A while back I received a phone call from a producer concerning a new show. I had been expecting the call. He explained the show and then said, “we’re looking for a pseudo-music director.”
I immediately stepped in the conversation and asked him to please elaborate. After talking some more it was clear to me that the producing team didn’t know what they wanted and we’re looking for someone to ‘consult’ on their show. They didn’t think they needed a music director because the composer plays piano, so that should work, right? In truth I was hired to help the composer music direct the show, who had never music directed before.
As I explained to the producers, you get what you pay for. And in this situation they were throwing good money after bad. Time was spent having me articulate to the composer what the actors needed in rehearsal, rather than dping it myself. It was clear to the producers after the fact that they should have replaced the composer and hired a full-time music director.
When you have a team of capable individuals, who know how to do their jobs, they make the work seem easy. When you have individuals doing jobs for which they are not suited, the difficulties of the work becomes painfully obvious.
It’s hard to describe all that a music director does. This situation was one that showed to the producers the difference between being able to play the piano and being able to lead a cast of actors in rehearsal.
When the producer asked for a pseudo music director my gut reaction was to tell him to take a hike. Hire a professional or don’t, but please pseu-don’t ever ask for a pseudo anything.