Saturday, December 30, 2006

Ian McKellen In Extras

So, since I did want to at some point talk about art and theatre and acting, etc. So, here we go, from the great Sir Ian McKellen. Can you get any better advice? :)


Friday, December 29, 2006

Holiday Travel

So, did you travel this holiday? Did you fly? Here is how I will sum up the experience:

First class ran out of food.
economy class began eating each other.
Over the loud speakers:

"Flight Attendants, please begin cross check and prepare for off-loading of half eaten corpses from the main body cabin."

Hope everyone had a great holiday and safe travels. And, remember, when you are stuck on a plane for hours at a time, you have to make your own fun and your own food.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Horribly Beautiful

So, here we are - a couple (well less than) weeks away and this tour will be over. This has been a wonderful opportunity for Scot. I am so happy that he has been able to do this.

On the other hand, this has been the hardest five months of my life. I have looked back through my life and everything I thought was hard pales in comparison to this. In a previous post, I wrote about how hard it was. Another thing that came to mind was the fact that you come home to an empty house - yes, we have roommates, but it is not the same. It is the house that you share with someone and that someone is now a ghost. All the pictures, smiling down at you. All the memories. Even the knick-knacks and books he loves speak to you. I have realized that being alone is OK. It is the lack of that person that hurts.

I have been getting texts and talking to my husband about his days and nights on the tour. This pretty much sums it up - get up early (if you are NOT a morning person and can not even think about being alive and coherent at 6:45/7am, most tours will not be for you), get in the van, drive to the space, unload the truck with a. a union crew, b. highschool students (which has been a very good experience at time) or c. unload themselves. Then, it is prepare for the show - wigs, costumes, prosthetics, make-up, etc. Then, by around 10:00/10:30 - on with the show. Show is over around noon or so. Then, load back up the truck, grab some lunch and it is either onto the next destination or back to the hotel, depending on where they are the next day. If they get an afternoon/night off, usually they go to a mall or hang out, do laundry, watch TV, check email, surf the net. At night, movies, other types of entertainment (bowling was one night recently), taking in the locals and the local sites and more than likely drinking. Hey, they are doing a children's show - this would drive anyone to drink. On weekends, more or less of the same. If you have been looking at the other blogs from the people on tour, you will get a more in depth view of it - especially the time off.

My days have been working multiple jobs that have nothing to do with what I want to do with my life - except for my teaching artist job, working on shows at night (up until the end of October). After the show was over, I would spend my nights looking for work, watching TV, going out and seeing friends, going to shows and gearing up for the next production(s) with . Also, trying to organize the house - a little, take care of a wonderful cat and do the normal pay bills and adult shit.

So, this has been our lives. Our communication (except for the wonderful days I have seen him recently) has been phone calls during the day, when he has time, goodnight calls every night and text messages.

I am really counting down the days. It is so close. It is almost over. I can't wait to get re-acquainted with my husband and begin to work on our life again. Amen.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Thankful Thanksgiving

So, for awhile there, my husband was not sure if the tour was going to Las Vegas, which was over the weekend of our Anniversary. It would have been the first anniversary that we would have been apart from each other (This is our sixth year of marriage). But, wishing and praying, the tour stayed it's course and we were able to meet up. We got to spend time together and got to meet our new niece, Caitlan Rose. We also got to see each other again at his parent's house for Thanksgiving, where he got to stay with me and his family for two nights. Four wonderful nights in total. So, instead of a whole bunch of writing, I thought I would just post some pics of the week.

Anniversary night consisted of going to the top of the Strastosphere then enjoying a show and a night out drinking with Katie and Ashley in the New York, NY Casino. Check out Katie's blog. I am sure she will have pics up of that weekend soon.

Our first time holding the new cuddle of joy.

Yes, everyone is looking at Caitlin.

He now has only four more weeks. And, hopefully, one weekend, he will get to come back to NY to stay for a couple of nights, in his own bed. Aw, bliss.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I Just Needed to Say This

Things have been going much better with the tour. Their load ins are almost painless, the shows are going so well and everything seems to be going just fine. All of this has recently been happening. Basically, since their stage manager left and they got a replacement.

