Block 590: January 30, 2015

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That last Friday of January. Winter’s moving along…

Date: January 30, 2015

Crane: 590

Days Spent on Project: 710

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Allie G.

I’m not going in chronological order with this one. I met Allie back in 2013, out of the blue, when my friend Chris M. forwarded me an email that had been forwarded to him from the people who produced Sleep No More. They were looking for a group of “volunteers” to work their upcoming Halloween party; there were no other details than that.

I immediately responded, got signed up, showed up and made myself available whenever they needed me.

Allie was/is one of the Stage Managers who runs that huge operation nightly behind the scenes. I quickly learned how much she has to keep track of… imagine the logistics that go into planning and overseeing and cueing and starting and watching a show that takes place with so many people over five floors of a huge warehouse space!

Allie had a lot to wrangle with that Halloween Party. It was huge and crazy and ambitious and actually really inspiring and overwhelming and a lot of fun.

She later emailed a month later to ask if I would be available to work for their New Year’s Eve party. Again, I immediately said yes. It was similarly very fun, but not in that crazy, over-the-top way that I had experienced two months prior.

She emailed me back in October, asking if I wanted to work the Halloween party for 2014. If I hadn’t been involved in remounting a Christmas show here in Portland, I so would have hopped on a plane and just gone without thinking about logistics.

She’s fun. She’s intense. She’s got a lot on her hands. I’m jealous of what she does. But, she was and is good.

Music I listened to while sewing: Nothing today. It’s yet another super slow day in the shop. Two people have already left for the day, and I’m about to send the other two home in an hour… We have nothing to do right now!

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Yesterday I had a day.

I wasn’t angry. I was just kinda floored at how things are operated here.

Anyway, I just find it interesting that I was told, point blank, at the top of the season before I had done much of anything, that I needed to keep a tight reign on the budgets, and keep spending and labor low… Then, throughout the season, we keep finding ourselves in situations where money NEEDS TO BE SPENT AT THE LAST MINUTE and it’s always just spent.

Then, I’m admonished for spending the money.

Then, I’m told the money needed to be spent.

Then, I’m told to get it under control.

Then, another request comes through for something we can’t afford.

Then, I’m told I need to cut labor and materials even more on other shows.

But then we find ourselves in the situation where we don’t have what we need or what is wanted and we have to spend more money towards the end to correct the under-budgeted problems.

Theater is weird. And it’s all about money. But it’s really not.

Woof.

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