Every Day, a Little Gratitude

I am working. Not only that, but I am working at one of the top theatres in the country, making LORT B (second only to LORT A when it comes to regional theatre) pay, and playing two leading roles. It’s a three month contract which means I will get another six months of health insurance. I am housed. I have a car I share with two other actors. This is the DREAM.

Which means I want to remember this feeling when I go back to NYC. I’m already dreading it… that discomfort of not working, that pain of not auditioning, that hurt of wanting so hard you think you might break.

But right now?

This.

Sadie Sadie Workin’ Lady

Today has been quite something at work. Usually it’s pretty relaxed– at most, one crisis per day. Today? Not so much. My brain hurts.

It also got me thinking about how hard I work. An actor I did the most recent show with posted today on Facebook about how he is stuck in Puerto Rico, where he’s been on vacation. Lots of whining. And I’m thinking: a) I couldn’t possibly afford to go to Puerto Rico! and b) I don’t have the TIME to go to Puerto Rico! and C) if I WERE in Puerto Rico, I would not be complaining about having to be there for a bit longer. And CERTAINLY not on Facebook.

Which got me thinking about the number of hours I dedicate to work. So. Calculations:

20hrs/week at my office job.
I do about 3 hours of VO session stuff maybe 6 days a week. So, 18hr/week.
I take an on-camera class for 3 hours each week.
I audition usually once or twice a week. On average, with getting ready, transit, waiting, prep, that’s about 8hrs/week.
My daily commute is at least 45min each way, and that’s if I’m going to work and then going home, which I do about twice a week. Other times, I commute much more. But as far as basic commute, 40 min each way 5 days a week, that’s about 7hrs/week.
I see a lot of shows, which can count as work. Show, plus commute, about three times a week is about 12hrs/week.
There are 168 hours in one week, minus about 48 hours of sleeping (I get about 7hrs/night). How do I spend my days?

So. Here’s the breakdown:

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 4.47.54 PM

With 120 possible hours per week to do as I please, 68 of those are NON-NEGOTIABLE job requirements. That gives me 52 hours/week of free time. Which I guess isn’t bad, except I’m counting all 7 days of the week. Eek.

I always tell my mentees that in order to truly recover, you have to give yourself lots of free time. I did that when I was deep in my recovery, but it’s an important reminder to really look at when I can cut myself slack and take a BREAK. I deserve that. Since, y’know, I don’t get holidays…

xoxo to all, and be KIND to yourselves!!

Homecoming

For all my “feeling good” posts of the last few days… i’m having a problem.I get home from tech & rehearsals late — between 9pm (if I’m lucky) and 10:30pm. I have been at work since usually 11am, packed lunch, had snacks like a Larabar, apple, latte, and whatever generally unhealthy food there is at the theatre.

I know I need to eat when I get home.

The problem is I OVEReat.

I know that being hungry is triggering for me, plus it’s my only time alone ALL DAY (I love A, but seriously, I NEVER have the apartment to myself, which drives me NUTTY), which is also triggering. I’m trying to come up with a way to make it less hard to eat enough and healthily.

Ideas?

It’s nice to feel proud.

Tonight I went and saw a show at my alma mater/workplace. I’ve admired the play for a while, since it was done downtown by one of my favorite off-Broadway incubators, Soho Rep, so i was thrilled when it was selected for the season. It’s appropriately edgy for this school (god forbid we do the expected) but it’s fresh, unique, and utterly do-able. I was proud to come from a program that would take risks like this, and with intelligence and deliberateness. This was thoughtful theatre. That meant something.

(It’s also pretty darn cool that we hired the playwright to teach Playwriting last Fall, and she’ll teach again this fall. Yeah, it’s pretty freaking cool.)

Last night we did our third runthrough of the show I’m currently rehearsing, which runs March 1 – 30. The run was really good, I felt great, and the director even specifically commented on how he thought I was really on track. It’s nice to do a show that you audition for, totally fresh and without knowing anything, get called back, and get cast. No politics, just good old-fashioned picking the right person for the part. And to do a good job– that’s the icing on the cake.

NOW it’s time for this little Belgian to go to bed.

1555276_829843043708098_1844997701_n

What have you been proud of lately?

I Don’t Want to Be Here.

I don’t want to fucking be in these fucking rehearsals. They make me feel bad. I want to open this thing. I don’t want two more nights of four hour rehearsals. I want it to be done. I want to not see these people again.

The director (also an actor) is stressed. Totally over book. I get that, and I have excused that. But then tonight during notes… he makes me cry. Not on purpose, but. I literally don’t know what to do in this situation– open my mouth and try and get clarity and discuss a moment, or shut up and just not care about that moment being unspecific and possibly wrong?

The director gave a note to me and another girl, saying: “I don’t know why you guys cluster at this point, but you should spread out and split.

To which my automatic response, because the girl and I had discussed that moment specifically, was “Oh, yeah, we were never staged in that moment, so I think we just clung.” I was smiling, not making an excuse, just sort of joking about how that bad staging happened, and the director, in the same tone of voice, says “okay, so I didn’t ask why you were there, I asked you to change it. This is another moment where talking about it is not helpful, and I wish you would just take the note.”

And later we were talking about how we needed to identify a character in a scene as Hermes and the director said we should do it at the beginning of the scene. I wasn’t thinking, I guess, because I said, “oh, why don’t we save that for the great reveal of the winged hat?” The director argued that we needed more than the hat to show audiences it’s Hermes, and I agreed– my suggestion was to put the “look it’s Hermes” line with the winged hat reveal. He continues to disagree and I realized I’ve made an error. I say, “it doesn’t matter,” to try and eject myself from the conversation, and he says, “it does matter.” Which meant it matters and I am wrong.