Being a stage manager - I know, because I am one - is probably the most stressful, thankless job anyone could ever have - well, OK, that is not fair, I am sure there are others, but in the theatre world, this is it. You have to be protector, mother, iron worker and comedian. At least, these are the first few metaphor's that come to my head. You also have to be a negotiator and a mediator. And, most of the time, you will not know if you did a good job or not, until the production is over and someone says - you are the best stage manager ever, you rocked my world, you did an awesome job, etc. OK, I know I said this is a "thankless" job and by the end of the run of a show, when you are just getting the thank you's - you wonder where these people were two weeks ago when you were up to all hours of the night doing God knows what for the show. You try with all your might and muster up "thank you's" for others and "we really appreciate all your hard work" for some more, but yet you just keep going without a hint of thanks. And, I could be wrong on this last note. I could be so in the moment and running around so much, that I never hear it. So, for those of you that are reading this and have continued to thank me through a whole production - I apologize. I was just too involved to know you appreciated me.

OK, so on to my real comment. The one that has been boiling in me for weeks. The fact that I met someone, with all the good qualities of a Stage Manager. The want and care of the whole company. Someone I thought could balance the needs of the production with the needs and safety of the actors. Heck, he is going on a National Tour, he got chosen, he must be something special.

I met him. We discussed Stage Managing and I told him if he ever needed to vent about something, to feel free to contact me. If he needed any help, even though I just met him, I would be there. Well, he never did call and this boy seriously needed some help.

He basically, in a short note, but believe me, I should write a manifesto about this man after what he did to this group, catered to the production office even though it was not in the best interest of the production, crew or cast, let them work on a set that was falling apart and dangerous, let his emotions come out more than you should around a team of actors and tried to divide the cast. He also sold them up the river and let the production company know that they were the worst cast to work with compared to the other casts. AND, told other casts on the other subsequent tours, that they were awful to work with.

Now, not that I was there. But, when a whole host of people comment on this and one happens to be your husband, you begin to wonder. The story was always the same when anyone mentioned him and his doings. I couldn't believe my husband, and these great people, were under the care of this person.

Well, he left the tour. I am not sure if he was asked or if he quit. There is still speculation on that front. They now have a wonderful stage manager and lo and behold, the tour is running much smoother and the performances and load-ins, although not always the smoothiest due to external forces, are better than ever.

Aw, vent over. Now, I can finally get on to writing about something else. And, by the way, there are a lot of other duties of a stage manager - this was just a top o' head vent.

"Breathing Fire" Williams

Monday, November 06, 2006

Harder Than You Think

One of my ideas with this blog was to give people who were significant others or just the people themselves going out on tour, some information, hopefully helpful about the before during and after. So, here we go.

Having a loved one away on a tour is very hard. You may have a strong relationship, you may think you are 100% prepared for it, but, I believe, it is much harder than you think.

I thought, when my husband and I were talking about his tour and me being away in Ireland 3 weeks prior, that everything would be fine. We would get through it. 4 months is not that long.

We got to see each other twice - after I got back from Ireland - a weekend in Boston. That was 4 weeks without seeing each other, but we had done a month and a 1/2 before when Scot was recording in Tuscon, Az. This was in the infancy of our relationship and everything had gone just fine.

The second time was a total of about 48 hours in NYC. Scot came down from Boston. That was after about a total of 4 more weeks since we last had seen each other in Boston.

Now, it has officially been 2 months since we have seen each other (we of course have been talking on the phone everyday). And, we will be seeing each other in 2 weeks. I am so excited that I believe my head will actually explode, not kidding. I'll try and get video.

There are two pieces of advise I can give people who are staying behind while the other is on tour.
1. Always know that it is going to be much harder than you can ever imagine. Think about how hard it will be and multiply that by a million. Everything goes into a holding pattern. You are neither moving forward or backwards. You are stuck in limbo. You come home to the empty apartment/house with the pictures and the smells of the one you love who is oh, so far away. You want to cuddle up with an old t-shrit of theirs and just stay that way until they come home. You want to try and meet them wherever they are on weekends. The weeks fly at first, then they slow down to almost a complete halt. It is painful.
2. When you do get a chance to see them, as much as you want to, don't talk about business. The bill payments, the apartment problems, the information you need from them so that you can finish up the application for this or that. With email, you can shoot them a quick email and ask for these things. You don't need to do it while you are with them. Use this time to get to know each other again, play, chat, see a movie, etc. Love is first, business will take care of itself.

