Producing and Directing Center Stage

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Producing and Directing Center Stage - Leyle Najmas Belly Dance Blog

This past week as Daniel and I were discussing our weekly work schedules, we were talking about videos that I needed to do and Daniel like always came up with several ideas. I on the other just looked at him with that look; you know, the look we morph into that comes naturally when talking to our husbands?! Anyways I said, “Look it’s not like I don’t have a lot on my plate but do we really need this one?” Daniels usual response is, “Yes we do.”

So I will be doing a video talking about “Producing” shows and the pit falls that can happen at any moment. Believe me I am an unintentional professional in the pit fall arena only because unlike the poor souls who got thrown into the lions den, I skipped in with a smile on my face.

There is no definite guideline to producing shows small or large so I will go over my thoughts on how to keep your sanity and enjoy the experience. Well, okay I can’t guarantee that you will always enjoy yourself because producing shows can be a very stressful endeavor that for most of us isn’t just a rite of passage but an act of insanity until it’s all over and we can see our achievements. Actually to tell you the truth producing shows somehow completed one aspect of belly dance that seemed out of reach. Once you become a producer a time honored understanding comes over you and you understand even more about the human predisposition to be a star.

Here is a paragraph from my book talking about what I observed from one of the shows I co-produced:

I have witnessed unusual behavior with a few of my former students in regards to a few of the shows I jointly produced. Since I have been very lucky in having very talented dancers come my way I found it perplexing to say the least when a few of these highly talented dancers acted in my opinion selfishly. This is the difference in troupe mentality and the solo attitude.  The troupe dancers who participated in the shows went way beyond the call of duty because they wanted the outcome of their efforts to be successful for each other. This has to do with their sense of responsibility to each other. One person’s actions would affect the outcome of the whole troupe. The few students that I asked to perform in my shows were excited but at the same time they didn’t comprehend the idea of what team effort was. If responsibility lies only with the self, than the concern for the progressive and creative concept for the whole matrix doesn’t exist. Sometimes a solo dancer can’t see beyond her own contribution because it is a guaranteed habitual offering she can take to the bank. A dancer can’t offer what she doesn’t know how to give.

So this video will be a very personal endeavor for me because with the two shows I co-produced, the learning was like a psycho boot camp experience or being a first grader in elementary school and going straight to college. Either way I survived and I have a better sense of myself because of these experiences and I think I understand women better. It’s not all lolly pops and roses but at the end of a producing a huge theatrical show it can feel like winning an Olympic gold medal. With this video in mind maybe just maybe I can help you avoid some of the pit falls, walls and Diva attitudes that came my way. And when I say Diva attitudes I mean this for men as well. Is there such a word as Divo? Just doesn’t have the same impact though…………

Article News Alert!

I just wrote an article for Jareeda’s “Costume Article Contest” and I am very excited because the contest got my writing juices flowing and I wrote about my student photo shoot of last year. I gave it a different twist and it came out like a never before created Margarita with a twang to go with the twist. So cross your fingers for us and hopefully we will be in the running. Here is Jareeda’s website. Please support the Publisher and dancer extraordinaire, Mezdulene and subscribe to her magazine;
















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About Leyla Najma
Lifelong professional Belly Dancer dedicated to providing "Belly Dance Instruction That Is Easy To Understand And Learn That Connects The Dots"


2 Responses to “Producing and Directing Center Stage”
  1. aflynn1a says:

    Leyla, I am excited to see the dvd on Producing and directing on stage I know as usually it will be a great! The best of luck to you on your article! I will be keeping my fingers crossed for you!


    • Leyla Najma says:

      Thank you Allison……….since you brought it up……knocking on wood of course….the publisher asked for my photos again cause they didn’t come thru on the email I sent her. I took a couple more times but they went thru finally. So if I wasn’t like in the running would she ask me to resend my photos???? Let us all knock on wood, cross our hearts and fingers…including our eyes if we can. Dance in a circle and howl at the moon just to make sure good luck is coming our way!!