Monday, August 25, 2014

She's Got That Crazed Look In Her Eyes...

That she would be me.  We are exactly one week away from beginning tech week for Journey to the West, and I am starting to feel the pressure.  The actors are doing a bang-up job, and they truly amaze me.  But with over 160 props, 4 pages worth of quick changes, 245 light cues, and around 150 sound cues, the thought, "Oh my god, how is this all going to come together?" keeps popping into my head.  It's OK, though.  We haven't yet gotten to, "Oh my god, this isn't going to come together", and I honestly don't think we will.  We're just at that stage where we haven't gotten our real props and haven't seen all the costumes.  I'm maintaining (I think) a calm veneer around my cast and director, but inside I'm feeling a wee bit crazed.

We had our OpenStage company picnic yesterday (immediately following a four hour paper tech during which we did not finish going through the whole show) which was a blast.  It was my first time going, and I was nominated for what the company calls OPUS awards - for best technical support for the season.  I didn't end up winning, but I did get a big compliment from the announcer.  He said that Denise (one of the founders and producers of OpenStage) told him that I was the only stage manager that she had ever been scared of.  I also had a lot of people come up and tell me that they had voted for me and they were sure I would win next year.  It made me extremely happy to even be nominated!

Because of how crazed busy I've been, I haven't gotten in a whole lot of knitting time.  My July Rockin' Sock Club kit came, and I started the Shazaam Socks.  This is my first time doing any type of colorwork, and I think Intarsia was a good way to introduce me to it.  Had a false start that required ripping back to the cuff but now it's looking great!  I keep petting the little lightning bolt area of it and smiling with pride.  The Ameliorate mitts for my friend are finished (not in time for her birthday but very close), just need to get some pictures of them.  Speaking of which, guess what I finally talked myself into!

Yes, I fully recognize the irony of taking a picture of a fancy DSLR with an iPhone, by the way.  It's a Nikon D3200, and in that picture it has an 18 - 55mm VR lens on it.  I also bought a 35mm fixed lens with a maximum aperture of 1.8.  It's going to be perfect for taking knitting pictures (once I finally have the time to do such a thing).  I would promise that next time, I'll have lots of pictures and FOs to show off, but I highly doubt that will happen what with me living at work and rehearsal for the next two weeks.  

So, until I'm able to get proper knitting pictures with my fancy new toy, I leave you with the cutest picture I have ever taken of my dog, Maddie (also the first picture I took with the new camera).

Monday, August 11, 2014

I'm Still Here

Well, I guess that whole posting once a week thing is just not going to happen when I'm eye-deep in a show.  I just don't have any time to take pictures of what I'm knitting, but I am indeed knitting.  In fact, I have a FO to show off - my Sandshore Cardi!

Pardon the not-so-great photos.  I'm still trying to figure out how best to model knitwear and I had just returned home from a very long and crazy rehearsal which may be why I look a little crazed in the picture below.  I actually finished it last Tuesday but didn't have the time (or someone to take the pictures) until yesterday.  It seriously flew by - took me a total of 10 days.

I'm pretty happy with it, although I do vacillate throughout the day on whether I think it's breezy-and-beachy-big or if it's just too big.  I've had multiple friends tell me that no, it doesn't look too big and it is just breezy and beachy, but they are my friends so maybe they're just trying to spare my feelings.  Either way, I've worn it every day since I finished it (I'm actually wearing it now) so I guess that means I like it enough to not rip out and knit one size least, not yet.  Anyone have an opinion?

After I finished my Sandshore, I started working on some fingerless mitts (Ameliorate by Hunter Hammersen) for a friend's birthday.  I don't have any pictures of those in progress, however.  They're going quickly as well.  The right one is done and I started on the left last night.  That makes two projects in a row that aren't socks!  But don't worry, the obsession isn't over and I have a pair lined up for right after the mitts are done.

As for my other obsession, we're three weeks away from tech week for Journey to the West and it's getting crazy.  Good crazy, but crazy.  There are over 160 props in this show which is kind of insane to deal with when you have a stage management team of one (that would be me).  I've also started working on an entrance and exit plot for the costume designer, dressers, makeup designer, and hair designer.  There are boatload of fast changes (some you-have-about-30-seconds-to-change type of fast changes).  The En/Ex plot helps identify those and will help our dressers know exactly where they need to be to facilitate those changes.  

I think it will all work out, though, and hopefully I won't end up in the fetal position after tech week (in the privacy of my own home of course - no stage manager would ever assume the fetal position in front of her cast or crew).  And, because I said I would take more pictures of rehearsal, here it is (iPhone picture and quickly shot but still here).

Speaking of fetal positions, I think I'm going through a quarter-life crisis.  I'm not actually in the fetal position or anything, but I have been thinking a lot about where I want my life to go.  I have a wonderful life currently.  I live near friends and family in one of the most beautiful cities in the United States.  I have a good very well-paying job that is also flexible enough to allow me to do my theatre work.  I own my home, and am generally secure and content.  However, part of me wants to sell the home, quit my current job, and move to New York City to try and stage manage professionally.  Crazy, right?  The thing is, theatre really is my true passion, and my dream would be to someday stage manage on Broadway.  So, I could very easily spend the rest of my life safe and content, or I could take a major chance that could end in total disaster or could be the best thing I've ever done.  

Realizing that this could very well be a temporary insanity sort of thing, I'm not making that decision anytime soon.  I'm going to give myself a year (plus, I'm already committed to shows through next April).  If, after a year, I'm still feeling this desire, I'm going to take a very hard look at making this move.  I couldn't even write the words "I will go" in that last sentence because the whole idea really scares the pants off me.  But, if no one ever did something crazy that scares the pants off them, nothing great would happen, right?