Brandi McDowell Productions
2 years, 3 scripts, and 11 shows... This is what the Brandi McDowell Productions brand has been able to do without any formal training; just supportive and talented individuals (actors and team), a willing spirit, and a desire to learn more. Simply Amazing! I sat at Starbucks on last night just reflecting on this production and what's to come and I had to calm myself, because the glimpse of "Greater" made me want to rush home, grab my computer and dive into work; but I understand the need for rest, mentally and physically, especially after the week I've had. This week has been grueling, from building a set last minute (a sudden urge to redo my set took over me), to last minute promotion, and nightly rehearsals got the best of me. I literally have slept maybe 15 hrs in 8 days, completely unhealthy, but it was with purpose. The purpose was fulfilled when we took our bow at 9:15 on Thursday evening, that moment will forever be etched into memory as I stepped out of the norm and ran a 4 day, 5 show run.
Now many people will think, "oh that's nothing, Jubilee, Water Tower, Bishop Arts, and TBAAL run multiple shows all the time;" and you'd be correct. However the difference and satisfaction is, Brandi McDowell Productions (BMP) is an independent theatrical company without the same resources doing what the larger, more well known companies are doing. The average independent production company does a one night only, 2 shows on a Saturday or Sunday, or one show across two nights, we just closed on 5 shows in 4 days, yes I'm proud. Proud of my cast, my staff/team, and proud of myself. Everyone brought their A- game show after show, inspite of what they had going on in their personal lives, they brought it. Furthermore, the reviews we received left me speechless.
I accessed the reviews from two prospectives, our supporters (family and friends) and my colleagues (fellow playwrights). From our supporters we received such reviews as "I've seen many plays back home in San Francisco, August Wilson's works and many more, and I've seen many in Texas, but this was by far the best play I've seen in Texas." Floored! Then "This was the best pla... No, I'm going to call this a production because that's what it was, a production." Instant smile! Even to comparing the production to a well renowned playwright, director, and producer; jaw dropper! Then on to the reviews and acceptance from those like Latoya Garrett, Calvin Walker, Domenique Smith, Andrew Flagg, and a host of Dallas' finest actors... I will never forget this run. This is first time, I didn't get "negative" feedback, not saying everything was perfect, but no one had anything bad to say and I take that as a measuring tool to compare the growth of myself and BMP in the last two years. Simply remarkable, is all I can say! The feedback I did receive simply fueled me to do more and get better, in which I can't wait for my stay-cation to end, so I can get back to work.
I'm just full, my heart is full, just thinking about all we have accomplished in such a short time. I cut my rehearsal/production time down from my usual length of preparation, which had me on edge a lot. Lol! My cast made me nervous, I will admit, because I wondered if my expectations could realistically be met in the time frame I gave them. Along with that, I realized just how much I had on my plate and I doubted if I could pull it off alone, in which I couldn't, had to call in back up; Alexandria Ezell. With each production, I relinquish one or two things and learn a lot more in it's place; this go around taught me to trust and utilize the people I have and the only way to the top is with a soild foundation (team). While I'm still solidifying my team, I have a great bunch thus far. This go around was also a bunch of leaps and risks, I had a business partner (Jon Thomas), I called a mentor in for assistance (Andrew Flagg); in short, I learned to rely on others to get the job done and I don't regret any decision made or agreed to for one second.
As I continue to reflect and become a little lost because there are no rehearsals today, I find comfort in knowing this is where I belong. Also I know I'll get to either work again or witness the talented individuals I called my "Fight of My Life: Still Fighting" cast. This has been an amazing journey from beginning to end and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Jason, Deon Q., Linda, Thomas, Jay, Jasmin, DraNoel, Matt, Staci, Jalen and Jaden, Thank you! Until next time, I wish you all nothing but GOD's favor in your future endeavors!
What's next... Well in the two weeks I'll enter into another production and next year I will direct a few other productions; my 2016 calendar is already booked! Exciting! Also, be sure to stay connected with BMP for upcoming casting calls and productions by joining our mailing list at www.brandimcdowell.com or following our social media accounts.
By: Brandi McDowell