Block 395: April 6, 2014


I’m feeling a bit neutral about today… and the upcoming week.

Date: April 6, 2014

Crane: 395

Days Spent on Project: 413

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: I should take my progression of my life back a step. Before I had the job assisting Donna at New York Theatre Workshop in 2006 (my first gig in New York City proper!), I graduated from the Yale School of Drama the spring before and had to survive an epic four day weekend called “Ming’s Clambake.”

What is Ming’s Clambake, you ask?

It has nothing to do with food or baking or fun social times. It’s a chance for you, as a graduating design student, to showcase your work from the past three years to design and theater professionals in New York City. It’ super stressful (You’ve just finished a marathon thesis project, graduated, and have started planning a move to New York), and the last thing you want to be doing in some ways. Worrying about business cards? Making a website? Printing resumes? Printing photographs of the show’s you’ve done? Etc. It’s a lot.

But it’s also super helpful and exciting. Over the course of three days, when else are you gonna get a barrage of designers looking at your work, and noticing YOU?

From that weekend, I actually made a few friends that I still keep in touch with sporadically.

Today’s Crane will be for Noah M.

Each designer is given a large table and a wall to cover with their work. My table was across the aisle from Noah’s; he was a graduating design student from Brandeis and also planning to make the move to New York over the summer.

After the summer, he and I (and his wife and another mutual friend) would hang out a few times. He actually recommended me for one job later, which was appreciated. I went to a few parties at their awesome apartment in Williamsburg. One, a Fourth of July celebration, was much needed in a very awkward and down point in my life. Still reeling from a really bad break-up but in the middle of some really big professional advances, I went with my friend Sharath (and also the Ex… WHY!?!?) to their party. As the evening wore on, I found myself on the top of their Brooklyn rooftop, overlooking the East River in the distance and seeing different clusters of fireworks and explosions in Manhattan, in Jersey, in Brooklyn, in Queens. It was kind of magical and a great New York moment to experience.

Noah has since moved out west with his wife. I think they’re much happier there. But I still miss them!

Music I listened to while sewing: Today, Spotify suggested “Man Without Country.” Good choice, sure, but I wonder how I can get Spotify to lead me in different directions. I’m starting to realize Spotify has a very narrow opinion of what music I like.

Again, in my quest to broaden my horizons, I’ve found myself in a different kind of rut.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I think my present ambivalence derives from my uncertainly about what’s coming up in the immediate two months, and then the harsh unknown of what that means for the late summer and fall.

Sure, the California job is going to be exciting. I’ll have a chance to work on something that’s been exciting me for the better part of a year, but… what will this be like? What work will we come up with? Will it lead to anything? Or, as a friend said yesterday, will it lead to scrapping the entire idea and forgetting about it?

And then, Pippin afterwards? Well, the harsh reality of budgets and skill-sets has reared its head and it’s time to shrink the ambition… by a lot. Sure, it would be great to push and really get an awesome looking show, but with the cast size and support and resources available to me there, it might be better to keep the wheel greased and not try to make things more “artistic” than they need to be. (Plus, I won’t know anything about the shop or the resources and so on until the first day of rehearsal. Eek.)

And then what after? If none of the opportunities that I’ve been trying to realize happen, what do I do? I’ve been a freelancer for too long; I understand that things come around and work appears, but it also disappears or fails to show up on the horizon. But, come on; it would be so so so so nice to just KNOW that I had something big and challenging in the distance.

I have to remind myself that certain things are out of my control. I can try my best to do my best, and be where I need to be, but… But, you just have to keep your fingers crossed and keep moving forward.

Not backward.

Never backward.

Okay, off to the dog run.


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