Block 268: November 28, 2013

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Brown seemed appropriate today.

Date: November 28, 2013

Crane: 268

Days Spent on Project: 285

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Andrea M.

Andrea was hired to work with us in the Actors Theater Costume Shop for the first time during my first season. As the theater geared up for the beast that is the Humana Festival of New American Plays, where up to 10 productions of new plays were rehearsed, built, teched, and performed in repertory over the course of about two months, the costume shop had to hire an additional- a third- design assistant. The three of us would be assigned two to three productions, meaning we might have to assist two or three different people at the same time! It was crazy, but the system was tested, tried, and true. We always survived at the very end.

Andrea lived across the river, in Southern Indiana, and came to us with not much theater experience. But she had a tenacity and drive to learn and do the work, which was great. Not that I was in any position to feel superior to her (I had only been at the theater maybe three or four months at the time), but I suddenly found myself “not the new person” anymore. I was in charge of teaching her the shop’s system, how the theater worked, who people were, etc., which were the lessons I was frantically trying to learn just months before.

Again, as someone my age, it was great to have her around.

After the end of my first season, she would be hired as the Design Assistant Journeyman (the position I held then). I moved “up” to stitcher in the shop. It was interesting to experience the shop from this side; I think that was the first time I had the realization that I wanted to be the one “in charge,” making the creative choices and designing the productions.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve got Spotify’s Top of the Charts on this morning. I also have a French Bulldog who’s snoring on his bed next to me.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I hope everyone has the chance to have a good Thanksgiving, however you choose to spend it.

I’m at home with my dog. After this, I think I’m going to bundle up and try taking him to the park for a bit. He might not want to- he’s starting to hibernate for the season and avoid long stretches outside- but I want to try to do something fun for him today.

Because (sentimentality alert) I’m thankful for the little guy.

As I’m 268 Cranes deep into this project, I’m starting to understand the scope of this project. It really is a large exercise in being thankful for what truly matters: people and human connection. For 285 days now, I’ve had the opportunity to carve an hour out of my day and think about people who’ve been in my life, the difference they’ve made, and the effect they’ve had on me. I’ll admit that the process isn’t always easy, but it isn’t hard either. As I’ve thought about where I’ve been, I have found a natural progression of “these people were there and they lead to this place which means I met these people.”

There are, admittedly, some people with whom I remember having spent time, but can’t remember their names. Does this mean they have any less impact on The Who I Am Now? No, but how do I dedicate a Crane to them?

There are times when I feel the need to thank a place (like my high school or first job) because of the rather large influence it had on my life path.  Even though those institutions aren’t people, I still think it’s valuable to remember those places as a collection of experiences that were had because of the people within them. They get Cranes.

I’m making the rules of this project up as I go along. I think that’s okay.

Today, on Thanksgiving, I don’t have the chance to meet up with people and share a meal, but I’d still like to take a moment and say I’m thankful for the people who’ve made me who I am- for better or for worse. I’m thankful to have been a part of their lives. I’m thankful to have been included in other people’s lives. I’m thankful for friends, teachers, family, co-workers, bosses, designers, colleagues, ex-boyfriends, enemies, pets, etc. I think that’s the ultimate thing to be thankful for. We can, and should, be thankful for freedom from Need or Want, but things change. We lose jobs. Bank accounts shrivel. Possessions need replacing. But human relationships should always be a constant in our life.

Hope you’re thankful for the real stuff today.

Now go eat some turkey, if you’re so inclined, and have some fun.

Cheers.

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