22 May 2010

Trucking on through

It's been a rough couple of weeks at work. Crises I've worked through within the past month:

- bent axle on the trailer.
- Shorting out the electrical system in both the van and trailer.
- Actors getting sick and needing to swing out.
- Actors injuring themselves DURING a show, having to hold, and eventually stop the show.
- realizing we forgot half of a show's laundry when the venue is 2 hours away from the theatre. zippers breaking during the show. various other wardrobe malfunctions...
- Horrible. Horrible. Horrible vice principals/teachers/staff members. Worst confrontation to date involved a VP saying "I am hearing a lot of 'need', but I need to hear more 'please' and 'thank you'" and my reminding her I was not one of her students...

That all being said, there have been good, even some great, days on tour. You know those days, where the show really resonates with the students, and we walk out of the building feeling like we at least made their day, if not created some future theatre goers or even artisans. Those are the days I like.

Outside of work, I've got this thought rolling around through the back of my mind about moving to New York. A couple friends planted it a couple weeks ago, and I haven't gotten rid of it yet. As of now, it wouldn't be a possibility until next autumn, but we'll see. This whole not knowing what i'm doing/where i'm living in 6 months is not as glamorous as one might think, and part of me wants a 'big girl' job with a steady paycheck and benefits such as health insurance...

Not to mention i've had some great times in NYC the past couple of times i've been there. Concerts, museums, and restaurants, oh my! Throw in a day trip to the jersey shore, celebrating my birthday, doing some job hunting, and i've been pretty busy lately...

Waiting in line for a free concert...

Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys (free concert nirvana)

The boardwalk at Asbury Park, NJ

Jersey enjoying life at the shore

16 March 2010

Sunshine can make everything better

After the deluge that lasted for what felt like a week, we finally got to see the sun day! An added bonus was that we had about 2hrs of down time in south jersey, so the cast of Midsummer and I spent it on the boardwalk in Ocean City. The group (including myself) was feeling pretty demoralized over the 6hrs of driving/day, 12 show week, and general unhappiness...it's amazing what an hour of relaxation and fun in the sun can do!

13 March 2010

March Madness

Nope, not for Basketball (but Boiler UP! too).

We have almost 50 shows scheduled for the month of March, including a day trip to Maryland, performing for an US Air Force Base, a couple three-show days, and an overnight trip to southern North Carolina. *whew*

We've started to get into a groove for touring, thank goodness, and we've gotten a lot of positive responses from our audiences, which makes all the difference in the world. I don't know if I can explain my reaction to looking over the audience at the end of a Romeo and Juliet performance and seeing that the cast made multiple high schoolers cry, but it's definitely good.

We've had good days like that, and bad days where i've had principals, teachers, parents blow up at me, or had to work around some major obstacles like a costume breaking 2 minutes before a show, but all in all the tour has been running rather smoothly (knock on wood!)...

That all being said, I take advantage of my days off. Last week we had gorgeous sunny weather, so I packed up and drove to Harklebarney State Park (ok, I might have partly gone just for the name...) that's about 40 minutes from Madison, and spent the morning hiking and playing with my camera.

Today's weather has not been nice to me, so i'll be hanging out with the lovely Anna this afternoon; hopefully seeing a movie and just relaxing.

Peace, love, and warm thoughts to all...

28 February 2010

On the roads again

I've been back in Madison, NJ since the beginning of the year, once again working for the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, acting as Tour Manager for their off-season educational touring company, Shakespeare LIVE! We tour two shows, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, in repertory, and will be touring through June 6th.

January was full of rehearsals, working though the hour long cuts of both shows and tech rehearsal beginning the first week in February. Since then, we've technically been on tour for almost three weeks, but we've actually only been out on the road 7 days for a total of 14 performances so far.

We've had some good performances, and some crappy performances. Performing in schools can leave us at the will and whim of schools' schedules, students' behavior, and teachers' tolerance, with a wide variety of outcomes. As an ensemble, the cast is still learning how to perform for people who are not trained theatre-goers, and how to handle talking, laughter, and other distractions from their audience. For me, I spend most of my days switching between crisis management (when one of the actors informs me we forget a major scenic element, or when the lights stop working on the trailer) and smoozing (distracting the teachers, principals, and PTA reps while the show is loaded in and out).

