November 14th, 2011


gratitude day 10 (next morning)

I am grateful for sex.

Also red wine, brilliant short stories, and any opportunity to stop my brain from thinking about the show.

Day ten means I'm 1/3 of the way there.  I can't quite tell if that's good or bad from where I'm standing, it just is.

I am.

I am really damn good at my job.

I am an organizer, a schedule writer, a note taker.  I invent props out of office supplies and kitchen tools, invent movement patterns for scenery based on barely legible, scribbled maps, invent motivation for every piece of blocking the cast is given.  I function as both a grade school teacher and a therapist.  I am a puzzle solver, a manager who strives to keep us moving forward on an impossibly fast schedule, and I have an answer for everything - or know where to get one.

They throw obstacles in my way: children subject to CA state labor laws, an actor who doesn’t arrive until the fourth day of rehearsal, and a cast in which someone has some conflict every day of rehearsal with only two exceptions.  I have an assistant who could only work 1/3 time for the first 1/3 of the project and who is new to her position besides, a tech process shortened by Thanksgiving, and a set that the director keeps remembering as it was designed the first time, instead of what it became due to budgetary issues.

I am making it workI am writing schedules taking into account all of the conflicts, tutoring, and fittings that the director has admitted he could never write, and rarely bothers to read (“what are we doing next” he asks me).  I am dealing with heads of departments who are all frustrated and burned out, soothing things where I can and getting us what we need.  I am writing concise and careful reports, asking some questions on behalf of other people in the room even though I think they are idiotic and other questions I can’t believe that no one has thought of until I did.  I am taking responsibility for some elements of backstage that I have never dealt with directly before, because I am the best possible choice for the work.

In rehearsal I am on book for lines, taking blocking notes, and occasionally being the director’s assistant since he hasn’t hired anyone yet.  The scenery shifts that once we’re onstage will be done by six motors, four crew people, and three dressers are completed by just the PA and me.  I’m tracking the cuts in the music, the changes in the lines, and the adjustments to who says what.  I’m figuring out where to put everything backstage so that we can have both actors and scenery, without cutting a hole in the wall or installing a tesseract.

 (I am exhausted, and overwhelmed.  I am wondering why I even care when the person who has my job on the other track has made a hash of his last three shows and still has a job.  Other than bemoaning the loss of our long-time assistant {and I agree he is missed, but also do you not see how saying this isn’t possible without him is a slap in my face?} I have received no extra support; instead they’re just giving me more to do.)

I will be damned if this show defeats me.  Throw me in a hole I will climb out, put things on my to-do list that have never been there before and I’ll accomplish them.  Give me assistants who are both new at their positions and then make one of them unavailable, I’ll do the work of two (or even two and a half).

I am an awesome stage manager, one of the very the best this company has ever seen.  This show will work because I say it will and no one else gets to say anything different.  If you don’t believe me then stay the hell out of my way and let me do my job. 

I am the reason this show will happen.  Audiences will have no idea who I am, and other than a few half-assed opening night cards no one will ever acknowledge it.  But I’m not doing this for anyone other than me, not anymore.

In twenty days we’ll be open, a month later the show will close.  And when that time comes I will cheerfully dance on the bones of this thing that no one was prepared for while I was expected to pick up the slack.  But until then I will be amazing, awesome, brilliant.  The show will become itself through my skill and talent even if I have to hold it down by the neck.  Because I am just that damn good at my job.

Any questions?

***This is my entry for therealljidol week 4 "What does narcissism have to do with me".  This is certainly over the top, but not quite as far from the truth as I'd like. Also, the PA on this show has been amazing, just saying.  There will be polls and voting, and as always a lot of other amazing writers doing their own takes on the topic at the com page, you should check it out.***

gratitude day 11

I am grateful for adorable nieces and nephews, and the new pictures of them that arrived today in the mail.  I now have the school photos of the two older kids and some great studio shots of the twins on turning two.  I'm thrilled my sister-in-law took the time to mail them out, and I'm bringing them to work tomorrow to attack people with the cute, and generally remember that the world isn't so bad. 

1) I am grateful that a friend's surgery went well today.
2) I'm currently at the top of the standings in my fantasy hockey league.  I don't expect this to last for long so I'm going to be grateful while I can.
3) I'm grateful I got to actually watch a Packer game in it's entirety, and that game was a lot of fun.
4) naps.  Naps are good.