Tuesday, October 28, 2008

acts of creation

So the other thing about temping is that sometimes you don't have anywhere to be. Some days you're not asked to stapel and then UN-staple something for three hours. Some days the phones all answer themselves and everything is already coallated and no we don't need anything copied.

In the present economy those days come frequently. And are terrifying.

So, today, since I'm not temping I made myself luncheon. Like, old-school luncheon. I made a meatloaf. I called my mom last night since I had lost her recipe for it - again - and she very patiently (my mother uses patience a lot when she's on the phone with me) reminded me that there's not a real set formula for her meatloaf. She tosses a bunch of stuff in (she then gave me the list of things she generally tosses in) and then cooks it for this long at this temperature, et voila. Meatloaf.

I have made meatloaves in the past that have been awful. Loaves that fall apart upon leaving the oven . Loaves that are too bland or too juicy or not juicy enough - but the one I made today... Well, I'll go ahead and say it - this is one delicious meatloaf. I love this meatloaf. It includes things on my mother's list AND things I threw in because I thought it might be tasty AND things that are clever substitutions for things that she uses that I didn't have. Item 1: Cracker Crumbs. I have no saltine crackers in my house, but I DO have parmesan goldfish crackers. Delightful. Espeically since they inspired me to also add a bit of parmesan cheese. Also fabulous.

So I mushed all of this together (and other things - an egg, various seasonings, etc.) and plopped it in the oven and went about my business for an hour. Then I microwaved a bag of red potatoes, made some brown-sugar glazed carrots. And sat down to an actual MEAL. That I Prepared. In the Middle Of The Day. It was lovely.

I will spare you the "making theatre is like making a meatloaf" analogy. Except that it kind of is. Sometimes what you make is runny and falls apart. Other times it's perfect and just what you were hungry for.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Don't panic. It's only temporary.

Or rather I am. Or as my dear friend Marsha would say, I am a freelance administrative professional. And it is, in a word, exhausting.

Not because I had to be at the architectural firm I'm currently calling home (untill Tuesday. Just Tuesday. At which point I will not have made enough money to pay my rent. But then the month isn't over. Yet.) at 7:45 this morning. And it is a lovely office, with a view of the lake to die for, lots of natural light - as temp jobs go, this one is pretty choice. I'm sitting at a pretty reception desk, doing some prep work for Touch and talking to you. Not bad at all.

But back to the exhaustion - I'm starting to think that maybe I'm not built for this kind of cavalier rock and roll life style. On the one hand it's delightful to be able to have the Monday after your opening weekend off because there's no temp job for you to go to. It's lovely until about 11 AM when the panic about rent payments and food and the unexpected afternoon visit to the vet (my cat has allergies. WTF?) and how am I going to build a life like this starts to set in.

The trouble is, I want to be a director (see above post) which is a delightful thing to know, but means also not knowing what else to do to make my proverbial ends meet. I would love to be freelancing, consulting, doing something in my field - but what exactly? Do I want to produce? Maybe - probably - definitely maybe. Great: how do I get a day job producing?

It's back to art vs. life and wondering if I have to choose. Is this my Saturn Return? Maybe. I dunno - the past year and a half have been so full of transition and upheaval and all of that sort of business I'm wondering if this is more of a new address than a day trip. I hope not. I hope that my life as a grown-up looks a bit more stable (and is about 10 pounds lighter. At least.). But who is it that said that adults are just children who owe money? If that's the definition I am most certainly a grown-up already. And I am getting a little more grown-up every day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Because it is my name...

So, I have long been of the opinion that naming something can sometimes reduce the thing's power over you. This may partially be a defensive maneuver to justify why I talk so much. But I am also finding that sometimes naming something is what gives you the power you need to own it and use it and revel in it.

Which is why there is a fair amount of joy and fear wrapped up in my finally, truly, actually naming myself as a director. Which seems silly - I have been direct-ing for a while now, but I think part of me was still clinging to my inner actor. And I think that it's time for me to stand up and assert that I am a director. Period. That is what and who I am.

Another thing I think that I need to assert is the validity of my opinion and my process - both things that I am only just becoming comfortable with actually, quantifiably talking about out loud. I feel like I'm finally ready to own those things, to feel like they might actually be valuable, that I might actually have a voice and a viewpoint that are worth more than my time.

It's tricky - because how do I assert those things while also taking into account everything that I value about collaboration? I think the answer - at least for me - is the realization that those things are not mutually exclusive. The phrase "hold on tightly, let go lightly" comes to mind - it's important to come in with vision and ideas and be ready to talk about and defend them. It's also important to let them go, to adapt them, to hold on to the essence of them while their packaging changes.

These things are hard and the idea of following them is scary. But not impossible. And completely necessary. Because these are the things that directors have to figure out, right? And, after all, that's what I am.