'Just try it' - The Rehearsal Room Motto from Assistant Director of We Are The Best! Bex Bowsher
Hej. That’s Swedish for Hello. I’m Bex Bowsher and I have been the Assistant Director on We Are The Best!, as part of my 18 month placement at Live and Northern Stage through the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme, and let me tell you upfront – I fulfilled a lifelong dream I had kind of forgotten I had.
When I was a kid, my big brothers were in a band and I always desperately wanted to be in one too … except I couldn’t coordinate my four limbs for drums or get my head around playing notes on the guitar. I played flute, and I sang chorally – neither of which, to my mind, were very conducive to being in a band. And ultimately, my ability to be in a rock band was really hampered by my true fear of getting things wrong or being foolish.
So, I was a little more than apprehensive to be going into rehearsals with three actors who had barely touched the instruments we were asking them to play and something I couldn’t even do myself. I remember feeling, as we stood on the cusp of the rehearsal period, “I am not equipped for a show like this”. The old fear of getting something wrong reared its ugly head.
Luckily, for everyone involved, the music in this show was never dependent solely on my skills. On day one, we invited the three young band members into the room, and our wonderful sound designer, Mariam, placed the instruments into their anxious hands. In under an hour, these precocious actors were playing a song. An actual song. An original f*ing song! Like, excuse me? Why had all the teenage boys in my youth made starting a band seem like such a difficult endeavour?
Much like the punk movement itself, our rehearsal room motto was “just try it”. Punk in its origins was about empowerment of the individual through a “do it yourself” attitude. Whether it was the lunchtime band that I started with lighting designer, Lucia, and Deputy Stage Manager, Gaby; or encouraging our young band to play a bit louder or perform with a bit more confidence, making We Are the Best! for the stage has been a journey of doing. In modern life it can be too easy to get caught up in the ifs, buts, whys and wherefores but sometimes to start to change the world, you’ve just got to move because even if it’s wrong at least there’s something to learn.
RTYDS Resident Assistant Director
We Are The Best! plays from Thurs 26 May - Sat 18 June. Find out more & book at https://www.live.org.uk/whats-on/we-are-best