Memory Lane / The Stage / Throwback Thursday

Memory Lane: On Hats and Other Secret Directorial Weapons

Youve_Got_Mail_085“Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today, I saw one! It got on at 42nd and off at 59th, where, I assume, it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake, as almost all hats are.”

(St. Nora’s You’ve Got Mail)

Once I wrote a blog post about a guy who, on the eve of directing his first stage production, decided to buy a hat that turned out to be a mistake, as almost all hats are. Especially for him.

It went a bit like this…

As the time for directing the stage version of Jonah was approaching, I was doing what prep work I could, in the hopes that it might compensate for at least some of my lack of stage experience. Studying the craft. Identifying subtext. Analyzing character motivation. Breaking longer scenes into beats. Closing my eyes and visualizing. Talking to people and reading books by people who have done this sort of thing for a long time.

But I recognized that prep work could only carry me so far. Not wanting to leave any stone unturned, I realized that I had to take a close look at the possibility of headwear. From what I could tell, any director worth his salt had a hat. Either a hat or cool hair. And since I didn’t have cool hair, it had to be a hat. It couldn’t be just any hat. Had to be the right hat.

One evening during the height of my hat-pondering phase, Suzanne and I found ourselves with some time to kill before our movie started, so we wandered around the mall looking for the right hat. She was a good sport, doing her best not to laugh as I went from hat to hat. I so wish I could be a fedora guy. Ever since the first “Raiders.” I put it on and felt very Indy, until I looked in the mirror and saw very dorky. I put it back quickly. Tried on a bunch of others with similar reactions.

And then I saw it. more