Tonight is my first tech rehearsal in over two years.
I'm working in the booth again with my friends at City Garage. The next show, the first in their new permanent location at Bergamot Station, opens Friday, September 21. It's "Orestes 3.0," by Charles Mee.
Check it out, buy tickets, whatever: www.citygarage.org.
Let's get a few facts down:
I did something like 13, 14 shows in a row (tech only). I've been onstage twice, both times as a flute player.
Nobody has ever done that many shows in the booth. It's just not something people are either a) interested in (most of the people who work with City Garage in a non-actor capacity, i.e., tech or as an Assistant Director, want to be onstage) or b) physically and mentally capable of. The people who did one show only? Let's just say they are pretty much never heard from again, for one reason or another.
It's not a hard job (as one person who took over for me informed me!) but it takes concentration. The personalities involved can be difficult. I was not a theater geek and I knew pretty much nothing about theater-related stuff until I started working with City Garage, so I am uniquely shaped by that atmosphere. I kind of like that. I am pretty much qualified to only work with them: it's an interesting way to think about it.
When I had JP, I thought: well, that part of my life is over! But...
When City Garage moved from the funky, awesome space in the alley behind the Third Street Promenade into Track 16, I was cool with not being there. It was fine for awhile. But as time went on, and plans for a permanent space started to gel and things moved along... I knew that I couldn't miss out on being in the booth, at least for the first production, which is where we are, now.
The thing is, when I was there for the cue-to-cue last week? I fell in love.
The work that has been is incredible. The space is beautiful. It's just gorgeous. The stage is amazing. The new backstage area, which was minimal, dark, dusty, and cramped in the alley, is full of light and room. The booth is clean and comfortable, and there's no dirty, streaked piece of plexiglass separating me from the show. You would not believe what a difference a little thing like that can make. I can almost see the entire stage (in the alley, there was a slice at stage right that was just permanently out of view. Same with a section at stage left). At the cue-to-cue I obviously didn't see everything but the performances look like they'll be great.
But now that the week of tech (they did last week without me) and opening weekend is upon me, I'm a little bit in panic mode.
JP had a hard night last night - he didn't want to sleep, he wanted to play. We were all up until at least 11:45. I'm not sure if Patrick slept: I didn't. And of course I had to get up at 5 as usual to get to work. I've changed my schedule to a five day week, working 7-3:30. I'm incredibly lucky that I coud do that. It means I'll get home around 4:15 and have a chance to eat something and relax, and see my boy... for about 45 minutes, before I have to leave.
Yep. 45 minutes.
All weekend I thought: holy shit, I'm crazy. I'm going to miss him so much! He's going to miss ME. And I thought, it's going to be so much work for Patrick, too. He's hardly going to get a break.
I know that once I'm in the midst of things, that I will be busy working and hopefully not worrying. I know that Patrick can handle it. I know that I deserve to do the things I love. But I'm also feeling a lot of guilt about being away from home so much.
Once the show opens I'll be working Friday nights and Sunday afternoons only, which isn't that bad. I can take JP with me to Culver City to spend time with his grandma and grandpa or he can stay home with his daddy, or my sister-in-law has offered to help out. It'll be OK, I'm sure.
But you know me: I worry about things before they happen. It's just how I am. And then there's the whole being in the booth after all this time stuff to think about, too. The funny thing is, in all those shows, I think I only have made, historically, like 3 mistakes - and maybe only 1 major mistake (and I can't really even remember what that could've been but I'm just saying that so as to not be too cocky). So obviously I can do this. It's really not that hard. But as you know: I am a worrier!
I'll let you know how tonight goes tomorrow.