Tired

I am doing lots of different things at the moment.

I wish more of them paid me.

I am tired, and I am sick of driving. I have lots of things to do when I’m home–fellowship applications, and emails for my summer show, but when I get home all I want to do is read, or watch Buffy, or otherwise do nothing. It’s very difficult to keep my motivation up.

I am having a lot of fun with my show, but I’m very much looking forward to having some days off. Maybe I’ll cook something. For now, I am sitting here listening to the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Neverwhere, (which is brilliant, and you should go listen to it immediately) and I’m probably going to go to bed early. Hopefully tomorrow my motivation will be higher.

Sorry for my grumpiness. Next week will be better.

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Tech!

And here we are at Sunday again.

It’s been a long week. It was a week full of lots of boxes, and driving, and meetings, and building, and more driving, and rehearsal, and more driving. Most importantly, it was tech this weekend for I Hate Hamlet!

I’ve actually been quite excited to tech this show, because we’ve been rehearsing for a while and I was looking forward to adding the technical elements and seeing everything come together. Also, this is the first time since the Nerd that I’ll be in the booth instead of backstage, so I’m looking forward to being able to watch the show and do the cues (although I’m not calling the show, I’m just running the boards myself, as the booth is small and I don’t think there would be room for board ops up there with me). It takes a bit of getting used to, as for some of the lighting/thunder/storm sequences there’s several buttons that have to be pressed simultaneously/in quick succession, but it’s coming along.

Tech went very smoothly, all things considered. I love it when it does, because then I can focus on the show and not be distracted by the stress of things not working. And this really is one of my favorite parts of theatre. Every show goes through various stages, and some of my favorite parts are the very beginning–the first read-through, when everything is new and everyone is excited about this thing they’re going to be making together–and the tech or dress or previews, whenever the first day is when everything is onstage as it will be in the performance. It’s so amazing to see all the hard work of so many people over so many weeks come together into something awesome. We have a fantastic set for this show (I will post pictures of it eventually, I promise), and put together with the costumes and the lights (including a fake fire that looks fantastic!) and the music and sound cues, it just brings the show alive. We cut off two minutes from each act during our tech run today, despite a few technical difficulties, and I think it’s just because of the energy that having everything actually THERE created for the actors. It was great, and I can’t wait to see how it develops as we get more comfortable with everything.

There’s a line in the show, during a sword fight between two of the characters (yes, there’s a sword fight. It’s awesome). The ghost of John Barrymore is trying to get the actor he’s training to play Hamlet to fence with him (I promise it’s not as weird as it sounds), and he says, “This is why one acts. This is why actors are envied. We are allowed to do this sort of thing.”

And that, I think, is a really good expression of one of the reasons I love doing theatre.

We are allowed to do this sort of thing.

We are allowed to play around with swords, and steal a bit from the beginning of the Princess Bride sword fight because it’s cool, and act out seances and play with lights and build a huge fireplace with painted marble and a fire made from spinning metal bits and a light. We are allowed to play at make believe, and have fun creating a world that expresses things about life that people don’t always know how to express.

So even though it meant that I spent a good part of a really gorgeous weekend in a dark windowless room (not to mention Saint Patrick’s Day, if I was into that sort of thing), I had fun, and I’m very excited for this show.

Huzzah for tech week!

The week in song

Here we are again. For such a long week, Sunday felt like it came around kind of quickly. I hate when weeks feel really long while they’re happening, but at the same time not long enough to finish everything you want to get done.

This week saw the beginning of the EVERYTHING HAPPENING AT ONCE time that always seems to begin around this time of year. We’re starting to get into build time for the musical and spring showcase at Leigh, I’m going into tech for my show this coming weekend, I’m starting preproduction stuff for my summer show, and we’re dealing with ALL the boxes at work between inventory transfers and new stock. Oh, and fellowship applications for next fall are due soon.

Most of this craziness will really start in the next few weeks, so it’s time to batten down the hatches, buckle down, and get some work done. And so here I sit typing a blog post. 😛

Anyway, the daily prompt today (I really love these things) was to tell how your week went by creating a playlist of five songs that represent it. So, without further ado, I present the week in song:

1. There’s No Business Like Show Business (Annie Get Your Gun)

There’s no business like show business like no business I know/Everything about it is appealing/Everything that traffic will allow/Nowhere can you get that happy feeling/When you are stealing that extra bow.

(What does it say about me that I just typed those lyrics from memory?)

This week was full of fun theatre-y things, especially at rehearsal, and especially considering the subject matter of the play we’re doing (it’s called I Hate Hamlet, but it’s not about hating Hamlet. Promise). We had fight rehearsals and our first full run off book and the set progressed by leaps and bounds this weekend. (I have pictures that I wanted to show you, but for some reason WordPress won’t upload them. Pout.)

