Friday, March 30, 2012

Small World

I graduated school, trained in stage management and wanting to work with kids (5-18ish) or in a children's theatre which catered to those ages.  It was an incredibly specific, narrow goal.  Or at least so I believe.

Since I've graduated, I've worked six shows with children/teenagers and am already scheduled to work two more.  It's worked out surprisingly well for me and because it's something I seem to be good at, I keep getting recommended for.

At the State Thespian Conference that I went to with the actors a few weeks back I briefly talked to a woman. I had just finished talking to the very harried, very overwhelmed technicians about the fact that there was no monitor system in place for the actors to hear the music.  Unfortunately that couldn't be solved, but we made it work.  As I was waiting to reenter the house from backstage I smiled at a woman next to me doing the same thing.  She complimented my name tag (which had been hand written in calligraphy through an odd series of events) and I asked her what school she was with.

It turned out she wasn't with a school, but was an adjudicator for the conference.  She asked what school I was with and I informed her of the school and my position there.  She then remarked that I wasn't a student and wondered if I had been hired professionally.  I explained that I had been hired to work the musical, but I was also in the process of training two very talented asms for their next school year.  A change went over her face when I mentioned that bit of information her face changed and she asked me for my email and phone (assuming I had a pen on me, which of course I did).

She told me she'd contact me next week about possibly teaching some classes for her theatre training program. I honestly didn't expect to hear back from her, but she emailed me practically the next day and we set up a meeting for today.

I went in, dressed for an interview and brought a resume, not quite knowing what to expect.  She had already said she wanted to hire me, but I wanted to make a good impression.   We talked to about an hour about various things.  It was a very relaxed atmosphere.  It turns out her husband had been an adjudicator for the tech portfolios, and thus for Tristan's prompt book (for the last show we worked).  She mentioned that her husband had been extremely impressed and I just marveled at how small the theatre world was.  It never ceases to amaze me.

As it turns out, I have all but been formally hired to teach a couple of workshops in stage management.  They are trying to help the high schools in the area build the program and they were hoping I could help with some hands on exercises.  I'm actually really excited for the workshops (though they aren't for months and months).  Luckily they weren't trying to hire me for a show, because the theatre is so far away, I would have had to turn them down.  But a day or two works just about perfectly.

As I've told people before, training new stage managers is one of my favorite parts of my job.  It's exciting and their progress is always stunning.  I've been very lucky to have enthusiastic, extremely competent trainees to be fair.  But there are some days, like this one, that I'm not sure I would trade my job for anything in the world.  It's just rewarding for me.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Liking Someone I Shouldn't

I've noticed that I don't post as much when something deeply personal has been bothering me.  You would think that's backwards, especially since I do use my blog to explore some of what I'm feeling and experiencing. But there are just sometimes that I'm scared of what people will say or me being a bit nervous that keeps me from posting.

I think the last few weeks (at the very least, in complete honesty) have been something like that.  As I do frequently, the title of this post basically says it all.  I like someone, I'm not even sure I can face up to it with a pseudonym (though you can probably piece it together with details), who I really shouldn't.  He's younger than me.  Jesus fucking Christ, he's Shaye's age.  He's still in high school.  He's an actor, and thus someone I have direct authority over (though he's also production manager, which makes dynamics weird).  Not only am I working with him on this show, I'm working with him on my next show too (though this time as co-asms).

Those are the problems.  And I'm pretty sure that's not even all of them.  So why am I attracted to him?  Because he doesn't seem like he's 18.  Because I'm not even technically 3 years older than him.  Because he's easy to be around in a casual setting, but we work flawlessly together in a theatre setting.  Because I understand him.   Because he understands me.  Because he thinks in a remarkably similar way to myself.

I've never (and I do mean that) been attracted to someone similar to myself before.  I understand people generally, but I've always been more attracted to people I just can't understand.  People who push me to learn and stretch.  Boyfriend and Lana both fall into this category.  But that's why this is so different for me.  I am so miserable lately because this is so incredibly problematic.  Almost impossible even.  I see him 5 days of the week for 4 hours minimum because he's the lead in the play.  I don't see anyone else in the world as often.  Even the directors aren't at rehearsals as frequently as he is.  I see my family less.  I see Will less.

