Wednesday, August 29, 2012

End of Summer Blues

Autumn is absolutely one of my favourite times of year, but I think that was borne of growing up somewhere that it stayed brisk but warm-ish (sweater weather!) for a while before the snow came. That and the multicolored leaves crunching underfoot. Here most of the leaves are just yellow (and not orange, gold and red), and they stay on the trees for approximately 1.74 days before they all just drop to the ground. Then the temperature drops and the snow comes.

I am, however, looking forward to wearing sweaters, baking pies, making soup, and doing a little Christmas knitting.

I've been feeling a bit blue lately, which means back to the doctor for a crazy pill adjustment. Tapering off of one, starting another, with all the exciting side effects that brings. This particular magic pill is something that's worked for me before, so I'm hopeful this will all start to clear up in the next couple of weeks.

Still working on that grant--I was smart enough to REREAD THE INSTRUCTIONS before submitting, and realized that I was working off of a previous version, meaning I need to rewrite and expand the whole thing. I have till Monday to submit, but I'm hoping just to get it done in the next couple of days and get it over with.

I got the rehearsal schedule for the reading in October, and I'm getting excited!

Plus today I'm getting paid for that show--not a princely sum, but more than expected.
Hopefully things will continue on an upward trend!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

So a couple more reviews came in with slightly higher star ratings, and nicer things to say. We've just got two more shows left, one at 10pm this eveing, and one on Saturday around 6pm. I can't believe it's almost over--traditionally around this time of year it starts to get super-cold here. (I was horrified and outraged the year it snowed the first week of October and it just stayed on the ground till May.)

Things at work are really coming to a head... more flooding at the beginning of the week, and since our office is in the basement, that's not great news for us. I was thinking yesterday about how I would handle "Why did you leave your last job?" in a job interview, and I'm not sure... they say it's poor form to badmouth your previous employer. I'm torn between telling something of the truth, and just going with "It was time for a change." Although I'm pretty sure anyone hearing about the organizational dysfunction, flooding, fruit flies, and mice would probably understand why I left.

I have no immediate plans to go yet, but I'm thinking I might start applying for jobs. That's a big, unnerving step, because it means I really might be leaving. Brings the abstract into reality, as it were. I think things will ultimately break down here after the Labour Day weekend, which is the time of a big event here. I think my other colleague is planning on leaving immediately after that, and I have no intention of remaining here to do 4 people's jobs for no money.

That doesn't mean it's not scary, though.

Theatre-wise, what's going on... I have renewed my commitment to submit, submit, submit, which can be discouraging when there isn't a lot to submit to. But yesterday I was bold and submitted to A Big Fancy Theatre for a show. I've also submitted a couple of plays to some US companies, and I'm currently working on a grant application, and have the following stuff waiting in the wings: another grant application, application to Big Fancy Play Development Program, application to an artist intensive next may, and a new draft of the play I've been workshopping.

Theoretically, all these things should happen before the middle of September.

I think it's going to be a busy three weeks!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Reviews and rethinking

So, the reviews are in, and they are less than kind... one reviewer just didn't like the play, and two others said very nice things (to the effect that they really enjoyed it), but we are low stars across the board because we are "fluff". Now, I think fluff has its place in any medium--sometimes you don't want to wrap your head around some high-concept, philosophically challenging, intellectually provocative thing. Sometimes you just want to watch something that's entertaining and have fun. I think that's what this show is--just an entertaining amusement that's fun. We have fun doing it, and audiences don't seem to have been affected (though I suspect the producer is comping some folks, so we'll see how that affects the bottom line).

I have written reviews before, and it's difficult. As a practicing artist, I can't help but remember that every project, no matter how well or poorly executed, was once a thrilling germ of an idea, once that moved the writer and collaborators to go through the hard work of creating it and bringing it to fruition. I tried not to be a mean reviewer--I think sometimes reviewers are tempted to make their review about how clever and funny they are, which of course makes the review about them and not about the project they attended. As a reviewer, I tried to give the reader an idea of what they could expect, what the overall experience would be. Of course, I did give an opinion, but reviews are just that: opinions. If you read enough of them, you'll start to realize whose taste you agree with, and who you think is just a complete nimrod.

We have a couple of days off before we go back to it, and this means that I'm back at my job. There's been another high-level sudden defection, at least according to the rumor mill--nothing has been confirmed. It will, of course, send everyone in the higher echelons spiralling into crisis mode and panic. And my compensation (for doing the jobs of a few other people along with my own since June) will fall farther down the list. I can't help but feel it's a bit humiliating to have to ask to discuss this for the FOURTH TIME. I mean, if it were a priority, it would have been taken care of one of the first three times I asked, right?

My colleague here has asked me what I'm going to do. Part of me thinks I should just cut my losses and go. Part of me thinks I should ask one more time, and be clear that it is for the last time--I'm well aware that I could be paid more elsewhere for less work. Part of me wants to just bring it up publicly at this week's staff meeting, but I'm not sure I'm ready for that kind of confrontation. Anyhoo, happy Monday to you all!

Monday, August 13, 2012

August Update

My friends, where does the time go? Has it already been a few weeks since I last updated? My apologies. Where were we? Well, things at work continue to be rather enshittening. I had sent my request to meet and discuss my compensation no less than 3 times before it was actually acknowledged that I had sent said requests--apparently we are "meeting this week" to discuss it, because it's "very important" to the organization. I have my doubts, but we shall see.

I've been thinking about exit strategies... my initial plan was to stay here till December, when I would a) hopefully get this awesome grant that would pay for my living expenses while I do some writing, or (b) just make a clean break for the new year. My main decision is: do I go back to freelancing, or do I just suck it up and get a decently paying joe job for a year or so? Freelancing is ultimately happiness for me, but the variable and uncertain pay may not be so great right now. A decent joe job would give me steady (and good) money, and possibly even allow me to continue to have health coverage, but I will likely lose the flexibility that I've had here. It's kind of a tough decision... happiness vs. financial stability. Ugh.

Rehearsals for the show are going well, we have just one more rehearsal tomorrow before opening on Friday. I can't believe it's almost the end of the summer! I've been struggling with my usual career doldrums, and have decided to counteract this by submitting plays... every time I feel particularly depressed about nothing happening, I submit one of my plays somewhere... I've been researching many places for some time, but it can be hard to get over the initial ugh of actually sending the email/mailing the package. I'm hoping to have a whole bunch more possibilities lined up, perhaps I will do a blitz of submissions for a week or a month or more.

I have to start draft seven at some point of the other play. I'm probably going to wait till after we open before I attempt that, as I have some other projects to do. You guys, someone higher up than me at work just sent a suggestion that is SO IDIOTIC that I cannot believe it is serious. And yet, I think it must be serious. I don't know how to respond to it. And yet, I must respond, or else said suggestion will come to fruition and it will be terrible. These are the things that make my job so miserable. And yes, I know there are idiots everywhere, but at least as a temp I could maintain some sort of detachment.