It’s the people, both real and imagined.
I love the actors. I love actors. I am an actor, I lived and breathed it for a time, and it hasn’t gone away. But after a while I became disillusioned with acting. Directing changed that. It made me realize what bright, mad, wonderful humans actors can be (and volatile, maddening creatures as well, but it’s all part of the fun).
I love the crew. I love the creativity and talent and perspective and power that a team of real creatives brings into the world. They make a process more than a process. I love seeing the connections made between people on those teams, as one idea bounces off another.
I love producers. When they’re good, my god, they’re good, they do things and make things happen in a way that I admire in the same the way I admire, I don’t know, superheroes.
I love the audience, I love the fact that they’re smart, emotional, and have high expectations. And when they’re engaged, I can feel that this is the completion of the work. When it works, it’s like we’ve built an invisible bridge from our hearts to hundreds, thousands, even millions of hearts in the human audience.
So I must tend to my own heart, that something worthwhile can cross that bridge.
And why do I so often want to sit in the middle of all these, as opposed to take some other role?
Maybe I’m just a glutton for both love and punishment, because as much as I love all these people, each of them have, through choice, or mistake, or the high demands of their own excellence, ripped me to shreds. And that’s just the good times.
I think it’s also because I love the stories, and the characters. And when I know I can see them, really see them, then other people will too, and it becomes a sensation, a momentum, a crazy interplay of the fictional and the real, that culminates in that bridge.
I think it’s because I love building bridges.