Block 541: December 6, 2014


The weekend. Finally. No show that needs my attention for two days.

Date: December 6, 2014

Crane: 541

Days Spent on Project: 656

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Jeff M.

Jeff was one of the male ensemble members in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. I had such an intense crush on him, and I think everyone in the costume/wardrobe departments knew it.

Not that it went anywhere. I was too busy, in general, and fumbling my way through work to feel like I could pursue anything like that. So I didn’t.

That didn’t stop the design department from scheduling a fitting with him, conveniently when I was the only one present to run the fitting. And the fitting was for a full body-stocking.

My team members weren’t always so nice to me.

I blushed the entire fitting. I don’t think I could form one coherent sentence.

Jeff did something interesting a few years ago; after Priscilla, he went back into performing with Mary Poppins when it was still on Broadway. Then, I gather vaguely that he started taking classes. Then he moved to California to take a job with a regional theater. He broke off his time performing, for a change.

California must have done him good. I think he enjoyed it.

But, he’s back in New York. I guess it was a temporary break.

Music I listened to while sewing: I know I’m super late to the party, but that Beyonce album is pretty good.

XO is currently on repeat.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Saturday morning in Portland and the weather is typically grey and wet (but it’s not raining!), but it’s somewhat warm. That’s a nice change.

And change.

I’ve been thinking of my designer friend yesterday- a peer of mine- who emailed and stated that she was also looking for a way out [of NYC, I assume]. The email was generally a response to a question I had about a costume she designed for this theater I’m at; I wanted to know where the fabric came from, and if she wouldn’t mind us re-building it next year since it’s wearing out. She responded with the answers I needed, giving me permission to revisit the work without her, which is awesome. I, in turn, thanked her and wished her good luck on finding a way out… whatever that needed to be for her.

I needed to get out. I needed change and, for it to succeed, it was going to have to be big.

I needed to flip the switch. I needed to cut off the power circuit and let my system reboot itself. I needed a chance to wake up and look at who I was and what I had become in the eight years that had passed since I moved to New York. I needed the chance to see the process that had started back at the Yale School of Drama and exacerbated by the work I had chosen and how I chose to do it in New York.

Somewhere in those 11 years, I chose to forget that I have an ability to do things. I chose to ignore that I have a capacity to do things. I lost sight that I have a certain intelligence. I lost the belief that I have a value.

And that value is more than a number. I am more than an expense. I am more than a financial burden on someone. I am a person, an adult, with desires and needs and wants and dreams and hopes and worries and fears and problems and insecurities and weaknesses.

I don’t always know what my abilities are. I don’t always know what I want. I don’t always know how to move forward.

But I became super focused, with laser precision, on my weaknesses and my faults and my lacks and problems.

Somewhere in eleven years, I convinced myself that whatever I got was enough. I would always want more, but that I wasn’t going to get it.

My wants became needing to know what I was going to eat, how I was going to pay rent, when I would find some money. It became less about being ME. I was focused only on survival, and I wasn’t. I just wasn’t. Yes, I was still breathing and functioning and operating and making my way through life, day by day, but there was no room for anything else.

And so when did I redirect myself from that? Yes, this job in Portland- being as drastic as it was to leave New York in 13 days, dumping a lot of what I owned, disappearing without a farewell from most of my friends, just evaporating- is a part of that redirection. Knowing that a paycheck is coming every other week, knowing that I can pay my bills, that I can buy food, those are small BIG things that have released some of the nightmares I was suffering from. The job isn’t an everything solution.

If anything, I see more clearly that I do have experience and skill and knowledge and ability and I am capable of being a member of a group of humans rather than a hermit.

And that awareness, if anything, is making me want to keep moving forward. I’m still in my infancy in this Portland community, but I’m already cognizant that I won’t “end” here. I do believe I can go farther still.

New York City made me believe I went there and would end there. Portland is making me believe I came here so I could do somewhere else.

And I’m not sure if that means I’ll head back to New York with this awareness.

But I know I’m moving forward again.

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