Block 519: November 14, 2014



Date: November 14, 2014

Crane: 519

Days Spent on Project: 634

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Hannah.

Hannah, I don’t even remember your last name. I’m sure we were friends for a bit on Facebook, but I probably un-friended you a few years ago during one of my online cleaning sessions.

Hannah was my student assistant for the ill-fated production of Summer and Smoke that I designed for the Yale Dramat back in the Spring of 2009. I was brought in as a replacement designer since the original had quit on her first day of the job, and I get the impression now that everyone– including Hannah- was trying their best to put their best faces on and walk on eggshells around me.

Which they did, for the most part. During tech week, accidentally during a conversation we were having in our small costume area before rehearsal began, Hannah mentioned that she and the director were talking about me the previous night, over drinks. It was shared, to my student assistant, that not only was the director unhappy with my work but also that he lumped as “one of those gays” who couldn’t “communicate with men.”

Yeah, I was incredibly pissed. Yeah, I let Hannah and the director and the student producer know. Why would you, as a working professional, be out with drinks with (of legal age, yes) students who hired you as their production’s director and why would you share unsolicited “professional” and “personal” opinions about one of the other working professionals that had been brought on at the last minute because the original hire had quit?

To this day, I get so confused when I think about that production. And Hannah. I don’t know why she wanted to share the director’s opinions of me… ones that had been shared the previous night over drinks.

Just another reason I don’t like going out with people I work with to have a drink after rehearsal. Call me anti-social, but… I don’t believe a lot of good comes out of it when working relationships in the theater are at play.

Music I listened to while sewing: Today, I’m listening to some “House Lounge” music. It’s nothing great or awesome. It just is.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Today, I’m incredibly cranky. Just cranky.

My friend yesterday, in her email about being tired of how “mean” New York is, mentioned that I had been brave enough to not only quit New York over this new job in Portland, but to “quit New York Theater.”

Yes, I was aware of that. Yes, I moved 3000 miles across the country and I’m now working in a regional theater, which is nothing like what I was doing. But, wow. This does mean a lot of changes are in store for me. I came here thinking I could elicit change here too. They wanted a better functioning shop. They did. And I’m aware that I’m trying to redirect the Titanic here. It takes a lot of energy to turn a ship of this size around… but jeez.

But, I just went to the fabric store to buy some replacement trim for a dress. Instead of having stores full of options, I have one store… with one option. No wonder all the clothes here on stage look vaguely similar to each other.

I can’t let my connections in New York forget about me. I don’t want to give up on what I know exists in the world. When I was 22 in Louisville, it was fine to get everything from Joann’s and Hancock’s because I didn’t know that “better” fabric stores existed. I didn’t know there was a GARMENT DISTRICT in New York and that costume fabric was more than quilting cotton and polar fleece and poly-silk prom/bridal sections and a few options of thick woolens.

But I know that now. And I don’t want to forget it.

And I don’t want to forget that people exist out there that want to create things that are better than the easiest or quickest way out.

I’m sorry. I’m cranky. But I don’t want to give up or settle. That means on the opportunity I have here and also on the opportunities that exist in New York and the possibility that there could be more.


I’m only 35.

I don’t want to have hit my peak 4 or 5 years ago.

I just don’t.

Thank god for the weekend.

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