Block 253: November 9, 2013



Hakuna Matata: such a wonderful phrase.

Date: November 9, 2013

Crane: 253

Days Spent on Project: 266

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Back when I was in college, after my sophomore year at Kenyon, I held two part time summer jobs. I was trying madly to make money so that I could go abroad to London in the fall; my “vacation” was spent working at a doctor’s office, filing and organizing paperwork and taking phone messages, and then my evenings were usually spent at Old Navy.

I had a lot of energy back then.

My father worked at the doctor’s office, hence the job. For that summer, and a few other months throughout the calendar year, I would try to be the best file-boy that office had ever seen. It wasn’t that hard to do; besides the doctors, I was the only male on the floor.

A woman in the office, Susan M., the phone operator, took a liking to me… as a mother, I suppose. I would have to work in her back office occasionally to transcribe messages from patients and other offices. Otherwise, in a back corner of a small office, she was fairly secluded. Over the time that I worked there, she was fascinated that I had plans to study theater in college and that I wanted to dedicate my life to theater. She was intrigued that I was going to London to study acting. She thought it was exciting that I knew what I wanted to do, and was making strides to do it.

When it was time for me to leave for the summer, and get myself to London, she made me a photo album. Filled with pictures of “How I spent my summer vacation… at a OB/GYN’s office,” it’s something I still have with me. No one can ever believe I held that job.

Susan also gifted me an extremely old, water-stained and cracked copy of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.” It had belonged to a friend of hers who had recently passed away. The woman was a fan of theater, of Shakespeare, and Susan thought I would appreciate the book’s value, even if it was slightly damaged and weak.

I still have it. It’s dated from 1890 and there’s a postcard from Chicago, dated from the 20s inside, between the pages of Julius Caesar. The book has travelled with me from Indiana to Ohio to Kentucky to New Haven to Brooklyn and Manhattan.

I hardly ever touch it, but we have a history.

Music I listened to while sewing: Back to Fort Fairfield. More than a little in love with their music, obviously.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Took a meeting with an agent last night.

Is it time for me to get representation?

Yes. I need to meet more people and get and take meetings and be more of a player.

No. I’m not “well-known” or “reviewed” or “in demand” enough that an agent is necessary to negotiate terms of a contract.

Maybe. I need someone to watch out for me. I’m getting tired of going at this alone; to have someone in my corner would be amazing.

She suggested, rightly and truthfully, that if I really want to bite down and move forward to the another level in my career, I need to prepare emotionally and financially for really difficult times. I have to start saying no to the work that I take that pays the bills (Assistant and Associate Design) and aiming to get the work that I want (to be The Designer).

I know this. I knew this. Am I ready for it? Can I do it?

I’m not sure. I already live a spartan life; what more can I give up to make living here and working here less of a financial risk? Am I too obligated to life (the dog, the student loans, the rent, the bills) to make that happen?

Today is a work day at home. Re-writing resumes and re-doing the website. Writing for two grants for prospective work.

One day at a time.

Hakuna Matata.

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