Block 201: September 13, 2013

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Today.

Here we go.

Date: September 13, 2013

Crane: 201

Days Spent on Project: 208

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: If we’re continuing along with my first summer at NHSI, I need to dedicate this Crane to Doug H.

At NHSI, the students were cast in 10 different ensembles that would perform a fully realized production at the end of the 5 week program. I, as a Faculty Associate, would assist the director, whatever that would mean. Ten different shows, ten different directors… I could be needed in any number of ways.

I assisted Doug that summer on a production of Baby With The Bathwater by Christopher Durang. Now, I should admit, that at 21, I was still a bit green. I wasn’t that familiar yet with Durang and his kind of dark humor, how he twists reality on its head sometimes. It’s absurd. It can be biting. But, in the end, it should be funny.

I get that now. I don’t think I did then.

And, because of that, I’m not sure I was the best match for Doug’s production. I don’t think I *helped* contribute much to the kind the humor he needed for the show. I admit that now. I was probably not the best assistant for that show, or person.

I know enough now not to think about that personally. It wasn’t a perfect match. That happens sometimes in theater. You move on.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve got the album “Prenzlauer Berg” by Fort Fairfield on this morning. It’s already on it’s second rotation, and I keep replaying the song “ZOB am Funkturm.”

Time to start it again.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Here we go, folks.

Last night, I reached out to a friend, via text, to check in and see how he was doing. I’ve known him now for over five years; I met him when he was a college undergraduate and I was working on a production at his university. We immediately clicked, and I do enjoy having him in my arsenal of friends in the city.

He’s not doing well.

He and I stayed up late, texting back and forth (why didn’t we just call each other?), much of the conversation was me trying to convince him that things are going to be okay.

When he stopped replying to my texts, after midnight, I couldn’t sleep. What are we supposed to do in times like this?

You know, in the end, all I can wish is that my friends are happy. I understand we’re all struggling here in our own ways- some of us are broke, some don’t like our work, some of us are tired, some of us feel lost, some of us might be in pain- but I really just want everyone to know we aren’t totally alone in that… If the act of getting up early every morning and piecing together a fabric Crane and then dedicating that Crane to someone from my past has taught me anything, it’s that none of us have gone through our lives without affecting someone. I’ve given myself the rather Herculean task of trying to remember 1000 people from my past and my present (and who knows who I’ll meet in the next 799 days?) who have been there for me, who have given me something. Some of these people are mentors, artists, heroes, random people from random jobs, neighbors from down the hall, etc. Some of them will even be bullies or people who’ve frustrated the hell out of me or broken my heart. Not every person who enters and STAYS (however that means) in our lives will be because of something good.

But we all have people we’ve affected in our existence. That’s just the truth.

You need help? Ask for it. You need to talk? Start doing it. You’re lonely or jealous or unhappy or scared or angry or what-have-you, reach out. Even if you’re ecstatic because something amazing happened, please share that. While we may not have 1000 people that we’d safely feel the need to run to, there is at least ONE person out there who will listen to you and wants to see you HERE tomorrow. Good or bad, someone will let you in.

I know I can’t fix other people. I know I can’t solve problems for people. If I had the band-aid to share that will make you sleep better or feel better or see yourself better, I’d give it to a friend. If I could figure out a way to solve your money problems, I’d try. If you need to just hang out with an awesome dog who likes hanging out with people, I can help. (My dog is awesome like that.) That’s what I can offer.

I realized soon after moving to New York that theater here is cutthroat. The competition is intense. And I will admit that I’ve had some good opportunities. I will also admit that I’ve messed up a few things in the past. But I am still here.

From this, I learned that I will most likely NOT be the one to stand on the stage at Radio City Music Hall in a future June, accepting my Tony for Best Costume Design (although I have been there to cheer on designers who have won that award for work I assisted on). I am just not a cutthroat person. I am, however, driven.

I made a choice that I’d much rather be the person that people smile at genuinely when they see me turn a corner. I’d much rather be the person that people feel they can talk to. I’d rather be the person that could make things happen.

This is a roundabout way of saying that a secure man (hell, man or woman) does not need to laugh at someone who put themselves out there. A secure person does not need to laugh and disregard someone’s presence or appearance or work or earnestness. A secure person doesn’t need to put someone in their place. A secure person knows someone is in their own place.

I hope you’re happy. If you’re not, I hope there’s someone who can make you feel like you’re not alone.

That’s all.

Cheers and TGIF.

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