The Spark of Creation

The Spark of Creation

I’ve been doing some soul searching, folks. A bulk of my time has been devoted to staring into the abyss. Here’s what I have to say: The Abyss is abysmal, and either get busy livin’ or get busy dying.

In my youth (which I still claim) I spent the entirety of my time outside school devoted to performance art. When I wasn’t in class, you could find me in audition or rehearsal. If I wasn’t cast, I would volunteer to be at every rehearsal regardless. That is how I began to stage manage.

I stage managed at least one show a year at Clark, and usually another at Edison  highschool. When I went to college I declared a double major in Technical Theatre and Acting/Directing, and I Stage Managed the first show my freshman year (which was The Screams of Kitty Genovese, an opera based on the true 1964 story of New Yorker Kitty Genovese who was stabbed to death outside her home while 38 neighbors watched from their windows). It was important for me to stage manage The Screams of Kitty Genovese because I wanted to be in the rehearsal room whether or not I was cast (I wasn’t, though I killed my audition and earned some respect as the only freshman to make it through to callbacks for the role of Betty) – and stage managing meant I could observe. I was lucky to be at a university that fostered my interests in both ways – many universities would have directed me one way or another. There are those that argue that SE did me a disservice by allowing me to declare both a tech and performance major. Perhaps it would have been better for me to come against the decision earlier in my career, but I am thankful I got to explore both paths to their fullest extent.

I think I’m a good stage manager. I run a tight room in a nurturing way. I take my job seriously, but with a lighter touch than some Stage Managers. I will admit, that sometimes I need a heavier hand. There’s always room for improvement. But I do my best and I’m proud of the work I do.

I moved to Chicago to perform, but fell back to stage management pretty quickly. And why not? The shows I’ve worked on have been interesting and wonderful experiences. I live my life by the rule “never stop learning” and I have accomplished that in every project I do. Hell, I worked on my first world-premier show (with the playwright in the room) this year. Every experience is a learning experience and I’m thankful to work with talented professionals who keep me learning.

When Katrina: Mother-in-Law of ’em All closes, I will be taking a hiatus from stage management. I’m certain that this decision is right for me, but it’s bittersweet. I’m humbled and grateful for all the blessings in my life. I have the spark of creation and I’m looking forward to fostering it in other avenues.

 

 

The Earth and Other Minor Things

So my weeklong experiment turned into a 20 week experiment, but I think my hypothesis has been tested to it’s fullest extent and results were inconclusive. It is important to remember (both in science and in life) that experiments do not fail when your hypothesis turns out to be incorrect. The grand experiment is, well, life. You try this, you try that. Problem is there isn’t really a control group, so it’s hard to say what works and what doesn’t.

To be honest, these twenty weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster. March went out like a lion. April sighed and stepped aside. Along came pretty little May. June busted out all over. And here we are in July – older and wiser than we were yesterday, but still young and naïve. And you know what, it’s okay. What’s the big rush? Why am I hurrying? Who’s timeline am I following here? I want to make the most of the time I am given. I’m intimidated by my own mortality. So it’s hard for me to not worry – I’m full of anxieties and neurosis. And you know what? So is everyone else. Some just handle theirs better than others.

My own anxieties manifested in ways I didn’t expect. Anecdotal proof that mental health is linked to physical health. I enlisted some help to get well. (Thanks, Obama!) I realized that I couldn’t achieve my goals in that state. My current focus is to be kind to myself – stop my own self abuse. It’s going to be a long road to recovery but I have faith in my doctors and finally myself. Mistakes are a wonderful way to learn a lesson. The experiment only fails if you give up.

Can’t stop, won’t stop.

I Can Do Better Than That

I’ve been thinking about something recently. And I hope to share it with you, and the google-bot that goes through blog posts. (Hello, google bot! How is California?)

I recently subscribed to this service that pulls all my social networking feed a year ago to the date, then sends me a personal daily email so I know where I was a year ago. It’s called TimeHop, and you should check it out. Michael recommended it to me while we were in Winston-Salem. It’s nice to see what a difference a year makes.

I look back a year and realize how much things have truly changed. Most of the time it’s small personal victories that I find. For instance the other week was a year ago to the date from my audition at UPTAS. It’s amazing to me that I have gone from being a secretary for the union, bored with my life and wanting to do more with my talent, to working for a theatre company dedicated to fostering my talent and rewarding me for my hard work. Truly, time is precious. If I can do that in a year – imagine what five years can bring!

It’s necessary motivation for me to build up my self image. Sounds egotistical, but it actually stems from a lack of self worth. Reminds me that I have control over my own life and I can shape it into what I want it to be. I can “be the change I wish to see in the world” and actually make a difference. I feel like its hard to remember that I matter sometimes. Most of the time I feel my problems are so small compared to others… And they are relatively small, but they influence me greatly.

Like my damn knee.

I’ve had knee pain for quite some time. I first noticed it at SETC dance call, when I over extended my left leg during a tap routine, trying to impress, and then I walked it off and thought things were fine. It’s was on and off hurting after that, usually after a particularly active day I would feel some pain. In a rehearsal for Taming of the Shrew, a small stair unit collapsed underneath Petruchio and me, and I remember that evening I was in a lot of pain. At the beginning of last summer, when I started exercising more regularly, I began to notice the pain was more frequent and more intense. So I stopped doing treadmills, but it seemed like the pain was more or less constant by that point.

On the road trip to end all road trips (last July), I was in so much pain. But I had places to explore, so I sucked it up and wore a knee brace and vowed to check it out soon. But then it was tour and holidays and another tour and that brings us up to speed.

I’ve been visiting a doctor. It’s been frustrating. My MRI came back clear, so I got a shot of cortisone in my knee – which has actually helped about 70%. It’s only been a week though, so we still have a long road to go perhaps. Having less pain in my knee has helped me tremendously, and I feel dumb for not addressing the issue earlier. I just go to the place where I was living with the pain and dealing with it. Eventually it became just part of my routine. I looked pretty foolish limping around on it, I bet.

Anyway – the point is I’m working towards making a better life for myself and those around me. See you on the other side, where the grass is greener. Thanks for your help so far.