Hello Again

It’s been a while.

And here I guess is where I admit that keeping something like this up regularly is something that only works for me when I’m not busy. As soon as I get busy, writing here sort of fell by the wayside, and I never found my way back to it till now.

In October the thing that happened was Tom Jones, my second mainstage show at Actors Theatre. It was directed by Jon Jory, which was a little intimidating because he was someone my theatre history professor talked about in class. It turns out that working with someone whose name you knew before you came to the theatre is a little nerve-wracking at first, until you realize that they are really just a person and a director, and then it’s like working with anyone (albeit an anyone who is extremely talented and good at what they do). One thing I really enjoy about rehearsals generally, and especially about the shows I’ve worked on here, is the opportunity to watch great artists at work. I’ve learned a lot about different directing styles and it’s been fascinating watching these artists at work, building the words on the page into something that an audience can connect to. It’s part of the magic of theatre, and it never gets old.

After Tom Jones was Christmas and the Tens, which I was lead stage manager on. It was a lot of fun, but the most stressed I think I’ve been here, because I was scheduling rehearsals for nine plays and nineteen actors, all of whom were also cast in a mainstage, so I couldn’t send out the next days schedule until Our Town’s call was sent and I could work around whatever their day was. But at the ened it all came together, and it was awesome being able to make something that we could say was truely ours.

And now we are in the last weekend of the Humana Festival, which as been a string of very long days and early rehearsals, but also amazing work in the rehearsal rooms and onstage, and the opportunity to meet and hang out with a lot of cool folks, and eat a good bit of free food.

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is April. As of tomorrow, I can no longer say I’m leaving next month. I’ll have to say I’m leaving this month.

On the one hand, I’m not ready to be done here. I’ve had such an amazing experience working at Actors this season, and made great friends and worked with awesome people, and made some damn good plays. I don’t want to have to give it up. On the other hand, I also feel a lot more prepared to go out and find what happens next. I’ve learned so much here, about how to be a good stage manager and about the sort of stage manager I am, about what I want out of this job and also why I keep doing it in the first place.

There is a moment at the end of Remix 38, one of my Humana shows, that hits me every time. This is the apprentice show, so all 19 acting apprentices (the equivalent of the interns) are in this collection of short plays written especially for them. The last play is about weddings, and at the end there is a wedding in reverse that starts with everyone drunkenly dancing on the stage and rewinds through the cake and the toasts and dinner all the way back to the ceremony. At the end, all the apprentices are sitting looking at the girl playing the bride, and then they turn out and look at the audience, with love and affection. And the music is great and heartwrenching, and the first time we did that scene I think all the apprentices and interns in the rehearsal room teared up. It was a moment of connection as we all realized that this thing we’ve been doing together is almost over, and that the people we’re with now will soon be scattered around everywhere. But also that we are all here right now, together, making theatre, connecting with an audience. And it’s great.

I still get that feeling every time I watch that moment from backstage at the end of the show. And it’s awesome and it makes all the stress and annoyance worth it.

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Actors Theatre of Louisville

I AM HERE!

I currently don’t have internet in my apartment, because our schedules are already crazy enough that we don’t have times that would fit with the company’s appointment times until Saturday. SO, until then, I’m taking advantage of any place that has free internet, from the library to the theatre to the McDonald’s a block from my apartment. It’s worked pretty well so far, but I will be so glad to be connected again. You don’t realize how much you rely on the internet for little things like checking the weather until it isn’t there anymore.

It’s been a crazy few days. We took a leisurely route from California to Louisville via the lake (for a day of much needed relaxation) and Cincinnati (to pick up things my uncle had been kind enough to store in his attic since graduation). I think it’s a good thing that we didn’t fly straight to Lousiville, because if I had gotten off a plane and tried to move in to my apartment on the same day I think I would have just collapsed.

The apartment is HUGE (pictures forthcoming), and now at least partially furnished, though I am still lacking a mattress. It’s amazing the sorts of things you take for granted living in university housing–desks, chairs, drawers, beds–all the things that fill up a space and are most conspicuous in their absence. I managed to pull a dresser from the basement and got a desk and chair for $22 from Goodwill, so between that and the mattress topper I got from WalMart, made up like a bed, my room looks much more habitable than it did when I first arrived:

my bedroom!

terrible iPod picture of my corner of the room with terrible lighting. but you get the gist. 😀

We also spent the first day or so discovering the kitchen things we’re so used to having that we suddenly didn’t have, like a can opener. The next few weeks will consist of many trips to the store to pick up groceries and sundry devices we forgot to pack, but I think it will a fun learning experience as we learn how to live in this space.

So the first two days were moving-in days. Yesterday we had a big dinner for all the interns sponsored by Actors Associates, the volunteer group at the theatre, which was a bunch of delicious homemade food, and then we went out to the bar for drinks. It was a fantastic evening because we actually got to meet and converse with all the people we had only seen as profile pictures on Facebook.  Everyone is so great and energetic and excited, and I can’t wait to start working with them. It was especially great once the stage management interns all found each other–we found ourselves gravitating together without meaning to, and I think it’s going to be a fantastic group to work with.

Today was FIRST DAY AT ACTORS THEATRE OF LOUISVILLE, which was actually a lot like the first day of school in that we sat and people told us lots of information about the work we’re going to be doing this year, and there was a tour of the theatre, and then more information, and lots of times when people asked us if we had any questions. Most of the time we just said no, not because there aren’t things we have questions about, but because it’s just SO MUCH information in such a short time that we needed time to process it before we could even begin to think about what we still wanted to know.

Despite the information overload, it was a really good first day. Everyone at the theatre seems genuinely excited to have us there, and the theatre itself is amazing–I can’t wait to get lost in it tomorrow when we get sent to try out our keys (yes, I have a FAT set of keys to every door in the theatre, so I will be jingling a plenty when I walk around :P). It sounds like it will be a lot of work and many long days, but I can’t wait to get started.

So, that’s my update on life for the last few days. I’m not sure when I will next have internet, but until then, adios!

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.