UGH.

So, the other thing was he wants me to wear ballet slippers for my Just Person character. Fine, except I have such a quick change out of that scene that I can barely make it into the next scene REGARDLESS of a change of shoes. I tell the director this and he acts as though what I’m saying is somehow purposefully making his job hard.

HIM: “Are you wearing those boat shoes for the show?”
ME: “No, my black converse.”
HIM: “Could you wear those shoes?”
ME: “Yes, sure. I mean, they’re blue, but…”
HIM: “The problem is that when we see those shoes under the dress it looks bad.”
ME: “Okay. I mean, I don’t know what to do because I have that quick change and my chorus character is a man… And converse are the only black shoes I have that will work…”
HIM: “Can you wear ballet slippers for that scene?”
ME: “I mean, I have a super super quick change so I don’t think it’s possible.”
HIM: “Everything is possible, whether it’s a matter of leaving earlier (impossible since I have the final line in the scene), having help (everyone is already helping with another quick change and shoes have LACES), or something. Please think about it.”

Here’s what I’m thinking about:

1. Why am I responsible for this costume issue? Why I am in the wrong when I shouldn’t even have to provide my own clothing?

2. I’m not buying new shoes for this fucking thing. No. Nor am I wearing shoes that I feel are unsafe (my other black shoes have no traction. I will not wear them.) Also we’re doing our own laundry but are apparently meant to rehearse in costume every night, and we have 4 shows in a row. None of this is okay. It probably goes against Equity rules, in fact.

3. If this was any other show or company, this would not be my problem. Case in point: on my last show, my character was known for wearing sweatshirts. I wore a large black one. In tech, I was given another large black sweatshirt as the gift that one character gives my character as a mean sort of joke. In the epilogue, I am wearing this new sweatshirt.

I told the director, “So I think that this sweatshirt needs to be more distinguishable from my previous one, otherwise you can’t tell in the epilogue that I’m wearing her gift. Also the epilogue is aspirational, so I should look BETTER than I did before.” He trusts me, talks to the designer, and the next day I had a perfect sweatshirt.

4. I don’t feel inclined to think about SHIT because I don’t fucking care about this show. I don’t. And I dread rehearsals and I can’t wait to never go back. I can’t wait for breaks and I am the first person to leave. I want this to be over. I want it over so badly. I feel terrible because I shouldn’t hate it like this, I should put on a happy face, but I can’t. I want everyone to know how much I don’t want to be here, somehow, subconsciously.

I’m usually so good at keeping to myself. I don’t know what happened today, but I hated it. Especially because I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE ANYWAY. Please don’t treat me like shit at a rehearsal I already don’t want to be at. I am in such a terrible mood.

In other news, I found out that my sister, and I quote from the FB message my mother sent me: “J is having a laparascopic procedure tomorrow. It will be less invasive than last time and she should be able to get to school by Tuesday. Her doc is suspending”Julia’s uterus because its retroverted position (possibly from the endometriosis) is still causing her pain in certain situations. This has a 85-90% chance of solving that issue.”

This girl. Always in surgery. And why am I jealous? That fucking sucks.

Unfortunately, I like pity. I like being taken care of.

And right now, A is far away, the cat is angry, and I’m doing a show that I really fucking hate. I wouldn’t mind popping into the hospital right now for some Jello.

“Army had half a day.”

FROM FRIDAY. A’s been gone for two days. I miss him. I’m exhausted. Nothing new. xoxo

I was okay with his leaving. Two weeks in Vermont with the army, completing required training to match his new sergeant rank. Basically, just two weeks a plane ride away, hot and busy in his ACUs.

I’m busy and exhausted anyway– running one show and rehearsing another, struggling to keep up with office work, and also battling these overwhelming demons, return to pick and taunt and obsess and hate about the fluctuation in my weight, the food I put in my mouth, the shame and the sadness and the frustration. Some time to myself would be healthy.

And then today came.

I couldn’t go back to sleep after he left around 6:30 (he officially leaves tomorrow– this was just prep at the armory so he has one more night with me). I lay with my eyes closed and listened to half of a This American Life episode. I made a smoothie and checked my email. I put on workout clothes and headed to the train. I did some basic strength stuff (it’s been a while! Eek), and then went to the drugstore to pick up a prescription and a couple of other things. I got back on the train around 10 and headed home.

I felt good. Productive. Independent. For the rest of the day, I did a little work on the show (the one I’m rehearsing and DO NOT want to be doing), watched some project runway, took a bath. Around 3, I realized that A would (hopefully) be home in an hour, and I was leaving for the show in an hour and a half. And then I’d do the show. And then we might go out or just go home but then we’d go to bed and in the morning he’d be GONE.

And then sadness hit like a ton of bricks.

I’m afraid.

Living with him is safe, even when it’s insanely difficult and frustrating and new. But A is so much easier to be around than my own obsessions and neuroses. Without his calming presence, without the life requirements his simply EXISTING places on me, I’m out in the open again, trying to stay on track.

And I’m already feeling vulnerable, so. Great.

I’m sad.

I’m genuinely sad.

And not just because I’m nervous about being home alone.

I am completely, head over heels in love with this boy. He is my life. He’s a limb. I’m going to miss him A LOT.

So twofold, I guess.

Sigh.