After casting a play, I start my first rehearsal with a "pep" talk. It goes something like this: "Before you auditioned, it was a democracy. Now that you're cast, it's more like a tyranny. My job as the director is to make you look great on stage. In a few weeks of rehearsals, you're going to be SICK of me and rehearsals. You won't want to do what I say. At that point, you will look at me and say, 'Yes, Madame Director' and you'll do exactly what I say anyway. Got it?" They chuckle in a frightened way and say "Got it." Then we begin the rehearsal.
There's a group of homeschooled teens that I've directed in Shakespeare plays, starting in 2012. In 2013, that first group along with some of their siblings were part of the play. In 2014, the olders helped backstage and the youngers were now moving on up into the major roles. This year, I'm directing A Midsummer Night's Dream and there are some of the youngers who are the olders, and newbies who are olders, too. I almost didn't have to go through my spiel; the oldies taught the newbies what to call me. The parents working with me call me Madame Director, too. Annnndddd, there are the little guys--young siblings of the actors--who come on as fairies towards the end of the play. They are so excited to have sparkly costumes and wings. My heart MELTED when one tiny voice called out, "Madame Director..." FYI, I'm very nice to the little guys.