Block 491: October 17, 2014


TGIF. So ready for a weekend. Nothing’s going on at the theater today…

Date: October 17, 2014

Crane: 491

Days Spent on Project: 606

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: If I’m talking about my experiences in Eric’s Costume Shop, I should thank Jen. She was the office manager when I first was brought on as overhire to help buy and source materials for them back in 2007 or so. She was still working with them in 2010, when I was one of the Assistant Costume Designers on Come Fly Away, as it danced its way towards Broadway.

The Office Manager’s job is sometimes like herding kittens around. Jen did it pretty well, trying to manage the needs of the shop, with the needs of the various designers and shows that were in the workroom at the time.

Although, she did leave that costume shop, maybe back in 2012. I think she wanted a break from the long hours and the constant needs of it all. I saw her once on the subway after I learned that she had left; I didn’t get the opportunity to say hi. I should have.

Music I listened to while sewing: “Atmospheric Calm” this morning, courtesy of Spotify.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Another day here in Portland.

Gray and overcast again. It’s not really raining, but everything is wet.

Last night, on Facebook, a lot of my “friends” were celebrating another large Broadway musical opening. It seems a lot of my friends were attached to it. I had to shut it off.

But not before I saw a friend post something that really struck me… only because I had been thinking and feeling the same emotions in the time leading up to my sudden departure from New York.

“Can we have a frank conversation?

I feel a bit beat up. Beat up by my expectations. Beat up that I have strived so long, so hard, for a title I can finally call myself. A title I thought proud. But when did my profession become my identity? How do I get it back. How did “this” living become so hard. When did I stop enjoying it-less. When did my volume get turned down? Can I have a moment to rest that isn’t just Sunday brunch? Can we look at our friends, and really look at them, and ask “What are you working on?” Without jealousy, but with total support. Can we be more loyal. Can I? Can we try. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired. And I don’t want Tired to be my name.

But I do come home to a clean house, my husband and my cats asleep with the lullaby of the dryer, and I am still grateful.

We’ll make Art again tomorrow.”

On one hand, it’s nice to read that someone has/had the same thoughts I’ve had recently. I was burnt out. She currently seems burnt out.

And I guess the question or the situation comes down to how long you can be grateful. Yes, I was grateful for the many opportunities I was given in New York City. I was grateful to get out of Indiana and the Midwest and work at really great theaters and get into the Yale School of Drama and to live in New York and experience that and work on some really great shows… But my “Grateful” was overwhelmed by my “Tired.” Somewhere along the line, when I started to experience the disloyalty of Theater in New York, my Grateful turned into Jealousy and Irritation.

Yes, I still loved the opportunities that were present and possible. I still believed that things *could be* possible (not *were* but *could be*) in New York City. Even though I was alone and struggling, I still saw myself as a part of that organism, not apart from it.

But I was tired. And I was broke. And scared.

When you’re tired and broke and scared, how can you create? Be a friend? Be available? Be healthy? Be supportive? Be happy?

I don’t know.

Could I have duked it out if I had stayed in New York? I don’t know.

Would opportunities come around? Maybe.

I miss the Garment District and knowing any fabric was available to purchase for any kind of costume I needed made. I miss knowing who to trust could make something or provide something. I miss the anonymity of New York that exists while being surrounded by hundreds or thousands of people. I miss walking with purpose. I miss the City Quilter. I miss the subway. I miss being able to easily go to neighborhoods that had distinct identities. I miss randomness. I miss weirdness. (I’m sorry; coming from New York City, Portland is *not* weird. At all.) I miss being forward. I miss rolling my eyes. I miss Sleep No More. I miss feeling there might be a chance to transform. I miss energy. I miss knowing people to shoot the crap with. I miss bodegas and bagels and ordering delivery online. I miss seeing cutting edge things next to decay.

I don’t miss the grind.

I don’t know.


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