It's been a busy couple of weeks but I finally managed to get back to the computer for the next blog instalment. We did a photoshoot for 'Elephants' last weekend at our house and because the show is set at Christmas, Ross and I spent most of Friday and Saturday pulling our Christmas decorations out of the loft and putting them up all over the house. Thankfully the neighbours and the postie already know we're mad so I'm sure that Christmas decorations at the beginning of November didn't surprise them in the slightest! The photoshoot went brilliantly and we got some fantastic shots for our programme and marketing campaign. At our rehearsal on Thursday I remembered that I had signed the Company up for the Twitter campaign #LoveTheatreDay in association with The Stage magazine. The idea is that everybody with a love of theatre, or a job in theatre, or an actual theatre building or company can sign up and spend the day sharing posts about what they do and why they love it. I decided to get the cast to each do a short video - just a couple of sentences - about why they love theatre. Of course when you ask anybody to do something like that at short notice and you sit them in front of the camera and press the record button you have no idea what's going to happen - and most of the time they don't have much idea either. We got some hilarious moments and some of the outtakes are better than the 'official' videos. They were all at least brave enough to do it spontaneously in front of each other, whereas I chickened out and said I'd do mine at home. I then had to think of what I was going to say of course, but the last couple of weeks really answered that question for me and reminded me of one of the main reasons why I love theatre. Obviously I love going to see theatre and for around two and half hours being transported into a different world and escaping from whatever kind of rubbish day I might have had. Theatre does something that television never can and involves all your senses. As a performer I love getting the opportunity to play such a wonderful variety of characters and acting on stage in ways that I would never dream of in real life, or expressing emotions freely and sometimes to extremes. Of course there is also nothing like that feeling of drawing an audience in and making them feel it all with you. To make an audience laugh or cry and take them on an emotional journey with you is one of the best feelings in the world. As a Director, planning how I'm going to help the actors and production team make that happen and working with them developing the best possible show is something I'm also growing to love. Hopefully our finished product will do everything we've planned. However, although the show and its success is the ultimate aim of everybody involved, I find that one of the best things about any company or production is the close bonds you develop with the other members of the cast in the weeks and months leading up to the show. That's why so many people talk about their 'theatre family' or their 'show family' and I think its something that only theatre people really understand. When we did the photo shoot at the weekend we made a day of it. We had great fun! We all ate together, laughed together (with and at each other), made idiots of ourselves in front of the camera, shared ideas and stories and it was a fantastic 'family' experience. Rehearsals have been that way too with birthday cakes, celebrations, encouragement of cast members for other auditions and most recently the #LoveTheatreDay videos. So why do I love theatre? I love everything about being in an audience, being on stage and being back stage, but more than that I love my 'theatre family' and my own little 'Elephants family' in particular!