Block 921: January 31, 2016

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Can we believe it’s already the last day of January?

11 more months in the calendar year!

3 and a half more months before the theater’s season ends and summer “break” begins! (How is that possible?)

The days have been getting longer for over five weeks now; it’s usually daylight until 5:15pm and the sun is kinda sorta out by 7:45am! (Progress!)

Date: January 31, 2016

Crane: 921

Days Spent on Project: 1075

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: TBD (It has dawned on me that almost 200 days ago, I stopped dedicating Cranes to people as I had run up until My Personal Present and I wasn’t ready to start thinking about Portland objectively. I might have to remedy that. Or maybe I’ll wait until the 1000 Cranes are completed and I’ll go back and start fleshing that aspect of the project out as I can…)

Music I listened to while sewing: I was so inspired by yesterday’s discovery that I’ve decided to listen to more music by Netsky. So far, I am not disappointed!

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: We’re now in this weird period of the theater season where four out of the five upcoming productions are tours or remounts or “co-productions” that are being shipped to us, packaged and ready to be instantly placed on stage and in front of an audience. On paper, it makes great financial sense… you get a show without any of (well, much of) the pre-production expenses and fees and rehearsal costs. In reality, for all of us in production, it means that we have little to do but maintenance and organization and clean-up until April (two months from now!) when the final show of the year turns in its designs.

The break is a little nice. My hours *might* actually get down to 40 hours a week some weeks, instead of 50 or 60 or 70 or 80. I might actually get to “phone it in” for a bit. (I’m sure this won’t happen as I’ve been told I’ll need to start budgeting labor [and -surprise- making CUTS in labor AGAIN] for next season in a week or two.)

Last week we had all of our tech rehearsals for the first of the touring shows. It’s an intense one-woman show about finding identity in art and literature and music and theater and finding family outside your Family and finding a community that makes you feel whole and worthy and important.

Somewhat (un)surprisingly, I’ve been thinking about it a lot as I’ve watched rehearsals. It’s one of those pieces that seems to hit one of my Life Questions directly but not forcefully. I let my shop employees watch a run of it on Friday afternoon; they saw it as heavy-handed and sometimes unnecessary. I disagree.

The actress is from New York. She lives in the East Village, on a street I remember walking on unawares. She moved there in the 70s? the 80s? and has been there ever since. (I’m a bit hazy on the timeline of her life.) She seems to have been around for so much of when the East Village was a Scene and a Lifestyle and a Home and a Destination. She seems like she must have seen and been involved in a lot.

She’s great as a person. We’ve had time to talk this week; she was excited to hear that I moved to Portland a year and a half ago from New York (I didn’t admit that I was born and grew up in Indiana…) and have made the transition. She’s curious to know how I liked it, how the shift was, how I feel now. I’ve been diplomatic.

Today, I went to the gym. I got in an hour of cardio, which felt fantastic. In my last five minutes of climbing stairs that didn’t exist physically, I looked to my left and saw her, on a machine caddy-corner to me. She waved. I waved back.

When I got off the elliptical and walked to grab a towel, she walked up to me. We had a five minute conversation before she went to another machine to keep working out.

She told me it was obvious that I loved it here, and that my move here was good for me.

(Where did that come from?)

She admitted she was looking to move, and Portland was one of the locations she was considering seriously. She would sublet her long-term apartment in the Village, and make a journey somewhere. Portland was cool. The People seemed cool. The atmosphere was better. How and why did I decide to move.

I admitted, generically without many specifics, that I knew I needed to move when I recognized that I was making choices and behaving in ways that I KNEW, deep down, weren’t representative of who I was and what I wanted to be. I knew it was time to leave when I was compromising myself and choosing to live in ways I wasn’t proud of. I was angry. I was scared. I was confused. I was avoiding. I was retreating. That’s when I knew it was time to leave.

And, now, some 18 months later, I’m not sure going back to New York would be the answer. I’m sure that within some time I’d have the same feelings, do the same things, and make the same choices.

Now, some 18 months later, I’m torn by Portland… especially because This Play has made me think about the community I’m in and the way it makes me feel. Yes, I’m a part of an Ambitious Regional Theater With Goals And Vision, but what else am I a part of here? Yes, there are some great people at work and I do like many of them, but do I feel safe making any of them friends and would any of them WANT to be friends (that last part is a big statement). I’m here. But it doesn’t make me feel whole or special or a part of or needed or important or exciting.

I don’t know what it is about this, but there has to be something more. There has to be another outlet. There has to be a group of people here that can be my people. There have to be friends here. There have to be people that inspire me and make me want the work and make me want to work. There have to be things here that incite me. There have to, there need to be, things here that get me to go in the morning and evening when I usually have time to myself.

There is opportunity here. There is.

But I also want to feel a sense of Family here or Belonging here or Community here.

Tonight, a guy I talked to months ago texted to ask if I wanted to have sex. I said no. He asked: if other guys were there, would I say yes? I said no again.

That act, however connective or social or pleasant as some might see it, isn’t the kind of belonging I need right now. I don’t even know if I want that right now.

I don’t know. There has to be something more to This than That.

There has to be.

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