Block 674: May 28, 2015

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Today, I rolled into work at 11am. It took my dog and I about 30 minutes to walk here (instead of the usual 10).

Now that my shop is off contract, where’s my motivation?

I guess THIS is the one perk I get of being salaried; it only took a year of over-working myself to get this opportunity.

Date: May 28, 2015

Crane: 674

Days Spent on Project: 828

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Michael H.

Michael was another one of Dave’s close friends that I met in Los Angeles. He went out with us on my first Friday in town, he was at that birthday brunch, and then he and Dave drove me around Los Angeles to “play tourist” with me.

We went to the Chinese Theater. We walked up the Hollywood Star Walk of Fame. We drove around the Paramount Movie Studios, and saw the gate that was used in Sunset Boulevard. We drove up to the Hollywood sign and they took my picture “in front” of it. (I had used pictures of the sign and of the hills as research for the Final Act of a modern dress production of Marriage Of Figaro in grad school. [Ming Cho Lee kind of got on board with my ideas] There was something awesome, and seemingly full circle about that experience.)

When I came back to Los Angeles in April/May of 2014, Michael wasn’t there. He was on site for some television production.

It didn’t dawn on me until after both of those trips that all of Dave’s friends were involved in some aspect of the television or movie industry. If he were still in LA, I’d try to get in on that somehow.

Music I listened to while sewing: I am continuing with the “Dance All Day” playlist for now, but I have to say that Rihanna has continually turned out heavily played music in the past ten years. (Can you imagine that she’s had a career for over 10 years?)

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: A friend of mine- whom I met last year when I was working in Arkansas on Pippin- called me last night from Chicago at 10:30pm. It was after midnight there, and he was just finishing up the work he was doing with a theater. He was wrapping up tech rehearsals for one show, so he could go back to Arkansas this week to finish another two shows down there.

He was calling to commiserate. He was overbooked and overworked. It’s that same dilemma that the lucky designers and freelancers face: you never want to turn down work (because work begets work), you always need work (money!), you never know what that one job will lead to… but you only have so many hours in the day. He was at a point where all he could do/can do is turn in ground plans and sections, offer notes, discuss his wants, and then leave it in the hands of the people hired to do the work for him.

This was, in his mind, upsetting. He had turned into one of THOSE designers. Too busy. Not focused. Possibly handing over work that he *should* be doing. Having the people under him resent him for not being more present.

My honest thought? At 10:30pm? At least you’re designing. At least you still have the opportunity to design. You still get to do the work.

Yes, I’m enjoying the steady paycheck and having health insurance (funny how your body starts to fall apart in your 30s) and not always having to hunt for work. But I wish there were opportunity here to be creative.

I know I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably bemoan and question my choice to move here for a while longer, so I understand if people roll their eyes at me.

Oh well. On a side note, it’s so weird here at work right now. My shop’s last day on contract was last Friday; they don’t return until the third of August. In the meantime, I’m still working… But I’m the only one here. No one emails. There are no meetings. There are no rehearsals. No fittings. The fiscal year still has another month to go, but there’s nothing to buy yet. As much as I overworked myself this past season, I guess this is my chance to take advantage of the “salaried” position. I might leave here by 3pm!

My challenge? Stay focused. Keep working on this project. Keep reading books to prep me for other job opportunities. Look for more work. Plan for a July planning session for The California Project Version 2.0. This is my time to get back on track!

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