Block 415: April 26, 2014

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So, I have to confess.

I’ve been pre-making Cranes for the past two months, in the hopes that this project won’t go on hiatus while I’m having an adventure in California and Arkansas.

Date: April 26, 2014

Crane: 415

Days Spent on Project: 433

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC and West Hollywood, CA

Person I would have sent it to: Let’s go back to that production of Twelfth Night, directed by Makaela P., for her second year project at the Brown/Trinity Rep Consortium.

I graduated from the Yale School of Drama in the spring of 2006, spent the summer in Chicago at the National High School Institute at Northwestern, moved to Brooklyn, and started assisting designers in New York City to make some money. The productions at the B/TRC were some of the first shows I did after leaving grad school… and therefore, I was still floating down from the Yale High, as it were.

Today, I think back on those first jobs and I’m struck by how, um, arrogant I was at times.

I went to Yale. Back then, I knew I was good.

I now know that I graduated from Yale. But, now, I don’t have that same battle-worn confidence in my abilities as I did.

Today’s Crane will be dedicated to Jill K.

She was an acting student at the B/TRC, in the same year as Makaela. In one of the first fittings for Makaela’s production of Twelfth Night, Jill and I got into a disagreement about the clothes. I had begged to borrow some vintage 30s dresses from the Yale Costume Collection (no budget!), and I found some really great items.

To be honest, 30s dresses aren’t always the easiest things to pull off. Jill didn’t like the direction I was going with the resources I had. Instead of being the “good costume designer,” I got a little testy and frustrated and I let it show.

You should never do that. You should really never ever never ever do that.

All these years later, I know that was a low moment for me, and I should have knocked my ego down several hundred notches and apologized afterwards. In hindsight, that was a huge learning moment for me: never take out frustrations with the budget, your resources, or difficulties on the people around you. They’re in the thick of it too, and who gives YOU the right to be better than them anyway?

I know that Jill has since moved away from the east coast, but I don’t know anything more than that.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve got Spotify going on shuffle right now, but right now it’s Death Cab for Cutie.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: So long to New York for over six weeks.

I haven’t been away from this city for that long in almost four years, when I went to Toronto to work on a show. That was a five week stretch of time, and I remember being so excited to leave and for the upcoming experience. I remember flying back in to LaGuardia and seeing my neighborhood (is that my building?!) from the plane; coming back to New York felt great too.

This time, I’m ready for a break from New York.

I’m excited for this opportunity to go to Los Angeles, and to spend some time teaching. Sure, it’s for little (i.e. “no”) money, but the project is something that really excites me and makes me happy to think about theater again. I won’t be doing costumes; I’m thinking about anything but design for the project, and it’s reminding me why I got into theater… what excited me about theater.

I have to say, I’ve been thinking a lot about what experience and opportunity is. How you should never refuse an opportunity that intrigues you. How no experience is a waste of time. I’ve been wondering if the past 13 to 14 years have been a diversion rather than the main event. I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to restart and reset.

Is that possible? Do I really want that?

And if I want that, does it mean I need to leave here?

All I know is that I feel in the dark about the scope of this project (is it even feasible?), but I haven’t felt so energized by something in a long long while.

What does that even mean?

And, of course, after that, I’ve got Pippin awaiting me in Arkansas, which will bring its own adventures and stories.

I’m nervous. I miss my dog. I’m excited.

Here we go.

My fingers are crossed. My breath is held. I’m leaping.

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2 thoughts on “Block 415: April 26, 2014

  1. You sly dog! I see now that taking care of things is your métier. I love the idea of leaping… especially into an intriguing opportunity! It makes for a very cool life, though as with mine, most of it has been spent solo. Sending all the good energy I can spare!

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