Block 472: June 22, 2014

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Today, I’m taking a day trip to DC! Adventure time with The Dog!

Date: June 22, 2014

Crane: 472

Days Spent on Project: 489

Location: Richmond, VA

Person I would have sent it to: In the interest of not reducing all of Tricorne Costume Shop to a single entity, I’ll thank some people specifically.

I’ll start with Lisa G.

When I first worked with Tricorne, she was the Front Desk Manager who was the guardian that kept designers and assistants informed and comforted and at bay from everyone else in the shop. She would set up meetings, hand out information and supplies, delegate responsibilities to shoppers, keep the workroom happy, juggle personalities, and so on.

I always liked having her there. She was always pleasant to anyone who came in, super quick with a smile, and managed to make the job look easy.

She stepped down two years ago to move out of New York with her then boyfriend. I know the two of them have married now, and I think she actually lives in DC.

She seems very happy with life these days.

Music I listened to while sewing: My dog is snoring next to me again this morning. He decided he needed to be walked at 5am, so we’re both a little tired.

Other than that, the album by Jonsi & Alex (“Riceboy Sleeps”) is playing.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: The more I think about it — and I seem to think about this all the time — I can’t see myself going back to New York City.

I’m tired of it.

Maybe I’ve been away for too long; it has been 57 days since I took that flight to LA for The California Project, followed by over four weeks in Arkansas, and another 10 days in Virginia. My apartment and my stuff are still in the city, so I know I have to go back soon, but…

My heart isn’t in it anymore.

At one point, I thought New York was The Place To Be for me. We’re told it’s the Theater Capital of the US and, for some kinds of theater, that’s true. Broadway is New York and New York is Broadway. But theater happens everywhere.

I used to think only good theater happened in New York. Now I know that’s not always true. A lot of people are trying to make their theater dreams come true in New York, so loads of shows and productions are being workshopped, shown, played, developed, bragged about, rehearsed, etc. But theater happens everywhere. Yes, when you get to places… like in Suburban Arkansas…  the quality of work that I hope to do might not be possible. My pride tells me, with my resume and experience, I should be above “community theater,” but is working on a show in New York that pays nothing and has a budget of $10 per character any better? Does the zip code make it better? Does that zip code make the quality better?

Good theater happens in NYC, sure. Amazing work happens in NYC (Hello, Sleep No More…). But, for me to insist that I can’t find another avenue somewhere else that would feed into my desire to work and create theater, well, that’s a little limiting, isn’t it?

The more I reflect on this, why I’m unhappy with much of the work I do in NYC, is that the lifestyle of the freelance designer/theater artist is so unvalued. I’m easily replaced by anyone. If I balk at a fee or a budget, any 22 year old “fresh off the bus” would gladly take it for the resume credit. I would like to find a group or groups or person or people who want my skills and my presence and my work and my contribution. I want that COMPANY. I want theater to be inclusive again. I want to feel like I’m a part of a community.

And, yes, there is the Broadway Community. I’m aware of it and I’ve been a part of it. I’d like to be a permanent part of it again, but…

But, I have thoughts on that experience now too.

Anyway, it’s time to readjust plans. I have no idea what this means for me, but I know I have to resolve the question of New York soon. My stuff is there. I have a lease. I have to pay my rent again in 8 days. If I stay, I need to solidify some things.

If not, I need to solidify some things.

Okay, off to DC.

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