Block 551: December 16, 2014

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First day of school today; rehearsal for the next show starts!

Date: December 16, 2014

Crane: 551

Days Spent on Project: A number above 665 and a number below 667.

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to; Immediately after, actually during, the productions at the Manhattan School of Music, Candice had me help her out on a “small” production that was set to open at the Yale Rep, my old stomping grounds.

It was a very low-key affair- a new work based on a Swedish film with four or five actors, modern day, just a few looks each. I don’t think they ever thought to have an assistant on it; Tom the Shop Manager helped Candice shop for things in Connecticut, while she covered the New York stores.

But, like always, there was a small scheduling conflict, and a video shoot was scheduled up in New Haven when Candice was unavailable, so I was elected to head to New Haven, conduct a fitting or two, and watch the filming happen. It was incredibly last minute, so last minute that The Dog had to go with me.

And, because he’s awesome, he rode a taxi down from our place on the Upper East Side to Grand Central, and walked around that building until we boarded the MetroNorth bound for New Haven. My dog got in the middle of the fitting with the actress, he wandered the halls of the Yale University Theatre, and then sat backstage at the Yale Rep while filming happened.

He was pretty awesome.

And the director noticed this. Robert W. enjoyed the fact that a French Bulldog was there, sitting amongst everyone and snoring his approval through the long hours. It was the first time I realized my dog (well, maybe any low-key dog) had a calming effect inside a theater building. And so, on that day, I realized my dog was The Best Theater Dog Ever and totally worth his weight in stress-reducing gold.

All thanks to Robert W.

Music I listened to while sewing: The shop is so quiet right now! But, I don’t want to put anything on… everyone seems so serious…

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: So, after a few months, the day has arrived. It’s the first day of rehearsal for the first show I’m designing here in Portland. I’m not too worried about it- it’s a mix of modern clothes with a few build pieces. I wouldn’t call it large or overwhelming. It should be fun. It’s a comedy.

But, we’ll see what the process is like.

Someone last night told me last night that the attitude in this building is one based on self-preservation. Just do the work, find ways out of being asked to do more than you can handle. Just do what you need to do.

I’ve come to accept that things, because I chose this career, won’t ever be linear. And because of that, there’s no reason to shoehorn my career and my trajectory to fit along a single, straight line. If anything, I should accept that it’s going to be curved, angular, indirect, broken at times, but still there.

I guess what I’m saying is: I should be thankful for this opportunity to have this job and feel (some) financial relief for a spell and not always have to hustle hustle hustle. But, my life doesn’t have to end here. My career doesn’t have to stop here. I might go elsewhere. Something else might come along.

And that’s okay.

If I went through life without the chance to design again, would I be okay with that? If I crave working on theater that’s collaborative and imaginative and I don’t find it here, would I be okay with that?

I just need to remind myself: it’s okay to keep moving if you need to.

The idea of self-preservation is important, yes, but I guess it has more than one meaning.

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