Monday, January 10, 2005

Monday, January 10, 2005
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

I am so ready for the new moon!

I wanted to mention two blogs that I read regularly and want to recommend:

Shadow Diving



Shadow Diving’s author has a life so different from mine on so many levels, and yet so much to which I can relate. As someone who can’t even swim (I drown really well), his profession fascinates me. And the personal transition he’s experiencing is something I can solidly relate to at this point in my life. He has a thoughtful, intelligent, caring and articulate way of experiencing the world.

Fantasist’s author is another writer, and I find her process inspires my own. Especially on a day when I’ve done nothing but stare at the page and the Muse paid her a visit instead! :)

And I thank both of them for the kind comments sent to me in the past few days. I also thank everyone who left supportive, enlightening and helpful comments. I appreciate it.

The migraine abated slightly last night, allowing me to watch Bobby Flay’s documentary on opening Mesa Grill Las Vegas, which was pretty interesting. And I could even read for a bit, finishing Will in the World. That book is so well-written that I wanted it to keep going. I will read more of Greenblatt’s work, and I also plan to track down some of the biographies he mentions in his bibliography.

The migraine still hovers. I haven’t had a productive morning – just some business letters and the grocery shopping. I have to get some pictures to my KIC editor to go with the tarot column – hopefully I can get my scanner working so that I can get those off and the photos for the Lindisfarne article off this afternoon.

I wanted to go to Valhalla to put through my direct deposit and pick up my ID and parking permit, but I don’t feel well enough to drive there; I’ll wait until Wed.

I’m trying to make peace with myself over leaving the theatre. I have hit a point where I have to stand by my decision. I am leaving the business, and, although I am attempting to make a smooth transition that keeps everyone (including me) happy and is fair to everyone, I will have to make difficult choices along the way, and I have to make those choices based on the chosen path.

If I give 200% to the theatre – which is what it requires – I don’t have enough left for the writing. If I give 200% to the writing – which it requires, especially so that I can switch into it full-time – I don’t have enough to do work of the quality to which I hold myself in the theatre. No one’s complaining that my work is bad. However, I know that it’s not where it could be/should be/what I’ve achieved in the past. Some of it is due to factors beyond my control – such as decisions made by those in charge. Some of it is because I’m focusing the energy on the writing and I can’t give equal energy and attention to both.

So I have to make my decisions, stand by them and be as forthright as possible with my employers about the process.

“Don’t tell them you do something else” is the usual advice given.

I tell them. I want them to be confident that, when I’m there, I’m there. And when I walk out the door, I leave the show behind and I focus on the rest of my life. I commit to x days/x shows/x work and I’m there. But I also will cut back on that as the writing grows.

It may well mean I have to stop swinging either by the beginning or the end of the summer. Part of the swing gig is to be available on short notice to step in to any track and run it well. It takes enormous concentration and focus and passion. If I’ve spent ten hours writing and get a call at the last minute, then have an hour and a half commute each way . . .the passion’s not there.

I’ll recommend reliable people to replace me and slowly switch over to just doing day work – three days a week would be ideal. I can still be an occasional swing – when they get stuck, or if someone requests me – but this way, they get people who want the work in there, the slots are covered, I still have a hand in doing good work, but I don’t feel the pressure that, if I say no to a call or am not available at the last minute, that I’m letting people down.

The actual making peace with that is a challenge, but it’s what needs to happen.

Every time the list of new shows and supervisors comes around, the temptation is to shoot for a job. But the reality is that I can no longer split myself equally between both, as I’ve done for the past few years. I’m at a stage where it’s either/or.

My choice is the writing. Financially and, yes, emotionally, I still need some of the theatre, which is why I’m doing a transition instead of a leap. It’s finding the balance to be fair to both myself and whatever show employs me that’s the challenge, and the only way I can do that is by being upfront with them about where I am. The two shows on which I swing know, in theory, although I still jump in far too often when needed. There’s a possibility of a show opening this spring with one of my favorite people as supervisor and I have to talk to him about where there might be a day work place on the crew. I’ve always been upfront with him – sometimes more than he’d like, I think – but I trust him completely. He knows my abilities – and my limitations. He knows that if I make a commitment, I keep it. Period. So by being honest with him, he can then make the decision if where I am in life and work can work within the context of what he needs to run a show. The answer might be no. But I’m not going to ask for more or promise more than I can deliver.

So much that didn’t even bother me a year ago about the business eats at me now. I need to leave.

And I think I need to make it less than three years.

There’s also the sense of guilt that I’m spinning in my own little hamster cage here with so much pain and sorrow happening in the world. I’m contributing my own little bit, but it never seems enough and it’s utterly overwhelming. But, we must keep functioning, because otherwise, how can we create positive change? I’m seriously considering skipping newspapers and news broadcasts for a few days until I feel more balanced and capable of coping, but does playing ostrich really help? It’s still happening.

Meanwhile, Charlotte week starts today, with that my main focus. Although I have to be very inspired by The Widow’s Chamber simultaneously in order to catch up.

A good lunch will help kick me into gear! :)



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