David Wagstaff's Reviews > Notes on Directing: 130 Lessons in Leadership from the Director's Chair

Notes on Directing by Frank Hauser
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's review
Apr 07, 11

Read in December, 2011

Directing is far trickier than being president of the United States. Diplomacy and nuance are required in copious amounts. The temptation to talk too much is taller than the Tower of Babel. The responsibility is absolute. There are few books of any help. David Mamet's On Directing Film and Three Uses of the Knife are essential for the simple reason that they deal with practical considerations clearly stated. Notes on Directing is the same. In fact, it is a sort of Strunk and White of how to do this job without making huge blunders. Now there are thousands of books on theater that demonstrate nothing more than the clever minds of their authors. Directors should avoid them just as auto mechanics should avoid books on astrophysics for any reason other than curiosity -it won't help you when you open the hood. And when the director opens the hood, all of humanity is humming away there waiting for his tune up, overhaul, and best effort. Hauser and his protege stick to the basics: how to prepare, how to communicate with actors, and how to execute in rehearsal without screwing it up. If you direct or ever wish to direct, read this book. If you are an actor it might not be a good idea, for you shall know how the job should be done and thereby open yourself up to numerous disappointments when faced with the butchery directors may administer at will.

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