Block 426: May 7, 2014


Lots of big decisions to make. And I don’t think they’re gonna be easy.

Date: May 7, 2014

Crane: 426

Days Spent on Project: 444

Location: West Hollywood, CA

Person I would have sent it to: Let’s keep going with the summer I spent at Peninsula Players, the summer of 2007.

I got the job because the program director of the National High School Institute referred me to the company. I didn’t actually meet anyone, or know anyone, until I drove my car down the winding road through the woods of Wisconsin and found the theater complex that was nestled by the water in the forest.

But, within minutes, I found a friend from the past!

Today’s crane will be for Emme M.

Emme, a few years prior, had been a student at the National High School Institute. Gregarious and outgoing, she was always around when something was happening at that program. People liked her. Seeing her at Peninsula Players, where she would spend the summer working in the box office, was awesome and I felt better because at least I knew someone there who’d be up for some fun.

Music I listened to while sewing: I don’t have any music playing right now, but I did just discover Sia’s song Chandelier yesterday. All I want to do is listen to it on repeat.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: What didn’t I feel or think yesterday.

First off, the small/big one… I miss my dog. That’s fairly obvious and a given right now, isn’t it? I know I joke about being a pair of co-dependent creatures, but maybe there’s some truth to that.

Second, I’m growing a bit bored with LA. Eek. The big lesson here is that you need to have a car or ready access to one to do anything in LA, and that makes me a little frustrated. (Why is there no useful public transportation here again?) Yesterday, lacking anything to do before my trip to Irvine, I *walked* to the subway I take to Union Station. In New York, that would be a distance of a few blocks. Here, it meant I walked over three miles to a subway station. And while the hour walk outside was good, it felt incredibly awkward. Why was I the only one on the sidewalk? Where are the people?

Third, creating something is hard. Collaboration can be even more difficult. If the rehearsal process at the university we’re working at has seemed to good to be true, then last night my fantasy deflated. It was the first session where I felt… unprepared? not listened to? ignored? FRUSTRATED. Yes. Frustrated. It was a combination of many things (many!), so my dissatisfaction wasn’t directed at any one thing, but… sheesh.

To be honest, I feel that the ending to our little project isn’t right. This is a time when I’d like to run away to a dark room and delete the last two pages of text and start over. It rings false what we’ve done (“I call bull$hit!), like we either skipped a step or needed a quick solution to a question and circled one multiple choice answer just because it seemed the less obvious choice. Once I saw that, now I question why we’re building up to *this* particular ending.

And we’ve added another performance tomorrow, which means we have one less day to rehearse and explore what we’re doing. I’m not sure we’re gonna be ready after tonight. But, maybe it’s about just doing it and throwing it out there and taking notes and then starting over AFTERWARDS- maybe in a few weeks- when I have time to really re-write, re-edit, and re-work all the things I’ve noticed.

But, you know, my goals (to learn about staging something like this) have been met. I know where the holes in our text are. I know where it’s deceptive now. I know I just have to keep getting the ideas down and solid before letting them breathe in public. We figured out how to have multiple story lines happening at the same time, how to intersect them. I’m learning how the design NEEDS to be more of character. I need to still learn to trust the audience (what will they do? will they get sucked into this?). I’m learning I have done a lot of research into the world I’m trying to create and that IS HELPFUL.

I need to learn more.

Fourth: Universe, just give me a break sometime soon. I’m now choosing to believe the college job didn’t come through- as I haven’t heard any news in 6 weeks- which means I feel this odd sense of “Well, there’s no REAL reason to move back to New York anymore.” Yes, my belongings still live in New York. My dog is in Virginia with the parents. But who’s to say that I have to keep my belongings?

The fifth thing? For the moment, I’m confused about where to go with this project. I don’t think I know 1000 people. The more I worry that I don’t have any friends in NYC or any networking connections or people who value me as a friend or as a theater designer or as a person, the more I think I’ve set myself up to fail with this project. And that makes me realize the very pressing and desperate need to keep at this project. It’s exactly why I started this project in the first place. Right?

The sixth thing… the grass is always greener, I guess. Friends here are fascinated with moving to New York, which I can’t understand. Friends here can’t understand why I’m so fascinated with the LA weather or the tourist sites or the people or the city or the driving or the hills or the beaches.

The seventh thing? Oof… My next project, Pippin, just keeps getting more and more interesting the closer we get to it.

The eighth thing. People value me, right? People listen to me, right? People SEE ME, right? (taps mic… “hello?”)

Number nine? I can’t decide how to value myself. Or treat myself. Or respect myself. So maybe I shouldn’t expect people to value me?

Anyway, it’s another day and I really want to fix my mood. I need to find a place to get breakfast easily here. Where can I walk today?

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