Friday, November 15, 2013

Actual Conversation

My co-worker, who normally doesn't work on Fridays, who talks to herself: Hey, what's that you're listening to, Irene?

Me: Oh, it's Ray LaMontagne, is it too loud?

My coworker: It's just a little repetitive.

Me: Oh, you mean Grammy award winning Ray LaMontagne?!

(I didn't say that last bit out loud.)

Coffee, Dayquil, and Ray LaMontagne

This post says not much at all.

Today's one of the Fridays I work. Unfortunately, since Wednesday, I've been feeling a major cold coming on. Headaches, achy, tired, sore throat. It's not a big deal, just annoying.

Anyway, most Fridays when I work, Patrick doesn't make the coffee in the morning. He leaves early and I take Jules to school. On my way in to work, I pick up Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for myself and my co-worker, and usually some sort of pastry.

After I dropped Jules off this morning, though, I went to Rite Aid to get some half and half and some DayQuil. When I got to work, I decided to make myself a pot of coffee. Earlier this week I bought some CBTL ground coffee for an "emergency stash" for those days when I need an extra cup in the afternoon (we have a Keurig machine in the office). I haven't used a regular coffee maker much: when we started making it at home, we got our fancy machine pretty early on, so all I know is how to use the Breville YouBrew (I love it!). Anyway, I figured out how to use the machine, but I have made the worst coffee in the world.

I think I will throw it out and drink water instead, and sit here at my desk and listen to Ray LaMontagne and try to ignore the woman talking to herself in her cubicle. She's not usually here on Fridays. My normal quiet time has been disturbed, but I will survive. The question is, will she?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Actual conversation (mostly)

We were at the park. He’s riding a lion. I am standing directly in the lion’s path.

Actual conversation:

Me: [Lighthearted tone] Oh, I’d better move! You’re going to run me over!
Jules: The lion is going to get you!
Me: Oh no!
Jules: And then he’s going to eat you!
Me: Wait – what?
Jules: The lion is going to eat you!
Me: Really!? What about daddy?
Jules: Daddy too! And Franny and Dora!
Me: …um… 
Me: You know if the lion eats us all, you'll be by yourself, right?
Jules: Meh. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's good sometimes, to be dumber than your friends.

I don't think I've written much about my current stint in the booth at City Garage as the Light/Sound Operator for their new play, "Moskva," by Steven Leigh Morris, here (though apparently I have, over on Facebook, where my friends may or may not be losing patience with me), so I thought I might update you all (ummm. "you all" sounds optimistic, doesn't it) on this part of my life.

First of all, when I signed on to do this, I was told that it would be simple. I've done 14 or 15 plays at City Garage, most of them in the old alley space, and one at the new space that was a revival of a play we did in the old space. Maybe there were certain technical limitations in the old space; maybe Charles (the designer) is super inspired by the new space: I don't know. I can only tell you that the tech for Moskva is not simple.

I know I'm not the only operator they've ever had, and I know I panic and freak out probably more than anyone else, but the thing is, I try to do a good job, and to me, that means getting it right, as often as possible. If not every time. That's a little nerve wracking. I talk about it. Shoot me. For this show, my rehearsal time was limited, changes were being made up to and through opening weekend, and while it might not be the hardest tech ever, it's the hardest show I've ever done. 

I'm not going to be too specific about what, exactly, is hard about it. If I've ever complained before about only having two hands while running a show, this time around, it's even worse. I was teasing Charles about being surprised that he didn't add a foot pedal or indicate in the notes when I should be standing on one foot. That's the only thing missing. I mean, the curtain call? Has 13 step, two music cues, fiddling around with the DVD player (hit pause at 14:03; hit play at 14:20, hit pause again...). It's like 5 minutes of insanity. And maybe I'm exaggerating, but isn't the closing scene (and the bows, because City Garage doesn't actually have a curtain) one of the most important parts of a show? Screw that up, and it might be hard to remember that the last 2 hours were really beautiful. So yeah, there's pressure. Those moments are important. I want to feel the same magic the audience gets to feel, and that means doing it right. 

Anyway, because it's hard, and because I'm a nervous Nellie, Charles was in the booth with me for three weekends of performances (I only work the Friday/Saturday shows). In fact, I didn't even touch the DVD player or do the curtain call by myself until this weekend, when I finally ran it for the first time, live.  

Friday night was my first night alone in the booth, and it went mostly OK. I made some minor mistakes, and one pretty big one (twice). There are four moments in the show that make me crazy because there are about 20 things happening at once, and those actually went off okay. I was super nervous about that curtain call because I am not kidding when I say I had never done it before, period. I just read Charles' notes (and re-wrote them) and went for it. It seemed to be okay. Even Charles seemed surprised that I did the second audio cue (and believe me, I considered leaving it out). My timing could be better but that'll happen in time, I'm sure. Saturday went better. It's a great show. The onstage performances are really, really good, and the show is getting great reviews. You should definitely check it out.

Some of my friends on Facebook, and one not on Facebook, apparently felt it necessary to remind me to chill out about it (or perhaps just stop boring them by talking about it), and so, all day Friday I made an effort to relax about it. When I got to the theater Friday night, I wasn't panicky, though I was excited. It really helped. I always forget that when I relax and do my best, that things tend to work out. Worrying about stuff almost never makes that stuff better. To quote my friend Sarah, who was actually talking to me about something else entirely, "Just take it one step at a time and don't get ahead and worry about the unknown." 

It's good advice in so many ways. I love that I have such smart friends. When I actually listen to them, it makes things so much better.