A little part of me has been nagging at me the last couple of days. Now that 'Picasso at the Lapin Agile' is open, I actually have the chance to go into it.
Please, don't misuderstand. I LOVE my job - but lately I've been a little dissatisfied. Not with Properties - I still love working on props for a show. It really compliments my "anal" side pretty well. I'm getting to the point where I am more and more comfortable with my abilities, although it is worth to note that I still maintain that I am not really good at my job. Properties is half talent and half sheer dumb luck and although with each show I learn a little more talent, I do recognize that there is some miracle in the fact that I haven't completely botched something yet ... As far as I know.
Properties is familiar and comfortable to me, but I need more. We watched the DVD of last year's production of 'The Who's Tommy' and while we were watching it, I realized that what I did for that show was pretty insignificant. I had little impact on the show. Every now and then someone would say how amazing something was, or someone was, and so forth. Not that I want the recognition from someone else; all I want is the feeling of an accomplishment. I want to feel that I contributed something to the end-all final product.
That is a hard feeling to get in Properties. If you do the job well, people just don't think twice about it. If a prop is where it needs to be and it does what it needs to do - then no one should think twice about it. You just accept that these things are in there, and you don't notice it. Not to mention that there really are no "awesome" props - at least I haven't made any. I don't think there was ever something I put in a show that made the director, or even one of the other actors go "oh my god, that is cool!" Not even "neat" Again - not that I want praise from others. I don't expect it, and when I get it, I don't know what to do with it. No, what I want is that feeling of "hell yeah, I did that!" Personal pride.
You do get that feeling a bit after every show opens. But it seems to be more of a collective "we did it" than a personal "I did it" And yes, I know how selfish that sounds. It's so easy to stand there with Karn and Adam and Barry and look at the stage and say "we did it" - But I always feel a little guilty when we do that because when I look at my contribution, I see how little it is that I do. Love props though I do, it is a lonely job in the fact that so much of what makes it great, is something that no one else gets. I get an antique, I restore it, and I put it on stage and, yeah, I'm a little proud of that piece. But no one really gets it. It's furniture. How excited can you really get about that? I know I have a props soulmate out there someone who goes into antique stores as much as I do, and looks at something and has that same "Oh MY GOSH!" feeling I often get when I imagine what that would look like on the set, or with an actor working with it.
As much as I like props, like I said, I want more. I love SMing because I am there from beginning to end and the show becomes my baby. Assistant SMing is almost the same thing - except instead of keeping the book, I just focus on being down there with the actors and taking care of everything on the stage. I've only really experienced the Directing feeling once, but I know how amazing it is to watch the show and know that it was my vision up there. Supplemented the actors, the designers, everyone - but still, it started with your idea. Its a great feeling.
I need to be involved more. I like working with people more than objects, I guess. On strike night of 'Biloxi' I was joking with Al about how much I would love to have his job. Well, partially joking. I felt really bad afterwards - it was dumb of me to even talk to Al about it. I don't want him to think that I imagnie that I can do better, and I don't want him thinking that I don't like him being here - it was nothing to do with him, really. It was insensitive of me, and I would apologize to Al about the whole thing, but honestly I don't even want to bring it up again. I also would love to take Marie's job - and yes, even I would like to learn Katherine's job. I just want to do more than I am - be more to the production.
Thinking back to the end of last season, when there was a chance that I wasn't going to be able to SM a show at all, I am confident that my decision was a good one. I told Zach that I couldn't take a step back in my progression. For a bit there, I was actually considering not coming back to the playhouse. I am so glad I don't have to think about what would have happened if Zach hadn't figured out that I could SM 'Biloxi' - then I would truly have been miserable if I were not here at all. However, it was a scary gamble, but I am glad I took it. (This is making it should like I am giving myself way too much credit - but for the record, I know how much I owe Zach and I can't describe how grateful I am to him).
This, of course, leads me to think about next summer. Zach is definately back again, and as always, I want to be here. I will always want to be here as long as Zach is. It is too good of a learning oppurtunity for me. But I have to balance that out with what else might be best for me. I know I should move on, should look for other oppurtunities elsewhere. I know my parents would be happier with me if I quite revolving my career around the idea of summer stock. But I love it here too much. The last couple of summers here have been the happiest months of my life. So, I am still at an impasse. I'm scared to think of what I would do if I were ever fired from this job - or simply not asked to return (again, until Zach leaves).
I'm so confused about all of this, and I just want to sit down with someone I can really trust and talk it out. But that isn't easy to do. I'm not very good at expressing myself (If you have read this far in the blog, you understand) and I worry that somehow I will end up shooting myself in the foot with my mouth. This does lead to the question: why the hell would you blog about it then? Good question. And I don't have a logical answer to that. Only the thought that it makes me feel better to get it all out, and I don't think anyone really cares anyways. I can't imagine anyone would have a problem with what I have written.