I can not say that this time apart has not been fruitful - it has. I have learned a lot about myself these past few weeks. One thing I have learned is that I am a much stronger and resourceful person than I thought. I think when someone is so wonderful to you and just wants to make you happy, like my husband does, you grow to depend on that and at times, take it for granted. When the carpet is pulled out from under you, you are thrown into the deep end, the tail has gotten longer and the rocking chairs are getting closer - you find that you have two choices - stay on your ass and pray that it all goes away or get off your ass and do something about it. I am off my ass and running. Hopefully, running the right way.

So, the countdown has begun. The clock ticks ever so slowly.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Missing some Harry Potter

After seeing the reading of Brian Silliman's new play last night. And, seeing this on a friend's profile on myspace. Well, I just miss me some Harry Potter.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Keith Olbemann - Habeas Corpus RIP Special Comment

Probably one of the most important pieces of journalism I have seen in a long time.

Friday, September 29, 2006

A Dream Come True

I have been wanting to write about this for awhile, but life has been getting in the way. First off, I love Shay Gines and Patrick Shearer. If you do not know these people, you should, they are amazing. And, Shay is one of the DOB (directors of the board) for the NY It Awards.

Well, a while back, I got to attend the NY IT Awards. If you have never been to one, I highly recommend it. It is an award show for Off-Off Broadway and is run just like you would imagine a Tony's or Academy Awards show to be run. There is a celebrity host, celebrities come out to announce awards - from the Off-Off Broadway scene to the screen, Award winners are ushered off stage by a lovely man or lady, and there is someone interviewing all the award recipients. Which on that note - Patrick and I got to do some promoting for the newest show - Blood Brother's Present. I am on the web somewhere, got to find that.

Of course, by the time I have been able to write this - our show has come and gone, but let me get to the point.

That night, I got to meet someone, whose plays I have read and wanted to direct for a long time. Landford Wilson.

I got a chance to direct a scene from "Burn This", but I would love an opportunity to do more of his work. His writing is very conversational, there is almost always a nice subplot and is intriguing. I just love his characters or I just love to hate his characters.

Well, he came out to the after party at Phoebe's (a few wonderful memories have already been made there) and went out for a smoke. I had already told everyone how exciting it was to see him. Everyone told me to join him outside. Nervously, I got out there told him how much I enjoyed his work and he put his arm around me and said, come and join us darling. Soon after, Patrick, Qui and Abbey were all outside chatting with Mr. Wilson. It was amazing. He is such a delightful and approachable person. Of course, now, I really can't remember all that was said, but it was just really nice to be in his presence, along with others, just chatting.

In other news, our show - Blood Brother's present Grand Guingol, has been run, done and gone. It was a fast process that involved a lot of ingenuity, falling down and getting back up again and everyone's input to make it work. I believe everyone had a good time and a lot of fun was had. It was a bittersweet moment for me, because on one hand, I had been looking forward to this project for a long time and was really excited to do it.

On the other hand, things have been really hard. I really miss Scot and this project was basically the half way point between the last time I saw him and the next. So, with the last show, I took a big sigh of relief and am ready to see my husband.

3 weeks and 2 weekends folks.

Also, in his news - things have been rocky, but the tour has been persevering. Stage Manager quit (wish I could have stepped in :) ), set has been breaking apart and general life on the road has been sucking. But, they are also past their half-way point. When they are done, they can say they have done their tour of duty and never have to do it again.

Hope to be posting more - sorry for the long lag!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Money makes my brain hurt

So, while away on a tour, you definitely want to make sure that all your finances are in order. Now, things are a lot easier than they were a few years ago. You can go online, set up direct deposit (very important, if you are on a paying tour - make sure they have direct deposit for your pay checks - or you have a really good friend, significant other who can help get cash into your account), set up bill pay. All these great things.

Before I really get into this - disclaimer - I am not a financial analyst or anything of the sort. I am just a girl going through the motions. Please do not take any of this as the end all way to do this. There, making the lawyers happy.

My husband and I were like two passing ships in the night when it came to our coming and going. I was getting back from a 3 week program in Ireland as he was leaving for the tour. He had been dealing with all the finances up to that point while I was in Grad school (and doing an amazing job - some things getting paid a little late - but this was a HUGE job and he is wonderful for doing it). All of the financial responsibility became my bundle of joy. Ah, bliss.

