“You’re Good Enough, You’re Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You.”
Gosh, Darn it.
Date: February 15, 2014
Days Spent on Project: 364
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: Michael Y.
Michael is a set designer who teaches at the Yale School of Drama. He’s pretty famous too. Of the two scenic design professors at Yale, he was “the good cop,” always offering advice on how to draft (by hand!) our ideas more clearly and maybe tips on improving our work. He always had a compliment, or a positive remark, when we were showing a project in process; sometimes that’s all you would need.
The first opera I ever saw, at the now defunct New York City Opera, La Finta Giardiniera, was during my first semester at the YSD. He had designed the sets for the production; we’d spent a few weeks in our drawing class going over his hand-drawn drafting. Part of our first assignment was to copy his work, trying to learn the vocabulary and techniques communicated by drafting by hand (line weight, starting and ending strong, etc.).
I think, of all the drawing/art instructors I’ve had in my life (Mrs. Cox from elementary school, Garhart from Kenyon, Ru from the YSD), those drafting lessons still float through my head every time I sit down and draw a costume sketch. Line weight has become increasingly important for me: darkening at curves or angles, points of intersection, of places that I want to draw focus to…
My sketches have been called really “technical.” I’m happy with that.
Music I listened to while sewing: I decided to give Lorde a try this morning. I only know the song “Royals,” which I don’t really enjoy. Her album… it’s okay.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Yesterday was A BIG LEARNING DAY!
I “interviewed” for a “design” job that I was surprised to be in the running for. Instead of talking over the phone, I went to their offices downtown. I’m glad I did.
Within five minutes, I knew I did not want the job.
Within half an hour, I fumbled out a bad excuse why I shouldn’t be offered the job. “That’s not the kind of work I do.” I gave a name of someone else and left.
As I walked up Broadway, I kept reminding myself of a conversation I had in December with a designer. He told me it’s *always* important to remember that an interview is a two-way street: the production is looking to see if you’re a good fit, but YOU also need to figure out if they’re a good fit for you. It sucks being freelance, because you never want to walk away from a job, but not everything is a good fit.
(Would I knowingly date someone for a six weeks if I wasn’t attracted to them? Intrigued by them? Enjoyed their company? Liked talking to them? Felt intimidated by them?)
I don’t even know if I left a potentially financially-beneficial job. Money wasn’t ever talked about… so who knows?
At the end of the day, I am who I am. And there are things I don’t feel comfortable doing. There are jobs I’m not interested in. There are scenes I don’t enjoy personally.
I’m a 34 year old gay man living in New York City. I own a French Bulldog, whom I adore and would take everywhere if I could. I wake up in the morning and quilt for an hour because it’s artistically and emotionally fulfilling right now. I like going to the gym and running on treadmills or using ellipticals. I listen to too much pop music. I dance around my apartment sometimes at night because I can and why not; I regret not pursuing modern dance when I was younger. I watch fashion shows online, re-watching them frequently, when I’m bored; sometimes I pretend I’m walking a catwalk when I have to walk lengths of subway platforms. I really like Alexander McQueen’s work; I’d like to make theater like his work. I like journalling and writing; I write and say too much sometimes. I have a uniform that I wear: “denim and grey tweed” is something I’m drawn to. I’m not necessarily going to be the center of attention; I’m usually okay with that. I know, if anything, that I’m not boring.
There are just some things I’m not into and have no desire to be a part of and I don’t think that makes me less interesting or less of a man or a boring gay man. It’s just who I am.
And yesterday, as I rode the subway home, I realized how much I need sometimes to remind myself that the ME that I am is okay and good enough, and the ME and my worth isn’t contingent on work or a scene or an event or group of people.