Block 383: March 25, 2014


Hakuna Matata.

If it really means that.

Date: March 25, 2014

Crane: 383

Days Spent on Project: 401

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Jenn L.

Jenn was a first year theater management student when I was a second year design student at the Yale School of Drama. She came to New Haven, by way of New York, but being originally from San Diego.

She was a budding (established?) folk music singer in New York. She had even put out a few albums of her work, had a small following, and had a few small venues that she would perform in whenever the chance arose.

Jenn and I spent a lot of time together that year. She lived a block away from my apartment, which was directly across the street from the second year design student studio space. More than a few nights were spent discussing Britney Spears and her public meltdown, the movie Bottle Rocket, and our frustrations with the school and with life in general. I don’t think it would be too much to say that Jenn wasn’t happy at the YSD. She chose to leave after that first year to head back to New York and concentrate on her music again and figure out a new direction.

Later, in New York, I would again spend time hanging out with her… in her Park Slope apartment that she shared with a rotating group of roommates, in Brooklyn, in the East Village. Out of all the people that I met at the YSD, she was most certainly one of the few that I wanted to keep in touch with after leaving. She was, as trite as it can sound, on a journey and trying to discover where she should go and what she should do. And, also, it was a journey of self-respect and acceptance.

I think she’s incredibly smart and intuitive and receptive to emotions and other people. I think she connects to people deeply. She makes them feel appreciated and a part instead of apart.

She eventually would go back to school, to study Religion, at Columbia. She’s now continuing those studies over in Rome, of all places. She’s in a relationship with an Italian man, whom I think treats her very well. A few months ago, Jenn asked me to help think of designs or ideas for a wedding dress. I normally decline offers to work on a bride’s outfit (I’ve learned), but I would actually want to give that to Jenn.

Music I listened to while sewing: Today, Spotify suggested Solar Fields, and their album “Until We Meet The Sky.”

I feel like I’m floating in a land of electronic wind and beeps, and that’s okay for now.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: The anxiety dreams came back last night. I ended up staying awake until 2am, trying to calm down.

I woke up, eventually at 8am, to walk The Dog.

It’s funny, and maybe this is just me, but I think I’m now reaching an age where lack of sleep really messes up the following day. Stumbling around this morning, groggy and unrested, I felt hungover.

Two cups of coffee later, I’m awake and back on track.

I should admit that this week is going to be an emotional roller coaster for me. It personally feels that The Stakes have skyrocketed this week. Yes, deep down, I know I’m prepared and able and capable, and once things start rolling I really will be fine.

But, I would be lying to you if I didn’t admit that I feel like this is the last hurrah for me. It’s not fair to say that, I know; if I want to keep at this career, which I do, it does not behoove me to throw in the towel and run away. If I want to keep reaching for my goal- to design costumes for theater (or TV or film or dance or opera and so on)- it is not in my best interest to give up and close that chapter of my life.

People often say that if you want to pursue Theatre, you need to accept and embrace rejection. I used to think that Rejection was about hearing “No,” “Not right,” “Next time,” or even “Not You,” but I’m learning that Rejection can be a much broader term. It can be about having a vision, an idea, and not finding the opportunity to realize it. It can be about wanting to work with a group of people, but not finding a way to get seen or noticed by them. It can be seeing a classmate or a colleague or a stranger stumbling on success, while you sit at home and watch TV. Rejection can be about missed opportunity. Rejection can be about forgetting to call or email.

Rejection can be about wanting to survive too, I guess.

Not to sound despondent.

I need to work on reminding myself that following a goal isn’t laughable. I need to work on patience. And evolution. And confidence.

The only thing I have any control over is what I put out into the world, and I hope and pray and choose to put out good work. And I hope that good work comes back, like a boomerang.

I have the opportunity to work on a play I’ve written in California next month. I get the opportunity to work on a production of Pippin after that. I may have more opportunities coming in the months ahead…

I just have to have patience and not let the uncertainty of this time convince me to jump a ship that isn’t sinking.

Hakuna Matata.

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