So, here are the problems we have been having - I hope in some way, this can give any pointers to people who may be going away and don't have someone to take care of things at home - like my man does. :)

First thing - we have some debt (well, some is an understatement, but this is a public document, so I really don't want to get into that here). The first thing, to make our lives easier, was to get all the credit cards on an electronic pay system. Granted, make sure you are having them pay at a time of the month when A.) you have money in your account or if A.) is not achievable, then B.) it is around the time of the month when the payment is due. We (hubby and I) set up a payment with one company - I won't say who - and thought - viola, done. Oh, cont-rair! The day we set it up for was going to be LATE a couple billing cycles during the year (yeah, didn't have any disclaimers like - you may want to set it up 3 days before the due date of your most recent bill, etc.). So, ended up paying a $50 late fee, even though it was an electronic payment. Like everything in life, especially in debt payment - early is on time, on time is late. Needless to say-make sure that the payment will go through before the bill is due. A lot of credit companies will actually let you pick your due date - if that is the case, use it to your advantage. Find out when you get paid from your theatre company and make that your due date for debt.

One thing on checking accounts - if you can find one that has an overdraft protection, get it. You never know when one check is coming in, the other out and then you are left with a bouncey bouncey check. And a fee and hassles. Babies, balls and silly puddy are bouncey - checks should never be.

Second thing - credit cards. If you can swing it - before you leave, acquire some credit cards that give you 0% interest for a length of time. That way, you can make smaller payments without nasty interest. Be WARNED - this is a little dangerous - you really have to be on top of things for this to work. One late payment and your interest rate could go to 29.99% APR - ouch! Do this only if you have the organization to handle it.

Any memberships to clubs, library cards, etc.? Make sure you get all those late payments and such out of the way before you leave, if you can. It will save you on a lot of mail while you are gone and late fees getting passed off to creditors, etc. Just saves some hassle. And, in our case - the library. They send notices for books that are not turned in etc. And, if you are a clueless wife like I have been, you are constantly on the phone to your husband saying - has this been turned in, did you pay this while you were here, how much do you owe, etc.

Also, if you have no friends to help out with the mail (i.e., picking it up or getting it forwarded to them while you are away), you can also talk to the post office about holding it for you. They will usually do that automatically once your box is too full - if you have a cool post office delivery person. If not, you could come home to a box stuffed full and find out that half of your mail went in the garbage - it does happen.

That's all I have to say - off the top of my head - about finances. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 15, 2006

I Have A Blog

So, wanting to post on my husband's blog, I had to create a username and password and therefore, create an account.

I have officially done something I told myself I would never do...

Have a freakin' blog.

But, when thinking about it - my husband is on tour (because he is so talented and wonderful and this is something that should have come his way many years ago - the man should be famous and wanted by artists and people the world over - OK I am a little biased).

So, husband on tour. He is writing a blog dedicated to being on tour so that people that are going on tour will have some sort of reference when deciding should they leave the comforts of their home to go star tripping for months at a time. Because, believe it or not, there really isn't a lot out there for actors embarking on a tour. What a market! Why hasn't some hack written a book on this and raking in the money. Well, if you are thinking of doing it now you tired old hack - step back - this is our territory now.

OK, I digress again - this is why I never wanted a blog. This is what my diary looked like as well - nonsequiter after nonsequiter. So, again, husband writing blog about being on tour - why not have someone write from the person's perspective of being at home - the significant other left behind. For a lot of actors out there, this is a deal breaker. I know that when Scot and I were first dating, I turned down a tour because I didn't think our relationship could handle it at the time. Now, marriage, partnership established, things are a tad easier. Or at least I thought.

Scot and I have been away from each other, since the dating days, no more than 3 weeks. Now, it has been almost 2 months. We have had two weekends of bliss together, but now, we won't be seeing each other again until Nov. 17 or so. Our 6 year anniversary being Nov. 18. That's a long time.

I have also just graduated from NYU with my Master's of Arts in Educational Theatre. Scot, up until then, had been doing a lot of the administrative work of our relationship. Bills, etc. Now, that, plus the normal cleaning up, plus, the only one looking after the cat (those little guys are a handful), falls in my lap.

So, I hope over the next few months, I can give the perspective of what happens while being away on tour. From the perspective of the left behind.