I want to distance myself from the whole ordeal, but I can't because I see him day after day.  I can't distance myself emotionally because I just am not able to do so.  Having Boyfriend in town for spring break this week has helped a lot and allowed me to sort of face this.  But how do you get past something you are so profoundly ashamed of?

I rarely ever feel shame.  I honestly can't think of a time that I have offhand.  I do as best I can in every situation and normally, I'm fairly happy with my actions.  But I can't control this.  Oh God I wish I could.  I can't just stop liking someone.  The shame is almost the worst part of it.  Almost.  Along with the: not-ever-being-able-to-act-on-my-feelings bit of it.  Stupid stupid stupid emotions I can't control.

Friday Night

I sometimes think I did college wrong.  I was so focused on graduating and the shows that I was working that I didn't take any time to relax or party.  Now I'm sitting at home alone on a Friday night doing paperwork and blogging, envying my high school actors as they go out and party.

I'm not really a partying type...really at all.  But I guess the fact that my house is completely empty and everyone else is busy that is getting to me.

I thought I was going to type this long post about time usage and using it to relax and how I'm bad at it, but right now, all I can think about is just being lonely and a bit annoyed at myself.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stage Kisses

It's always an interesting thing when stage kisses get blocked.

The first time I was ever present for when a stage kiss was blocked, the two actors just couldn't stop giggling.  They were super nervous and didn't know each other well and had a really hard time taking it seriously.  I think that was the only time that a stage kiss was actually a big deal though.

The next few times I dealt with stage kisses, the actors just did them.  Normally, the directors I've worked with try to find a separate time to stage the kiss for the two actors, away from the rest of the ensemble/cast.  I have once had an director just ask the actors to try it, and it seemed to work just fine.

During my last show the actors added a kiss.  Which was kind of weird in honest.  It fit where it was, but it was just unobtrusive and the directors didn't really even notice till tech.  I'm not sure that was the best way to handle the situation, but it worked?

We staged the show's kiss today and, again, the actors pretty much just went for it.  It's just interesting to me that people make kissing out to be this huge thing, but stage kisses are no big deal?  I don't know.  I don't really envy that actors I think.

I have been less than eloquent on this post, and for that I apologize.


I went to the State Thespian Conference with the actors (and directors) in my show on Friday and it went extraordinarily well.  The work-in-progress piece we presented was easily one of the best and overall, I was really proud of the actors.

But this is only framing for the topic I want to talk about.  I was chatting with a few of the directors and Tristan, the male lead of the show (and also my former stage manager on the last show I worked).  He admitted that he had had butterflies in his stomach all day.  It wasn't at the thought of performing, he noted that he normally didn't get nervous from that; it was the thought of our work-in-progress being compared to the others that made him nervous.  Some of the actors laughed, accusing him of having competition issues, and he easily agreed.

It seemed odd to hear that Tristan, who I have seen calmly talk down a forty year-old director in full bluster, had competition issues.  But I quickly realized he meant competition and not conflict.  And as soon as he said, in these words exactly, that he had competition issues I immediately realized I did too.

I have always been horribly competitive.  I never liked losing.  I hated it in fact.  When I was really really little, I would rather cheat than lose.  I still hate to lose and I make everything in to a competition or a game, even when it's not anything like a competition.  It drives my friends crazy and it upsets me to no end.  I hate the feeling of upset I get when I lose a competition or even when someone out performs me.

It's gotten to the place where I've just realized that I can't play competitive games at all.  I play Starcraft II, with friends and against computers.  I play Skyrim or Sims 3 where there's no competition against anyone real.  When Will and Boyfriend suggested that I play a game of Starcraft against real people last night (people I didn't even know), I broke into very drunken tears (which was slightly embarrassing).  Even just watching the new Mythbuster's produced show Unchained Reaction gave me butterflies at the level of competition between the teams.

I can't explain why competing with someone gives me this reaction.  I always played team sports, not individual ones, which always eased the competition pangs substantially.  And I really don't mind conflict; meaning I'm not scared of it and it doesn't upset me, even though I don't like conflict either.  I haven't really met anyone else who has a similar reaction to me to competition, so knowing I'm not alone helps...I guess?

I don't know.  I'm not sure I'll ever really get past this.  But I like to watch my friends play competitive games.  I really do.  It's actually a lot more fun for me than playing, they just don't always believe me about it.