Block 373: March 15, 2014



Beware the Ides of March.

I should have made a red one today.

Date: March 15, 2014

Crane: 373

Days Spent on Project: 391

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Hayli A.

Hayli A. (Well, she was Hayli H. when I worked with her; she’s since gotten married) was the actress who came on board the production of Sleeping Beauty that we rehearsed in New York in 2008 for a week or two and then took to South Korea to be a part of the Seoul Performing Arts Festival.

What a whirlwind experience it must have been for her, let alone all of us. Trying to recreate a Yale Cabaret that we had come up with two and a half years ago. Struggling to re-understand the text, find the physicality, and also recreate that weird atmosphere of the Yale Cabaret in a small rehearsal space and then halfway across the world in a much much larger theater with an audience that didn’t necessarily speak English.


But, Hayli was a sport throughout and really dived into the work. She and I bonded over the absurdity of the show we were doing pretty quickly, I hope to think. The entire production team flew from JFK to San Francisco and then to Seoul. While the small production team went to the theater and tried to get everything ready for an insanely quick tech process, Hayli and I had a free day (yay for being an actor for once!) and embraced the opportunity to wander around Seoul and see the sights.

We found a museum, the “touristy” cultural arts area, the shopping districts, and also went to as many tea houses as we could. It was very bizarre and fun to be so there, feeling completely illiterate for the first time (I mean, I’ve travelled to foreign countries, but this was the first time I couldn’t make heads or tails of the language on my own). But it was a lot of fun. I’m glad Hayli and I had the chance to do that.

We reconnected once back in Manhattan the next year, we’ve become Facebook “friends,” and I know she recently got married. Hope she’s doing well.

Music I listened to while sewing: I made the decision that I was going to listen something “good” for my ears this morning (Mozart!), but I instead went to a playlist that’s all dance music, all the time.

Eh, it’s Saturday morning.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I know I’ve talked about opportunity a bunch this past week and looking ahead to the coming year optimistically, but I’m starting to worry what if nothing happens?

I’m not exactly putting all the eggs in one specific basket, but what happens if everything I’m trying to make happen doesn’t?

I was at a costume sale yesterday morning; it’s an event that happens once a year at a rental house that I go to for costumes. I went with the hope that I could find worn out old costume-y looking costumes for this Pippin I’m doing this summer. I got a bunch, and only spent a hundred dollars, so it felt like a win.

But, as I was pushing and being pushed through racks of clothes and seeing people jostle for old and used and weathered treasures, it struck me. This is the rest of my life. There were upwards of 60 people shopping with me at my assigned time. They ran the age gamut- younger than me, much older than me- as well as New Yorkers and other people who’d driven from a nearby state (Jersey) to pull clothes for companies that needed stock or ideas or help.

And we were pushing through racks of worn out clothes.

I was reminded again; not everyone will get that Broadway show or that television contract or styling gig or the chance to make royalties on a project. There are so many of us, just trying to do the work and trying to make magic happen by producing clothes on the cheap or for free.

Granted, not all the people there were necessarily costumers. I recognized a few people who aren’t designers, but were looking for things and making design choices in absence of costumers. (Again, there’s the idea that “It’s just clothing, how hard can it be to do this? Why have a costume designer at all!”)

As pleased as I was with the few finds I got (of course, they’ll help with my show), it was sobering.

And then I came home and walked my dog and went back to writing for the California Project. And I had a threshold of revelation moment where a character finally introduced himself to me and he then had a name and a place in the story and a connection to other characters and a reason to be there. He had gone from an idea lingering on the sidelines to being written about concretely.

That was a fun experience to have.

And so I wrote for a while. And then I finished up my mock interviews with undergrad students, and finished their evaluations for the evening. And I realized that I do want to keep doing this and I do have knowledge about this and I do have taste and I do have an opinion about clothes and costumes and theater and I have done this and I can do this and I should keep doing this.

And then I went to bed and woke up worried, wondering what happens if I want to do this and try to do this and nothing happens?

Can I afford to think like that?

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