Wednesday, February 19, 2014

... Keep Going

Howdy chums,
I have been feeling rather out of sorts lately-- J has been out of work for a couple of months (but has found a job he will hopefully be starting next week) and I have become the main breadwinner, on top of taking a couple of "fun" classes (spoiler alert: not so fun), and stressing over a couple of commissions that I have no ideas for. Combine that with feeling utterly and completely divorced from my creative self, and things have not been too fun in my land. I am hoping that with some of the stress being lifted on the financial front, things will improve.

What is new since my last post, you may ask?

1. We got a dog! Perhaps not the greatest timing, but she is a great dog for us and lots of fun. And J's new work schedule will allow us to have someone home with her most of the time.

2. I am taking tap! Which is utterly ridiculous and hilarious. I am pretty much as klutzy as I remember from my previous "dance" experiences. But my shoes sure do sound awesome!

3. I am not renewing my contract at work! This resulted in a somewhat awkward conversation with my boss, who wanted me to renew already. Currently my job is all about Olympics (we are fully decorated in this office, including a torch), and pregnancies. I am soooo sick of hearing about medals and babies, y'all. Also, the guy who sits behind me says 'assepted' instead of 'accepted', which comes up in just about every phone call. It is driving me insane. Also, this is not a good job fit for me, for a variety of less shallow reasons. Countdown app on my phone has been initiated for my last day here.

4. I have to start writing a play! Well, two plays. One long, one short. Those three sentences are pretty much twice as much writing as I have done for either of them, so you can see how that's going.

5. I am thinking about some negative people in my life-- not necessarily those who are negative towards me (although there are a couple), but people who are just negative energy sources in general. I realize that people aren't always aware of the impact their attitudes have, and I do strive to be compassionate to people and respectful of where they are at. But there are a few people who are just not helpful in my life at the moment. I'm not one to have a 'friendtervention' about things like that, I prefer to gradually decrease my inner circle ninja-style instead. I sometimes have trouble recognizing when things are on me, and when they are on the friend in question. But in the case of these particular folks, I realize that them being in my life is currently making me sadder than the thought of them not being in my life.

So that is what's going on-- when you're going through hell, keep going. Because I guess there is light at the end of the tunnel... as long as it's not a train?

Monday, January 06, 2014

Hello, friends and neighbours...

It's been a long, long time!

Some updates:

I have a real, grown-up job at the moment. It is not the best job, but it is a great paycheque, which seems to be a common trade-off of adult life. The money is important because J got laid off in November and aside from his December show, my cheque is our only current source of income. This is somewhat stressful, for both of us, I think. The whole point of my taking this job was to save up some money so when my contract ends in June I wouldn't have to get a full-time job immediately and could pursue creative activities... and currently my whole pay gets eaten up by rent, bills, and food. I'm hoping we are a two-income family again soon, though!

I am fat. Yes, I really am. I have been taking a medication for the last year that has caused me to gain, gain, gain, regardless of diet or exercise habits. My first weigh-in of the new year tipped in at 200 lbs even, which is even more than I thought it would be. And my highest weight in many years. And pretty discouraging. Medication regimens are being changed, gym habits are being renewed, healthy eating (the norm for me anyway) is becoming even healthier. Still, it's kind of a tough blow. OK, an extremely tough blow. I feel like I've been really healthy, and still end up at the same place. And convincing my doctor that my weight gain over the past 15 months could relate to the meds I've been taking for the last 15 months... man, I wish convincing burned calories.

I am taking a couple of classes right now, and trying to get my brain to work in school mode is challenging. Grade 12 Chemistry, I do not remember you. I guess I really didn't use you in real life. Until this point, when it would have been handy if I had paid attention and then somehow traveled through time to put my notes in a safe deposit box for myself or something.

In creative news, I am out of ideas. Or that's what it seems like. I have contracts for two writing projects in the second half of this year and I have... nothing. Like not even the hint of an idea. Like that part of my brain closed up shop and moved away. And when I talk to fellow creatives about it, they say 'Oh, don't be silly. I'm sure you'll come up with something sooner or later.' Which is not really helpful. I suppose no creative people really want to talk about 'What if it all dries up and doesn't work any more?' so I can't say I blame anyone for changing the subject.

