Stray Observations One Month Out of The Princemaker

  • I raise money for a living. I am a development professional. I spend eight hours a day every week day writing grant applications, donation acknowledgements, and in general soliciting funds from complete and total strangers. I use Big Boy Words like "Invaluable," "Stewardship," and "ROI." I process thousands of dollars every day and organize copies of the checks in little books, and then I take the L Train home. So why in the fuck do I find it so hard to ask friends and family for money through IndieGoGo? Why do I have to subtly include links to my crowdfunding page in my blog posts? Why can't I use the same skills I've gained over years of working in non-profit development to support my own creative endeavors? I don't have the answers to these questions, but I suspect pride and hubris is involved.
  • Memorizing lines gets harder with age. When I was producing my plays in high school I'd have the script memorized within the first week of rehearsal. My reasoning would always be the same: "I wrote it, I should know it!" This time around? Fuck if I could tell you the names of the characters, let alone what those characters say. I have no idea what's coming next during rehearsals. On the one hand this is exciting and liberating, and on the other hand I'm wondering if I've been having tee many martoonis recently.
  • Expressing gratitude isn't hard, and more people need to learn how to do it. Saying please and thank you is a big part of who I am. I feel as though I can be a real asshole sometimes. I'm a real fairweather friend and a not-so-good listener, so I try to buy my way into Heaven by saying things like "I really appreciate it," and "This means the world to me." It's not hard. I just say the words. I mean them, I mean them sincerely, but saying them is the important thing. It's easy. It's easier when you're doing it online, and a lot of the communication I've been doing for this production has been remote and through the Internet. We're sharing our venue with a bunch of other shows, so I'm very much in the process of trying to work with their producers and with the people running the venue. I'm shocked at a) how much people expect from their colleagues and b) how little they give in return, not in terms of goods and services but in plain old please and thank you. I should hold it against them more than I do. But then I remembered that they weren't raised by my mom.
  • Having fun is a choice. I'm doing what I love. I'm following my dream. I'm putting that dream into action with the help of a bunch of super awesome people. Ostensibly I'm following my dream because it's fun, and it is fun. It's fun to do theatre. But staring at a page full of edits knowing that your show is ten minutes too long and then looking at the clock and realizing that you have a real job to get to in four hours doesn't seem like fun. That's where the work of having fun comes in. It's a choice, having fun. I believe that, and I think I can prove it. Trampolines are fun, right? They're fun to be on. But you have to make the choice to jump up and down on them. Trampolines are no fun at all if all you can think about is how unstable the rubber is when you're just sitting there. So don't just sit there. Jump up and down. But not literally. If you're trying to make yourself have fun at the DMV, please don't jump up and down, they'll get upset. Instead, imagine everyone on line is on acid. Or just drop acid yourself. But don't do that. Please