It’s after 7 p.m., and I’m just returning home to my digs on The Fox. A long day of auditions yesterday and today for Paramount’s Sweeney Todd. Gazing out over my tiny balcony my thoughts drift with the river to when I first took this job. I never had a plan. Completely up front about it to Tim Rater, he tells the story of how he knew I was the person for the job, because I was so scared of it! I began to call and gather artists and designers I knew, in hopes they’d want to come to Aurora and work with me having never done anything like this before in my life – being an artistic director.
I began to realize how much collaboration served my work in the past. I was now forming the beginning of what would be a group of team players to build an inaugural season of four productions. And that, I wasn’t so much concerned about making plans and giving orders as I was about stimulating creativity, giving artists the freedom to do work they’ve never done before in which they could take pride and ownership.
I’m sitting here now appreciating so very much that we are together today. Casting Director Trent Stork organized a Call Back for the Ensemble this afternoon that turned into an event I shall never forget with Music Director Tom Vendafreddo, who took the 30 or so assembled artists and coached “The Letter” in its vocal parts. It gave these most excellent singer/actors this occasion to learn their parts hearing and harmonizing with each other in a rare exercise that showcased them at their best as they split into groups of five defining the soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass vocals. Composer Stephen Sondheim’s genius here is stunning as it is difficult. It so moved me, took my breath away, that I am in wonder how I got to be working with these two young gentlemen who were complete strangers to me three years ago. I could not be working with true individuals more inventive, caring and comprehensive. I’m sure they have no idea how astounded I am at their achievement and how thoroughly gratifying it must have been for the talented ones there auditioning. As the sun sets and the sky blushes pink, I wonder!
Love & thanks,