I’ve been making these Cranes for 20 weeks now.
Date: July 7, 2013
Days Spent on Project: 140
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: Fritz R.
That second year at Kenyon will always be the year that I worked as an RA in Norton Hall. There were four of us: four halls, two for the ladies and two for the gentlemen. Courtney governed over the hall above me, Andre was above me diagonally, and Fritz was in charge of the hallway next to mine.
Fritz was in my class, and I knew who she was; it was hard at Kenyon, a school with a then population of about 1500 students, not to know everyone at the very least vaguely. But our paths really would never have crossed- I think she was focused on Government/Poly-Science, maybe?- if it hadn’t been for our RA experience.
Of the four of us, I considered Courtney (who I believed to be a solid, wonderful friend, and still do) to be the fun Aunt that everyone wants to have in their family. Andre was the Dad, kinda flustered with all of us. I was the quirky son that might be a little out of place (in a hall full of athletes, this drama major certainly was). Fritz was the cool older sister that had been there/done that, would love to chat with you, give you advice, tell it like it is, and still manage to make you laugh about it together.
I thought she was incredibly cool, and very much Kenyon.
She also had managed to fit a papasan chair in those incredibly tiny single rooms. I don’t know why that elevated my opinion of her, but it did.
Again, just really cool.
Music I listened to while sewing: I’m sailing along with my “Chill Out” Playlist again this morning. Nothing of note to write about, but I did hear Aphex Twin’s “Avril 14th.” I always forget how beautiful that song is.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Like I said above, I think this is the official 20 week mark on this project.
Not that it means much of anything- it’s just going to be another week in a very long (years long) project- but I’d like to say that this has become a daily part of my life. I no longer have to think about it when I wake up, or remind myself to do it. I just do it, and it’s become much easier to piece together.
Practice makes perfect.
Has it helped? Has it affected my life?
It’s hard to say at this point. Yes, it does take about an hour of my daily life. Yes, I’ve received some great encouragement from Facebook friends. Yes, I’ve managed to meet electronically some interesting people who are following along with this. So, in a way: yes, it has changed my life.
And it’s become a good practice to sit and write daily about what I’m thinking and feeling. It may not mean much to anyone else but me and sometimes what I write isn’t very newsworthy or exciting… however, it’s allowing me the chance to focus on me.
On that note, I have to say I need to be a little selfish. I had a moment yesterday. After two days of no sleep, just one meal a day, sewing non-stop, cancelling (or just refusing to make) Fourth of July plans so I can work 24/7, juggling a few projects, and then to get hit mentally and emotionally and kinda physically by an actor… I had a moment.
What am I doing?
What REALLY am I doing?
I’m exhausted. I’m broke. I’m hungry. I’m doing all the work on a show that should have departments behind it. I’m working with a producer who tells me not to spend money, then yells at me for not fulfilling the vision I promised. I was just yelled and threatened by an actor.
I do believe that I have too much talent and too many skills and smarts and a really admirable pedigree and resume and too much experience and too many legit contacts in New York to be this… poor… and to feel this without hope.
When did I last have a “day off?” It might actually be over a month ago now.
When was the last time I got a paycheck?
Yes, it’s awesome that I cranked out three pleated skirts yesterday and a kimono and also three corsets this week, but I had to take super short cuts along the way. Am I proud of this work? Do I like this work?
Are these actors and this company and this director inspiring me to work this hard, or am I just working this hard because the company and director are too cheap to hire the actual help that is needed to do this project?
How many productions have I done this year? I’ve been attached to 12 so far this year. How many of these productions have been plagued by too little budget, too much work, too little time, angry producers, mean actors, payroll departments that refuse to pay, etc.?