RoCkInG The Boat!

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Monday, January 03, 2005

I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice

Well, I can't say that the start of '05 is so far any major improvement over the end of'04: I'm still jobless, the temperature has plummetted into the low 30's by day/20's by night, and I'm coming down with some sort of bug.

Still, I'm plugging away at the job applications, and am hoping some calls for interviews start to trickle in pretty darned soon. I've told myself that if no prospects are forthcoming by the middle of the month (about 2 weeks from today), I'll schlep myself down to the temp agencies and get the ball rolling on some sort of gainful employment.

In the meantime, this week is going to be rather Hellish (aside from whatever bug I'm fighting), as by Sunday, I'll have worked on three major theatrical events: Consolidated Works "Heaven & Hell" New Years party & fundraiser, which I've been helping break down the past couple of days; Empty Space Theatre's"S.O.S. Cabaret" fundraiser on Thursday and Friday night; and then back to ConWorks on Friday, and all day Saturday for 14/48, "the world's quickest theatre festival".

Mind you, this is all volunteer labor on my part, which is perfectly fine with me, just don't come expecting to see me onstage or anything. In these situations, I'm usually somewhere behind the scenes, hanging or unhanging lights, moving furniture, cooking pasta, and generally trying my best to make things easier for the people who are doing the show.

Fortunately, these are all good causes, worthy organizations, and since I've got the free time right now, it just makes sense to pitch in and lend a hand. It helps fill my day, it helps them get some valuable work done, I usually get to hang out with really great people, and I have the satisfaction of knowing I'm doing something positive for my community.

Some people might suggest I'm putting deposits into some sort of Karma bank, that all this good will and selfless activity will be returned to me in some fashion, but really, that's not why I do it. I genuinely enjoy being able to contribute. As I get older the need to be the center of attention, the one in the spotlight getting the applause, just seems to be of less importance than it used to. It's a great feeling, don't get me wrong, but so is the one you get for example, when 75 hungry actors, directors, technicians and musicians walk away from the Paul Bunyan-sized stack of pancakes and scrambled eggs you've spent all morning preparing, feeling full and warm and re-energized, and ready to throw themselves into whatever madness has been created out of the fevered mind of some playwright who's agonized through a long night under the pressure of having to come up with 10 minutes worth of blazingly insightful and funny material, because it's gotta get done by 9:00 a.m. or else literally everybody is up the proverbial creek without a canoe, let alone a paddle. And so, you do what you can to make everyone feel just a little less cold, a little more awake, a little less cranky, and a little more appreciated, because believe me, nobody involved is making a dime off this endeavor, not even the people who organize the whole thing; they're lucky just to break even. But, you do it anyway, because you love it, despite the insane schedule, the impossible deadlines, and the sheer terror of having to make it all work in the span of 24 hours -- then turn around and repeat the entire process all over again the next day.

The really crazy part is, far more often than anyone has any right to imagine, these things turn out to be pretty bloody brilliant.

And being a part of that experience is great, no matter how you're involved.

Posted byCOMTE on 8:44 PM

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