You and I have a conversation about what I should become. You wonder why I can not be what I am, why I am not directing. I say that I do not get any job. You wonder why. I say that I am not in demand. You wonder if I make myself reminded. I say I don’t have the energy. You wonder if I’m a bad director. I’m good at taking responsibility, being sensitive. I am caring and smart. I am clear and successful at leading. I keep agreements. But I fear, a fear that is stucked in my body.
About four years ago I received a call with a request that I could make a cameo as a director. It was a new play with a famous actor in the lead role, rehearsals had been going on for three weeks without the ensemble had begun to work on stage. I immediately thought that it’s impossible, it’s strange that the caller has not realized it. Then I thought that the person who asks is a competent and experienced person, and if that person think so maybe it still is possible.
I ask to call back. I’ll call a friend and say: I’ve got a kamikaze mission. Do you think I should I take it?
My friend says of course I should. Because it’s a good opportunity. Because it’s a step in my career.
I’ll do it. I see all the dangers, and I understand that you can not ask someone other than me. I have been planning a work trip to Tbilisi. The journey is only two days and those days are my preparation time. At a café, I sit and read the script, trying to make a sweeping analysis of what it is about. I have received a drawing from the set designer but have no sense of how things are going to move in the room. I am stressed, with a slight nausea. Already there and then I stepped outside from what I can control and feel safe with.
I put myself into a storm that lasts six weeks. One director has been replaced, three actors and a prompter will be replaced. AllEveryone in the production will be offered counseling. I and others in the ensemble will be hunted by the press. The production will quadruple. I will be there all the time, I will steer the ship forward. I will be ashamed because I feel so terribly bad, because I do not in any way take care of myself. There will be a chaos and in that chaos we make a performance that goes to a premiere.
You ask me why I took an assignment when I knew it was a kamikaze mission. I have not thought about it. You wonder for whom sake I did it. Maybe I did it partly in pursuit of a track in the CV, but it was not the main. It was for the theater’s sake. For the renegade director’s sake. It was because I’m programmed to help when someone needs.
I stay quiet and then I will answer you that it was not for my own sake and I become terribly sad.
I disappeared from the theater after the premiere. The sea was calm, but that sort of lull that hides the old lake. I wish I walked away victorious, instead of being ashamed of how bad I was. I wish I did not hit on myself, but said no and told someone about the nausea and insomnia that came afterwards. I wish I had been able to take it as a breeze or as fat fucking kick in someone else’s ass than my own. I wish that I would be proud of what I did, I did some of the worst and I made it.
You tell me that Kamikaze was initially quite different from a mission where someone is expected to sacrifice herself. It was a force of nature, a tropical storm, strong enough to disperse and destroy.
You say that one of my qualities is that I deliver. I’m reliable and I do not leave the ship. We have not known each other very long and I do not understand how you can know. You say that the only thing you do is to listen to what I tell you.
The old lake remain smoldering. On the beach is windswept pine trees. I have learned a new meaning of kamikaze, I breathe deeply and assumes me that understanding.
Next time we meet, I’ll tell you about my next piece. It should be about you and me and the unbridled forces of nature.