Today is about keeping my nose to the grindstone and my eyes on the prize.
Date: May 29, 2014
Days Spent on Project: 466
Location: Conway, Arkansas
Person I would have sent it to: Katy M.
When I was hired to assist Marina on the off-Broadway production of Fela! back in 2008, Katy was hired as the assistant set designer. (Marina was designing both areas for the show). Katy and I spent many hours at two desks that flanked the edges of the small studio space that Marina rented on 39th Street. She would build model after model, hunting and pouring herself over research in that tiny room, trying to figure out the best way to communicate what Marina was hoping to do with our performance space on 37th Street.
She was a lot of fun, and I’m glad to have worked with her on that leg of the production.
As Fela! returned the next summer, and we geared up for a transfer of the production into a Broadway house, Katy stayed with us for a few weeks over the summer of 2009. She was very pregnant with her first child.
She now has a second child, and still lives in Brooklyn with her husband. I haven’t managed to run into her- or work with her- in the past five years, but it’s nice to see her updates on Facebook every once and a while.
Music I listened to while sewing: Since I’m typing in the dressing room backstage, I have Spotify on in the background, and I’m listening to the playlist I made for The California Project. Remember that two week period? I miss that experience.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block:
“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I‘ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou
Rest in Peace, Maya Angelou.
I can’t say I’m a huge appreciator of her work since I’ve never actively read her poems or autobiographies, but she did have a way with words, didn’t she?
I really want a second chance. I really want to make a “life,” instead of a “living,” and I think so much of my frustration in the past year and a half has been that slow realization.
I’m trying, but I need to try harder.
The issue I’m struggling with is the fear I have of “giving up,” of “quitting,” of turning my back on something I’ve been actively pursuing as my career for the past 15 years. Theater, I’m afraid to say, has failed me. I’ve done nothing bad or wrong; the market is just incredibly saturated with people who “have a passion for it,” and there aren’t enough opportunities for everyone. That’s the crux of the matter.
I have to keep telling myself I have done nothing wrong. The Theater I’ve been involved in hasn’t succeeded in making itself relevant to me.
Do I say that because this production of Pippin is limping along slowly towards a finish line? Seventeen days ago, when I was leaving Los Angeles after having finished working on The California Project, I was so incredibly excited about the possibilities of it all. There was opportunity. My senses were on fire from it. Here, I feel… well, I feel a little dull.
And when I head back to NYC after this, to work on a show with no budget or support or fee, I’m finding that I don’t care about it. Eek.
Things to think about here in Arkansas as I pass the time here…
What’s next for me?
I probably shouldn’t make any major life decisions in Conway, Arkansas, right?