Outside of work, I've been exploring the city and hanging out with friends as much as possible. Highlights include: a chance encounter with Mick Jagger at the Whitney Art Museum; hanging out for an afternoon in MoMA with Anna and Megan, and Anna and I being remembered at Scotland Yard, the blues bar in Hoboken that we used to frequent last summer (being a local - like you're part of a community - is a great feeling!)

01 January 2010

Just thinking

I'll be starting back at STNJ next week, and as i'm running around getting things ready, I keep having similar conversations with strangers. You know the type, the conversation that involves a basic explanation of what I do for a living, and their response. Their responses always seem to be a combination of excitement, envy, and trepidation. I hear comments about how thilling and exciting my life must be, how much fun I must have, how cool, etc. I do agree with them. My life does not tend to get boring, and is commonly interesting.

However, as i'm getting ready to head back, part of me keeps getting distracted. Somewhere inside my makeup, there's a part of me that wants the 'boring and normal'. What's it like to go to a 9-5 job that feels like work? To not really LOVE what you do, but to somewhat enjoy it, and to feel some sense of job security and the effects of a livable wage. Part of me desperately wants to pick a city, for better or for worse, find a day job and apartment, and make a place my own.

Is is bad to think about getting married, mostly so that I could register for fun toys that I otherwise could not afford, and to have a place to call home?

02 November 2009

In a Holding Pattern...

I've been back in Columbus for about 2 months now, and i'll be here for another two. I've accepted a job back at STNJ, which i'll begin on January 4th. I'll be acting as manager for Shakespeare LIVE! the winter touring company for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. The first month of the 6 month contract will be spent in the rehearsal room with the ensemble, and then we'll have 5 months out on the road.

The 10-person ensemble will tour two productions, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and we're responsible for our own scenery, costumes, props, and sound. We'll primarily be doing day tours, staying within the tristate area (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania; occasion ventures to Connecticut or WestVirginia), and performing in schools. I'm looking forward to a lot of days starting at 5am, and MANY hours spent in a 12 person cargo van.

As the manager for the group, i'll be responsible for time and space management of the group, being a communication hub between the artistic and production teams, maintaining the director's vision of the show throughout the touring process, acting as a liasion between the venues and STNJ, and making sure that the actors are given a workable condition. *phew*

In the mean time...

I've been babysitting, trying to figure out how to start a mural business, cooking, being with family, cooking some more, and enjoying being home. It's been a great 2 month battery re-charge. I'm looking forward to the holidays at home (being away last year was hard!), but boy, i'm ready for work as well. I've still have two months in this holding pattern though; it feels like i'm taxiing around the tarmac....

08 September 2009

Blogging between jobs

If this past summer is any indication of what my life might look like, i'll be blogging between jobs, not during them.

This summer kept me incredibly busy. Along with the 'expected projects' (overseeing crew calls, NSE overseeing, SM mentoring), I ended up taking one of the leadership roles in moving our production shops. It was a bit of a nightmare, one involving lots of dirt, dust, about 10,000 costume pieces, about 12,000 scenic/prop pieces, and tools/machines galore. packing and/or unpacking a box truck is old hat to me know, let's just leave it at that. The schedule didn't leave me much time for blogging unfortunately, so there haven't been posts that made their way up here...but I didn't forget about the blog, I promise!

I'm now back in Columbus, looking for work, which is kind of like a job unto itself. I check the industry websites daily, and i've sent out several resumes, and recieved several no's. Come on economy, buck up!

To fill in my time this past month, i've been starting some projects - I went up to Michigan and painted a mural for a friend's baby room, I went back east to visit some friends and explore Brooklyn, babysitting, and have been puttering around in the kitchen and art studio. next up, going through the last boxes left over from college, and purging my closet (do I really need the tshirt that's 4 sizes to big and from 1992?)