We’ve all been having a ton of fun on this show. It’s a fairly ridiculous show, but it still has some depth to it, and it’s full of theatre in-jokes and there’s a sword fight. Put that together with the fact that we have a fantastic cast and crew (most if not all of whom have worked together before), and it’s just been a joyous process. It really feels like we are working as a team to create something that we all enjoy doing and are proud of, which is, I think, one of the most important things in theatre. One of the ways I’m gauging how good I feel about this show is that I’m actually looking forward to tech. I always like tech when things come together (and it doesn’t always come together), but I don’t always feel ready. For this show I feel ready. (knock on wood)

2. The Swordfight (The Princess Bride Soundtrack)

This is directly related to #1. I mentioned a sword fight in the show. It’s been fun to rehearse and choreograph, and it’s really come together in the last few days. This song comes in because we added a bit at the beginning that mimics the beginning of Inigo and Westley’s swordfight, where they trade a bit of tingting slash before they actually start fighting (here, watch the scene). And we’ve been playing the scene with the music while the boys rehearse. It’s been fun.

3. Missing You by Marissa Ortiz

Take one end of this long uncertain line/Tie it to your heart and I’ll tie one end to mine/Wander as I know you will/Through people lands and time/But when you feel it tugging/ Know that I’m missing you.

I miss my far-away friends. I didn’t really talk to them this week (partially because I *cough* didn’tturnonmyskypesorryguys). Also, the Today show had a segment on Jane Austen with an appearance from the Jane Austen Dancers (our 18th century dance group we went to when we were in Bath), bringing on a whole bunch of Bath nostalgia, and made me miss all my friends from abroad who I haven’t seen in far too long.

This song is one I don’t listen to often, even though I love it, because I know it will make me sad. It’s a whole bunch of memories rolled up into one song, and it perfectly expresses how I feel about all my friends across the country and the globe.

4. Gone to Fortingall by Jerry Douglas

This doesn’t have anything to do with events this week, really, it’s just a song that I’ve been listening to a lot, mostly because I’ve been obsessed with it (and the album it’s on, Traveler) ever since I heard it on Songza. I blame/thank my roommate emerita Allison for getting me into this sort of music, and I’m so glad she did, because it’s awesome.

Here, have a listen.

5. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) by Simon and Garfunkel

Again, this one is not so much reflective of the events of this week as perhaps, a hope for the attitude I can have toward everything that is happening right now.

Spring is appearing here (because here in California we try to have as little winter as possible), and there are flowers and sun and warm days and it’s glorious. And between all the rushing between work and Leigh and rehearsal, I didn’t get much chance to savor it this week. So I hope to “make the moment last” a bit more in the next few weeks. Even if it’s just rolling down my window on the way to work. Because soon summer will come and it will be hot. 😛

A regular in three different countries

This is a bit late because busy-ness ensued this week, between work and rehearsal and prepping for a stage management workshop that didn’t end up happening (more on that at a later date). Anyway, here it is!

Today’s Daily Prompt was about places: “Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely?”

My answer: Mountains! OH, but redwood forests are so awesome. But I love the beach, too. Um…all of them?

I have a problem in that when it comes to where I want to go and what I want to do, I want everything. My roommates and I once joked that I want to be a regular in three different countries, because I want to travel and see the world, but I’ve also always been attracted to the idea of being able to go someplace and order “the usual”. It’s a contradiction that is not uncommon when it comes to my desires, especially when it comes to where I’m living.

I love being able to roam around outside at home in Morgan Hill; seeing all the people who have known me since I was tiny and frequenting all the places I grew up in (especially the library. Even though it’s not the same library I grew up in, it’s still one of my favorite places). Granville and Denison were my home for four years, and every class building and corner of the library and square of the sidewalk in the ridiculously cute main street is full of memories of fun and stress and friends. And a part of my heart will always live in Bath, the first city I truly fell in love with. I miss everything about it–the architecture, the shops, the way people said “Hiya” and called me “love” when I went into a shop, getting cream tea at a tiny tea-room off of Abbey Square, walking to the pub for a pint after work.

I love my California hills (although, for all the talk of golden hills, I love them best when they’re green), but I miss my midwestern thunderstorms. I really liked it when I lived in a city where I could walk or take the bus anywhere I needed to go, but I know that if I moved to a city now, I would also miss the view of the stars we get at home, far from the urban lights. I’m currently relishing the sunshine in a time when I’ve been used to snow and ice for the last for years, but I sorely missed having a proper, crisp autumn and I even managed to miss the cold and the snow this winter (I know, I’m a little crazy).  For all the things I love about one place, there are just as many things I love about the other places I’ve lived, and I can’t have all of them at once.

This is when I wonder whether I’ll ever be happy living in one place for an extended amount of time; whether I could ever be happy working one job, living in one house, staying in one place long enough to become a regular, to have a “usual”. I honestly don’t know. If I lived in the same apartment or house, the same town or city for ten years, would I get bored? Or would I find comfort in the routine or it, the familiarity?

This is one of the reasons theatre is such a good fit for me. I’ve picked a job where what I’m doing is always changing: as a stage manager I’m constantly moving from one project to the next, one theatre to the next; and even within the process of one show I’m not doing the same thing for more than a few weeks at a time. It’s one of the things I love about theatre: the constant change of pace means I never get bored, never get tired of doing the same thing over and over.

I hope that I will be able to find a happy medium; that I will be able to see all the places I want to see, but still have some kind of anchor in my life, whether it’s a person or a place, something that says “home” (and that’s a topic for a whole other post–what makes a place “home”? Can you have more than one home? Because I have at least three, all different and all wonderful). The way a life in the theatre goes, maybe I’ll even get my wish, and become a regular in three different places (if not countries, maybe cities? theatres?).

A girl can dream.