Friday, June 18, 2004
Hot and Humid
We’ve worked everything out at the show so that it works for everyone this weekend. I feel as though my request was respected, everyone is covered, and we can get back to work. I’m relieved. During the Saturday matinee, I will trail the person I’m covering that night, so I can re-familiarize myself with the show. Then I’ll do her show Saturday night and Sunday matinee. Someone will come in to the Women’s Ensemble for the matinee, and they’ve got someone to cover Saturday night and Sunday matinee. I’ll go back in to the Women’s Ensemble for all of next week, except for next Saturday, when I’ll be covering the NHL Draft. So it works for everybody, and no one feels screwed or disrespected or overwhelmed, which is how it should be.
Yesterday was a productive, if somewhat ironic day. I spent the late morning/early afternoon at the NY Public Library, where they have their own version of the Dewey Decimal system, so finding what you need is always an adventure. The irony is that the most helpful book I found is one I actually own but is tucked away in storage where I can’t get at it. Very frustrating.
However, I took a variety of notes – both historical and what the history inspires, mostly for The Widow’s Chamber. I didn’t find the clothing information I needed, but I found it this morning on the internet. Of course, all my costume books are in storage, too.
Public libraries are great except for the annoying, disruptive people. Believe it or not, the NY Library is much better than the Houston Library. In Houston, the staff spent their time talking full voice on their cell phones non-stop, and two guys at a table behind me spent well over an hour talking, again full voice, about why women should be beaten.
I have no doubt their karma will catch up with them quickly.
Yesterday, the annoyances were a man at another table who sat and stared at me for three hours (and no, I didn’t move. I was there first. I read my books and to hell with him). And a woman at a table behind me who had every item in her bag individually wrapped in noisy plastic bag, cleaned out her purse, ripped up bits of paper, and talked to herself the whole time.
I still got a lot done, and working on the fifth floor has fewer annoying people than on the ground floor or the second floor, where most of the aggressive crazy people flock. This reads without compassion. Our social services program needs complete overhaul, so that there aren’t any homeless, and so those who have mental difficulties have the proper care and a place to be. But I also have the right to inviolate space and quiet in a public library. I want my tax dollars to go to social services and education – not to a new football stadium for the NY Jets. They want a stadium, they can pay for the whole damn thing themselves.
After my session at the library, I wandered into Coliseum books. There are several books that will be helpful in my research on the sale table. As soon as my check clears, I will trot back and buy them. And these books are staying with me, not going into storage. Coliseum Books always makes me happy. Just walking in there makes me feel good, whether or not I end up buying anything. The staff is amazing. They know me by sight now, because I’m in there several times a week. They’re friendly, helpful, and they care about books. The staff always looks happy to be there. And I can ask about something completely obscure and they’ll figure out where it is – or, if they don’t have it, where to get it. Between Coliseum Books and Strand Books, I have two of the best bookstores in the country, if not the world, within commuting distance. As much as I want to move farther away from NY, I need to have access to those two bookstores (thank goodness for the internet, right?).
Union meeting was interesting. It’s always good to catch up with other people in the theatre community, find out what’s going on where, etc., and what’s going on throughout the industry. It was our last meeting before the summer break, so it was especially important. Actors’ Equity and the League are talking again, so there’s hope to avert a strike. I will remain cautiously optimistic. Should they go out, I’ll be on the picket line supporting them, but I hope it doesn’t happen. The musicians’ strike last year was difficult enough. And I mean that emotionally more than financially.
After the meeting, I grabbed a Happy Meal at McDonald’s (the cats will get the toy) and headed for the theatre. The show went well – I finally feel like I know what I’m doing, even with inconsistency all around me. And that’s helpful. I truly enjoy the company, which helps. They are a good group, both as far as talent, and as far as character.
My article for Femme Fan, “Racing Through Summer” looks good on the site. I feel better about it, but still plan to make the next article better.
I checked my e-mail to find that N2arts.com is interested in having me write two articles for them and, if we find we work well together, it could very well turn into an ongoing relationship, which would be great.
Another happy e-mail was the editor of the community paper asking for my social security number so he could put me into the payroll. I was pleasantly surprised – I’d figured I would be blown off for the check. But he’s right there with it. So that place rises in my estimation. Meanwhile, the slick magazine still hasn’t paid me. The magazine’s been out for nearly a month, and I was supposed to be paid within two weeks of acceptance. Live and learn.
Researched the next horse racing article, and also did some more background work for the NHL draft piece. There’s also something brewing at Madison Square Garden – I need to look into it more before I write about it – about Dolan insisting his commentators not praise visiting teams or criticize home teams. If these rumours are correct, he’s emasculating his commentators, in addition to ruining their credibility. I need to do some digging and try to get both sides of the story.
Got out a mailing. I still have to put together information for Luna Jensen’s next promo.
Did some decent work on the racing article for FemmeFan, and did the first draft of the Audition article for N2arts. Started the Creative Tools article for them, but ran out of steam.
Got absolutely nothing done on The Widow’s Chamber.
I heard back from my annuals editor – he likes the list of article ideas I pitched to him, but feels they are more suited towards a different almanac than the one he’s currently contracting. He’s going to hold the ideas over and we’ll discuss them again in the fall, but do I have anything for this one? I told him I’d think of some over the weekend and e-mail him a list of ideas on Monday. I’ve come up with a half a dozen, just pacing in the living room, and I have ideas of ideas, if that makes any sense, but I need to research them a bit.
There’s still another query letter I need to get out for a position in which I’m interested.
Caught up on some e-mail. I have to clean out my mailbox – it’s far too full. But that’s going to have to wait until Monday.
The Andrew Jackson biography is fascinating. He strikes me as one of those people one can admire from afar, but not want to be around on a daily basis. I want to research his wife, Rachel. Again, I was first exposed to her story as a child, in The Childhood of Famous Americans series, and now I want to know more. Toting around such an interesting book makes me look forward to the commute instead of dreading it.
Today’s hourglass is almost empty – must jump in the shower, cook dinner, and get on that train. Show tonight.