Block 661: May 15, 2015


Yesterday’s attitude that I could take over the world kinda disappeared at some point last night. I woke up in a foul mood.

So, I’m eating a donut right now.

Date: May 15, 2015

Crane: 661

Days Spent on Project: 815

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Another in the series of WTF experiences today…

After I filmed that small web-series in the fall of 2013 with those two really dedicated and passionate young women, the production designer, Paul, emailed me and asked if I wanted to do another project with him. He had been contacted by two guys who were looking to make a web-series and they were impressed with what we were able to pull off (a product) with the resources we had (none).

Again, I can’t for the life of me remember what the names of these two guys were… which is a shame. I guess.

I agreed, because I wanted the work and the experience. Paul and I met with the two of them one afternoon to discuss the series. Ultimately, as these two guys spoke about their pet project, I realized this wasn’t something I would want to get involved in.

It was something like 40some short (30 second?) episodes. That doesn’t sound like much work, right?

There was a cast of dozens. There were multiple locations, specific characters (gala attendees, security guards, celebrities, drag queens, performance artists, children, prisoners, hipsters, doctors, etc.), and super specific needs (performance art involving dance and gallons of fake blood).

Was there going to be a make-up department? Hair person? Wardrobe area? Where were we actually shooting? When were we actually shooting?

The shoot was scheduled to happen on incredibly long days over a few weeks. Was there any pay? No. Was there any budget for anything? No.

It was probably the first time I trusted my gut unquestionably. I thanked them for the interview and left at the end. I thanked Paul for the recommendation, but told him I wouldn’t be able to do it.

A week later, Paul dropped out too.

Remember, this was in the fall of 2013. The previous summer, I had worked with a large opera company that refused to pay me, with an outdoor theater company that hired abusive actors, and then was fired from another large (i.e. Broadway) show. I had had enough experience that summer, and I was glad I listened to my gut and my heart.

Yes, experience is always good, but trusting your inner thoughts and instincts is also good.

So, today’s Crane would be for the Artistically Challenged Boys.

Music I listened to while sewing: Katy Perry is on in the shop right now! Who’d think that my shop could listen to her?

Portland sometimes surprises me.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Last night wasn’t particularly restful. Woke up wheezing and suffering from weird asthma attacks every few hours.

I woke up feeling slightly discouraged about it all… why am I in Portland? Am I in Portland because I wasn’t good enough to cut it elsewhere? If the people who work here are “good enough” to design here, but I’m not, does that mean I’m not “good?” If some people, in my opinion, are lacking- but they consistently work, what does that mean about me?

I have been telling myself that it’s okay not to find creative fulfillment here at this regional theater.

I have been telling myself that the experiences I do have, the work I’ve done, the things I’ve accomplished… I’ve been reminding myself that I am not without experience, with taste, with talent.

I’ve been telling myself that there are some directors who don’t want to work with certain kinds of people. I’ve been reminding myself that there are directors I don’t want to work with too.

I’m reminding myself that taking a job for a paycheck is FINE. I’m telling myself it’s okay not to worry about money and bills for a period of time.

I’m telling myself that it would be okay if I stayed here- if I want that.

I’m telling myself that if I want more, find more. Seek More. Do More. Make it happen.

If I want to daydream of more, imagine more, hope for more, that’s great.

But if I want those dreams to materialize, I’m telling myself that I need to do something.

It’s okay to be where I am. Despite my thought earlier this week that I was a “kind of failure” for leaving New York like I did (in a way, I think that is true), I am NOT A FAILURE NOW. I “failed” at one goal, but that wasn’t the only goal.

I feel goal-less right now. It’s time now to re-adjust, re-evaluate, re-think, and specify what the next goal is.

Maybe it will be to move back to New York. (But if I did, the circumstances would have to be different.)

Maybe it will be to find a way to design again.

Maybe it will be to make theater I want to see.

Maybe it will be to teach.

Maybe it will be to leave Portland.

Maybe it will be to just live.

I don’t know.

So, as grumpy as I was this morning, it’s because I just feel like I’m stuck between confusion and opportunity.

What did I leave?

What am I going to?


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