Block 90: May 18, 2013

athousandquiltedcranes90

Another one of those “Camo-Cranes,” as a friend call them.

I’m starting to agree with a comment that was made a while back: not every one of these can be a leading player, this project will need several supporting roles to connect all the dots.

Which is a perfect way to describe life and the people we meet. I wish I had a more solid plan for each Crane’s dedication. If I consider *that* aspect of life, it would totally determine who gets each Crane.

Date: May 18, 2013

Crane: 90

Days Spent on Project: 90

Person I would have sent it to: As I’m on a “My Life, Currently” trend, let’s dedicate this Crane to Maggie M.

I’m working with her to get this production up and running. That she places so much trust in the work I’m doing, that she relies on my opinion to inform her choices, that she thanks me for the work is humbling.

I’m still not yet sure if we’re doing great theater or if we’re accomplishing anything, but thank you for the opportunity and the belief, Maggie.

It’s been a process to get here, but here we are and I hope we get to take it farther.

UPDATE (May 26, 2013): Maggie, I’ve learned so much from you in these past few days. And, as weird as they are to learn, I have to be thankful for the life experience that has lead to these observations.

From you I’ve learned the importance of standing up for oneself. From you I’ve learned the importance of support, and giving support to the people who work for you. From you I’ve learned that standing up for oneself will rock the boat, and that someone will ultimately be upset.

From you I’ve learned the importance of good leadership, which means owning up to things you’ve done or asked or said and what you don’t know. From you I’ve learned there are things you NEVER say in a conversation, as there are certain things you NEVER say in an email. But, then there are things you SHOULD say in a conversation and there are things you need to say in emails (for the hard copy).

From you I’ve learned that I can’t take my work personally. From you I’ve learned that I have to take my work SERIOUSLY and know the difference. From you I’ve learned what my work is worth.

From you I’ve learned that we develop reputations, and that sometimes having the *right* bad one is actually a good thing.

From you I’ve learned the importance of being strong. From you I’ve learned the importance of knowing when to be humble. From you I’ve learned those qualities can be displayed at the same time.

From you I’ve learned how insulting it is to be disingenuous. And how easy it is to be caught when you act that way.

From you I’ve learned what it means to respect someone as a theater PERSON and also what it means to respect someone as a theater ARTIST.

From you I’ve learned that I actually DO know what I’m doing and I do know other people who know what they’re doing and those people are, in fact, a part of the Broadway community. From you I’ve learned that I am, therefore, a part of the Broadway community.

From you I’ve learned what it means to do a job solely for the credit and the paycheck, and not really for any artistic means.

So, again… thank you for the lessons.

UPDATE (April 2, 2014): I think Maggie might become a Very Important Person in terms of my life and career. Because of the fiasco with Maggie, I’ve since realized that Assisting is not a steady career and that people will take advantage of you and you shouldn’t trust any one who is “above” you on the theater totem pole. Because of this fiasco, I realized I needed to find a steady (i.e. REAL) job to support myself. I realized that Broadway isn’t a happy place at all. I realized that there are a lot of people who do this (theater) who are NOT good people.

Music I listened to while sewing: Lana Del Rey.

Not really sure that I consider her the talent that she was heralded as last year (or was that a few years ago now?). I do think a lot of her songs swing towards the navel-gazing, introspective, misunderstood teenage girl crowd that shops too much at Urban Outfitters or American Apparel.

Not to judge, of course.

But every once and a while, I want to listen to a few of her songs. I’m stuck on “Young and Beautiful” today. Because deep down, I wish there some guy out there that I could emote that heavily to… right?

Uh-huh.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Much better day today, despite feeling worn out. Stayed up working until 1am on budget proposals and the “tedious” part of designing a big musical. Even though I slept in until 8, I’ve relied heavily on coffee to get me to the evening.

But it was a better day.

I’m trying to tell myself that, fortunately, none of the game I’m playing at work with this project is personal. It’s just the natural and expected and usual step we all have to go through to “discover” that money is needed to make something happen.

I do get frustrated with these games in my work life. Why do I get so worked up about it? Why do I take it personally if it’s an expected step that we all go through? Why do I let it effect my mindset, my worldview, my mood, and ultimately my self-esteem?

And, strangely, a friend brought this article by Anne Bogart to my attention recently. About the relationship between want and frustration, the points she discusses are important to think about.

“We necessarily encounter daily frustrations, irritations, and obstacles. Perhaps we feel hampered and limited by our hit-and-miss upbringing, our apparent limitations and our imperfect ongoing circumstances. And yet, Rembrant’s still life demonstrates that it is within our power to transform the random, the everyday and the prosaic into an arrangement instilled with grace and poetry.”

Anne Bogart really is one of the pillars of the American Theatre. She just is.

Just another reminder that it’s our perception of life’s annoying little details that needs to be shifted. The banal and boring and tedium are just a part of our given circumstances; life will hand you lemons, and instead of fuming over some acidic situation, maybe it’s just up to us to move them and arrange them and see them in a way that we see their beauty and grace.

It really is up to us. Do we wallow in the banal? Do we let our want drive us to frustration?

Do we accept that longing, that desire for something better, that drive to be somewhere we aren’t, and work with it instead of crippling us?

I’ve wanted to work in theater since I got involved in it in high school. I’ve wanted to live in theater since I realized there was a community that inspired me. I want to be there. I want to be here.

That I get frustrated with it isn’t a bad thing.

Accept it. It’s a part of this crazy path I’m taking. If I felt nothing about it, why invest in it?

But I need to remind myself not to use that frustration as an excuse to treat myself badly.

Can’t do that.

Cheers.

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