I don't know if I'm out of ideas because I'm stressed, or if I'm stressed because I'm out of ideas. Little from Column A, little from Column B, probably. It is daunting, to say the least. What if I never think of something again? Or what if I don't think of something in time to fulfill my contracts, thus leading me never to be hired again, thus negating the need to think of more ideas?

You see the dilemma. I suppose things are generally fine, I mean I'm not in danger of starving to death or losing my apartment or anything, I just feel like I am running in place to maintain the status quo. Much like running in place to continue to gain weight, I suppose. Metaphors and similes! Do they count as creative thinking? That's about all I can manage.

I have been feeling especially that I am not really getting anywhere, and I suppose it's because I am currently not getting anywhere. I have made several cool resolutions for the new year, which I promise I am excited about, but at the moment all I can do is work and be stressed and work and be stressed.

This isn't exactly an optimistic post for the new year. I have fun (and scary!) things planned, and I will come back and talk about those.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Neglected once more...

Poor lonely blog that I never update! Let's see if I can't catch everyone up on what's been happening over the last few months...

I am leaving my job. FINALLY. My last day is on Friday. My boss sent out the announcement last night, inviting everyone to "stop by" and wish me well. So today I have been having the exact same conversation with every single person who works here... people who couldn't be bothered to speak to me for the last four years are suddenly distraught at my imminent departure. My only regrets are: that I didn't quit many moons ago, and that I wish I had more than 2 days off before starting my new job. I could use a little more time to unwind after the fringe. Which leads us to:

THE FRINGE. Yes. I am here, I am doing a fringe show. A show that seems to have confused and disappointed critics. A show that seems to be loved by about half our audience, and... not-as-loved by the rest. We have had 5 performances already, and have 5 more starting today. I think we are all having an awesome time together, but the show is a lot of work. The company I'm working with seems to like me and I think we will work together again... provided they don't have to disband because of hatred of this show. No, that won't happen.... right? (No, it won't).

The folks I am working with in the show are incredibly supportive-- they included me singing in the show (recorded on a sound cue), and think I should do a cabaret. Which I would really, really like to do... I just have to maintain the courage to move forward with it.

I've been invited to return to the big fancy theatre in town to their playwright development program to write a new play. On spec, I think, not any immediate money in it. But still, a chance to hang out with some cool people and discuss theatre. Oh, and write a big play that is suitable for a big theatre. Which I'm not quite sure how to do.

In other writing, I've been faithfully keeping a list of play ideas as they occur to me on my phone... but I think I may have to just take one and run with it and write it before thinking about it. I have a tendency of letting things percolate for too long and then they somehow become "sacred" and I can't write them.

My new job is going to be a big change for me-- a longer contract (till June), with pretty regimented hours (8-5, M-F). It will pretty much preclude me from taking random gigs that pop up without a lot of notice, but the money is really good. I'm hoping to save up some money to be able to freelance for a long while once the contract is up, and in the meantime I'll be able to do some writing in the evenings. And I think I will focus on creating projects with people I'm interested in working with, and who are interested in working with me... if we're interested in each other, schedules suddenly become a lot more flexible.

Here's hoping this all works out somehow.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Oh where oh where have I been?

Well, I was in another city for 3 weeks doing a workshop. I was also doing some auditions, which were "successful" but not "SUCCESSFUL" if you understand my meaning. I have another audition coming up on Monday which not only involves singing and acting, but also the dreaded MOVEMENT CALL. I think it's basically a dance call for non-dancers, which I would ordinarily get really stressed about, but I think I'm such a terrible non-dancer that all I can do is laugh and try to do my best. I will endeavor to throw in some "dancer face", you know, the serious and intense looks of realness that people have in Fame or music videos.

The workshop was really interesting-- working with 12 other people plus the facilitators in a group setting was... challenging at times. There are definitely some people for whom I wish nothing but the best, and fervently wish never to work with them again. I was a stupendously bad judge of character for the first time in recent memory and ignored the signs of someone who turned out to be, quite literally, insane. (Of course, in retrospect, I have a little Usual Suspects moment, where all the warning signs and clues fall into place in a rapid montage.)

A couple of things... I had some miserable days there, where I really, really struggled. But even those days were about 1 million percent better than sitting back here at a desk job, by virtue of actually getting to go to work every day in a theatre. I got to try and fail, and try and succeed many times. A few people asked me if I did musicals because they thought I was a good enough singer that I must do that. They seemed surprised when I said I didn't, due to overwhelming fear of public singing. I was reminded that the most important thing is to do the work that you want to do, however long it takes to get there.

