When this downed economy hit, I was in a bit of a pickle. I had gotten to the place where I couldn't pay all my bills and actually live. For those of you who know me, besides plays, movies and the random night out, I was pretty much a hermit when I was not doing a show. Only to venture out to get a little sunlight- however, I was worried that they would start charging for that too. I got a little more cash for the holidays, got some gifts for a few, but that was my extent of really buying outside of what I could afford. And, the credit card thing - yikes! All my interest rates went up, minimums went up and I started to listen to those commercials about being in debt trouble like they were preaching the gospel. What's that phone number again? Gosh, I wonder how much they charge for this service after I get through all the free stuff?
I needed a second job. I knew raises at my job may not be a possibility. Or I needed to claim bankruptcy. (I do sound like one of those commercials don't I?)
At the beginning of January, I decided it was time to take my backstage talent and put it to work - literally - it needed to make me some extra money. I decided that I would start doing this kind of work on and off during the year. Take a show for a few weeks, get paid, take a break, repeat. And, if it looked like I could do this two job craziness, then I would look for a more permanent theater job and just go for it.
I got a call from the lovely Mrs. Abby of Vampire Cowboys about working on "Soul Samurai". Well, perfect! Not only do I not have to go hunting for a job, one lands in my lap.
In a later blog I'll go into more details of my new found skills in Wardrobe and Hair, but not today my dear readers.
I take the job. I know Vampire Cowboys, I've met quite a bit of Ma-Yi and I know the cast pretty much. It's a no brainer. You take that job with that many pluses.
When I started to put all the show dates into my calendar, I began to realize, I have two days off, technically, two nights off. Once the show started, I realized those two days would equal to one night of laundry and one night for any major fixing on costumes. So, seven days a week for 4 weeks. Still, I told myself I could do this.
Now, it is the last day where I come to the day job, go to the night job, then go do laundry. My assessment.
Yes, I made it. I didn't die. I didn't mess up too much at either job. I made it thus far. Is this something I can continue to do? Yes, only if I never wanted to see anyone I know outside of the particular show I am working on and if I wanted to possibly go crazy.
I sleep through my alarm now. I mean, really sleep through my alarm. I never did that. When I was going to AMDA, having to get up at 6am, go to 8 hours of classes involving a lot of physical endurance, then to the night job, then home by 1am to repeat again - I did not sleep through my alarm. Now, I wake up at my first alarm at 6:50, then open my eyes again to see it 7:50.
If I went out and stayed out late once during the week, I was exhausted for days. This was unfortunate for things like, our benefit, the opening night party, seeing Watchmen at midnight, our Burlesque benefit. You get the picture.
I really don't know what day it is or what I am doing 1/2 of the time. It takes a lot of concentration during the day to do things. I have to write things down even more and remember to write things down. This also reminds me that I am smoking more. Smoking seems to be the only time that I take to focus and go over everything. I don't think I could sit down and mediate right now. I'd be too restless.
Exercise has been a luxury. No yoga in the morning. I've gotten to the gym a couple of times a week-three times in the week if I am lucky. I run up and downstairs all night, so that is exercise, but my knees are paying for it. I do sit ups backstage during one of the longer scenes.
I am completely out of touch with everything going on in our world. I got to hear quite a bit about the octuplets, the market go up, the market go down, (repeat), the stimulus package and stem cell research. If anything else has happened, please let me know.
Good things - I have lost weight. That was a goal I have been working on. About 7 pounds and counting. I have learned new skills or enhanced ones I already have. Got to work and laugh and have fun with a great cast and crew. Be a part of an amazing, successful show.
Will I be doing this again anytime soon? To this extent? No.
I believe I am "getting to old for this shit." I am looking forward to going back to rehearsing and then tech week and then 3 to 4 performances a week. Will I still be in crazy land during those productions, doing a hundred things at once and/or running around like a crazy lady trying to get ready? Probably. But, I know I can handle a few performances a week. This was really a challenge.
I have no regrets. Only lessons learned.