we have instilled in each other has also been quite a unique experience. And given how early it is into the term, I am excited to see how our friendships and professional relationships grow further.


It was interesting to me that when coming up with our initial concept, we became very attached to it. We had created this idea of how the show would look, not how it would sound and what story it was telling. This initially created a barrier for us narrative wise, which we realised pretty early on. It is incredibly difficult to create a narrative around a set idea.


We did, however highlight specific themes and ideas that we wanted to explore. This worked well and is definitely a useful tool to keep our writing team within the boundaries of our medium.


I have been giving the art of writing a monologue a go. Which to be honest, was actually much easier than I thought it would be. I watched a couple of clips of individuals speaking about their struggles with mental health, identity and self-worth, which was incredibly useful at putting me in the mindset and clearing my mind of any other temperaments. And once I started actually writing, it kind of just flowed. I know this probably sounds very superficial, like I haven't really delved into the characters and the research properly, but I found that actually writing an inner dialogue, was actually something that I enjoy doing. I like imaging how these characters would react and act in a situation, imaging what has lead them to be in this place and why. It's a really intimate way to write a character, and it does feel like I am prying into their lives, but I feel like I know these people. And in some ways these characters are people I know and love.


 


We had a session last week where we saw everyones portfolios. Apart from the extraordinary talent that is our cohort, it showed me how capable we are together as a team. We don't have a weak link and I genuinely have every faith, in our ability as a team, to create a really exciting show.


I have been looking at some books about directing. It's easy to read about the concept and different ways you can approach things in a rehearsal space. But I think the real test for me personally will be in the initial workshop that we do with our prospective cast. It will be an opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone and command and direct a room.


I have never really thought about directing, I'm normally very happy to be in the wings writing music or conducting the band. But I am really excited to explore the different avenue of theatre making and see whether I like it / see whether I am any good at it.


I will continue to monitor my progress and give updates on what books and materials I have sourced that may be of use.

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