I have a new project that I'm working on. I can't really articulate it very well, but that tends to be how all my projects start. If I can explain every detail at the outset, it means I've already figured it all out, and it will quickly cease to become interesting to me. It's still anxiety-provoking because I don't know what it will be, or if it will be any good... which is a lot of pressure to put on something I've barely started. I know, I know. Stop thinking about end product.

Easier said than done.... but I guess I should go practice moving so I'm ready for Monday.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Back Again

Oh hello my young Honey Boo Boo children,
I'm back again. I haven't looked at how long it's been, but I know it's a shaming amount of time. Here's what I've been up to, in the order that I remember it:

I wrote a play in 3 hours! A very short, very odd play. It was part of an annual fundraiser for a theatre company in town: 4 playwrights are given a first line (and a couple of other things to include), and have 3 hours to write a play... at which point set and costume designers take the script and start building stuff... then actors and a director get a hold of it... and the whole show of 4 complete productions go up that evening... about 11 hours after the writer finishes. Needless to say, the finished results are rather hilarious.

I'm preparing for an audition I don't even know if I have yet, because it's the kind of audition that requires me to prepare a whole bunch of stuff that I'd like to get a jump on before they call and say they'd like to see me in three days. New monologues, new song. Reading The Winter's Tale, as my classical is from there, and... ugh. What a weird, not-so-good Shakespeare play. They aren't all winners, people!

Taking ye olde Synthroid now that my thyroid is finally crapping out... which explains the utter exhaustion, weird voice fatigue, and ever-growing fatness. I'm hoping that when things get evened out, I will decrease in mass. Or at least, stop increasing. It's getting to be a bit of a situation with work clothes, here... Not to mention that my largesse leaves me feeling less than confident for my (fingers crossed) upcoming audition, or...

Heading off to another city for 3 weeks to do a performance intensive culminating in public performance. Exciting! Scary! Working only weekdays... potentially lonesome and boring weekends! (I'm sure I'll have lots of homework and can spend the rest of the time at the gym).

Looking for an apartment because my landlady sold our house! Yes, 48 hours after telling us "I'm thinking about selling the house", the house was sold... apparently at $40,000 over asking, which is great, great news. We have until the end of June to find somewhere new, which is stressful and somewhat demoralizing, since a lot of landlords are very judgy about tenants with pets. Also, I'm afraid we'll inadvertently end up in a sketchy area of town and be murdered.

My job is... employing me. I'm still trying to find the balance of this "part time work from home" situation I'm supposed to have. Mostly I feel fairly bummed out when I get here in the morning, but I'm trying to work it out... at least until I can find another apartment and go through all the credit/reference checks.

And how have you been?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Two-Job Day

Like the title says, today is a two-job day--worked a medical improv gig this afternoon, and working at my day job... at night. I've moved my office two floors up, but tonight's shift I have to work from the desk next to my old station. I'm feeling a bit split focus today-- in two places at once, as it were.

I'm still looking for that new play idea--maybe looking too hard, since it seems less and less likely that I'm going to find that PERFECT IDEA. It may be time to start working on something less than perfect. I've been entertaining the idea of writing some short plays, just to get back in the swing of things. And there seem to be tons of places that accept short plays, for festivals and contests and readings and such. I am also beginning to really worry that I may never write again. Which may be the reason that people keep writing--to prove that they are, in fact, undefeated.

There is one idea that keeps coming back, that keeps presenting itself to me (which is always a bit creepy), but I don't really have this one tiny thing called a story. Or characters. Or anything. Just a vague idea. Which means I need to keep thinking.

But I'm getting impatient.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Yes, we closed on Sunday afternoon, had a lovely dinner and drinks together, and then it was over.

I'm totally bummed about it. I wish I could have kept doing the show forever.

I promptly got the stomach flu the next day, adding to my bummitude.

Annnnnd I'm back at my day job today... oh joy, oh wondrous day!

Countdown to my next crack at the full-time creative life... 68 days, give or take a couple of days. But next time I get to try it in another city!

Anyway, I've got about 1500 or so emails to get through. I'm going to treat myself to a latte or something to celebrate making it into the afternoon times.

Hope your days are going swell, friends.