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Susan RubinIn my first blog I talked about the hazards of doing theater in Los Angeles, and here are 5 THINGS I LEARNED that will help anybody producing a play, web series or film to stay sane!

1) Actors may leave. This happened twice during rehearsals! So here’s what I learned: when an actor leaves, it is rarely about the show, they leave for emergencies, or for a job that pays better. You can’t fight it. You should never take it personally, and there are always other actors in this city!

2) The theater (or studio) may limit what you can do because of their physical set up. You cannot get angry and scream like a maniac. You go with it, you try to be nice, you cry at home if the change is a really big one!

3) Costume day for the actors has to be handled delicately. Actors can get scared they don’t look good in a costume, and you have to be ready to be mother, father and fashion maven to convince them that they DO look good.

4) Keep the cast united. Nervousness will happen to all actors before the play opens, or before shooting starts – the creator, and/or producer’s job is to make everybody feel good about how they look, and how well they are doing.

5) Remember that telling your story is a privilege! Not everybody can produce a play or a screenplay. If you have the talent and the tenacity to do this, you will have an experience that is unbelievably satisfying. But you cannot get too crazy. It is YOUR work you are producing, so be grateful, kind and supportive. To yourself and everybody involved.

TRUE STORY: The original leading lady of our latest production had a family emergency and had to leave 5 days before rehearsals began. After a lot of panic and upset, my director and I found another actress. We rehearsed with her for 3 weeks and she got a TV job she could not turn down. 48 hours later, the original actress returned to the cast, and is doing a kickass job.

If you can handle things like this with graciousness, you will be paid back many times over. It’s really hard sometimes. My feelings have been hurt, and it’s hard to remember that people usually don’t mean to be mean. Even if they do, that’s their problem.

So now it’s here, the opening of “eve2” my new play. We begin our run at Bootleg Theater in Silver Lake on August 10th. The play is a surreal re-boot of the story of Eve and Adam from Genesis It takes place in a morgue in a hospital, where two lovers named Adam and Eve are stuck when the power goes out and everything goes dark.

Time and Space have collided and Adam and Eve are overtaken and possessed by the spirit of the First Couple Ever — the real couple from the Garden of Eden. Only this time, Eve won’t give up on seeking Wisdom and Knowledge. In my play, Eve gets a second bite at the apple! “eve2” is a sensual dream piece, with scenes melting into other scenes, Invisible Inquisitors, floating morgue slabs with live bodies on them and a visit from Moses!

I would be so happy to have the Ms in the Biz community come and see “eve2”.  Come say hello to me, I will be there at all performances trying to learn everything I can before the run is over, and the play disappears into thin air!


About Susan Rubin

I am primarily a playwright. My work’s been performed in Cuba, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and New York. The World Premiere of my newest play, “eve2” opens at LA’s Bootleg Theatre in July, 2013. It’s a surreal take on Eve and Adam, only this time, Eve gets a second bite at the apple! I write documentaries on subjects from women's reproductive rights, to the rise of the radical right wing, to violence against women. The documentaries tell brutal truths; they are balanced for me by my plays that are comedic, magical, musical and surreal. Telling stories with a different voice. I write for Ms Blog - part of Ms Magazine, founded by Gloria Steinem, and currently the longest existing feminist magazine in the US. Blogs let me talk to a large audience about difficult issues with irony and humor. Six of my Ms blogs are now a web series, “Vagina Dialogues” on Funny or Die.