Tag Archives: theatre

Please pass the patience

22 May

My back has been hurting lately.  If you don’t know why this is particularly frustrating for me, I suggest you read THIS, and everything will become clear.

I’m just feeling a little low right now. There are so many wonderful things in my life, but sometimes I get stuck when one or two aspects are bad. I have been working out a lot recently, like, a lot a lot.  Because you know, I’m getting married.  And all this working out is making me feel good!   Despite the good reports it gets, I’ve never been a fan of burning the ol’ calories, but I’m shocked to repot I am happy after I workout now and I’m even starting to looking forward to it.  GASP!  If you’ll remember, this all started because I said I was going to workout more so I could eat more what I wanted when I wanted.  Well, since I’ve been working out more frequently, my back has been bothering me.  And frankly, that just sucks.  I wish there was a more eloquent way to put it, but sadly, there’s not.

It’s really bad in the mornings.  Like I have trouble moving and showering and getting out of bed.  Just like last year. I think it has something to do with stillness and my back getting all tight and sore while I sleep, but who really knows? The Scottish has suggested I cut down on the working out, to which I responded, “Do you want me to be a fat bride?” My mother has suggested I see a doctor, to which I responded, “Not until I’m married with better insurance! You know I can’t afford to go see someone right now!”

Of course they’re right.  Of course I’m just mad. I’ve decided to give it a week and then I might make an appointment to see my old pal long-haired-witty-surgeon-friend. The thing is, the pain is NOT entirely like it was last year, it’s manageable for one, and two, it’s not killing my nerve causing me to lose feeling in my left leg. It’s more like a sharp pinching discomfort located where (I’m speculating) my herniated disk is… I know that someday I might need to get my disks fused together, and that I’m sort of destined to have back issues my whole life.  But the one thing I was supposed to work was strengthening my core and that’s what I was doing by working out!!  Insert catch 22 HERE.

I guess the only other option is to move south, buy a house with a swimming pool and do water aerobics for the rest of my life. (Swimming is ideal for my situation).  Sigh, or I need to be patient and listen to my body (and the smart people in my life).

Switching topics, that’s not the only low spot in my life. I don’t really like to talk about what I’m about to talk about. Truth is, I feel ashamed. I feel like a phony. But I know you are all real people too. You have good and you have bad. So I’m going to share some of my bad with you. I call myself actor, I am trained as an actor, but I haven’t been on stage since Feb. 2010. Ouch.

I was supposed to be on stage in 2011 but due to back surgery I was forced to quit the show I was working on, and I haven’t been cast in something since.   When I started this blog, I talked about finding my new creative outlet (writing!), and luckily I have been able to find new ways of fulfilling myself as an artist since quitting that show last year.

I have filmed a short movie directed and written by a friend of mine that was submitted and shown at the Oak Park Film Festival (among other festivals), I had an unpaid job doing transcription work for the wonderful Chicago-based theatre company ATC, and I’ve started (and still maintain) TWO separate blogs. Oh and I just started planning a wedding– which is definitely artistic in its own way! Not.too.shabby.

Good news is I have a few auditions on the horizon and that feels good.  The thing is, I just don’t find many shows that I can audition for because I’m traveling so much this year.  And the ones I do find are looking for men, or Latinas, or something totally and completely random!

Example of a fake audition notice:  We are looking for someone who can juggle and ride a unicycle while singing and playing piano, who speaks German with an Italian accent, who looks 20 but can play 40, who can dance 3 different types of salsa, and is trained in movement and stage combat.  WHAAA???

My fake response: “Umm I sing… a little bit,  and I’m trained in stage combat, I’ve worked on many different movement-based shows, but yea, I guess I’ll have to get back to you once I learn German and graduate from CLOWN SCHOOL.”  It’s brutal out there.  I know I’m exaggerating a bit, but I truly WISH I was kidding.  Everyone is looking for something so specific.  Sometimes I don’t feel like there’s a place for me in this new world of theatre.  Perhaps I’m too ordinary.

I could write a whole blog about being an artist and all the cons that come along with it, but truth is I wouldn’t change my life for a second. I knew I was going to be an actor since I was in 5th grade, and a few years away from the stage means nothing in lifetime of art.  But I’m lacking the patience to wait. I’m losing inspiration and hope, and just feeling lousy about the whole thing. But this is common.  This is common for artists and others. You can’t be in the right place at the right time constantly or else there’d be no journey! Plus, you can’t possibly appreciate it if you don’t know life without it.

So for now, I’m going to work on toning my arms, because thankfully they’re just flabby fine. And I’m going to keep searching for auditions that fit into my crazy-busy schedule. And I’m going to smile and count my blessings because the beauty of life is that it keeps moving. And change will come and opportunities will present themselves.

A “journey”

Here’s hoping you have not only the drive but also the patience to achieve all of your dreams!!

Quote: “Success seems to be connected with action.  Successful people keep moving.  They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”  Conrad Hilton

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This blog isn’t called “Drama Happens” for no reason/My life is crazy or maybe that’s just me

29 Jan

I started my new part-time unpaid job this weekend and wow, did I learn a crap load of new information about myself. First off, I realized that I have never sat in front of a computer for an entire day before and I was struck by the fact that it is rather odd since I am 28 years old and sit in front of a computer a lot, but never for a full day of work.

When I looked back I realized that all of the jobs I’ve had in my life have had me on my feet. In high school, I worked clothing retail and hated it. Then I went off to college for four years where I spent most of my days wearing yoga pants and Illinois t-shirts. We were constantly moving or talking and rarely sitting still which was a great help for my “not getting fat” plan. Of course we did have a very rigorous and studious course called theatre history and so yes I read text books, yes I researched, and yes I wrote long papers, but that wasn’t my norm. My very first final in acting class as a freshman was simply to die as the human-animal we had created. I think I chose to suffer from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, very tragic. Cut to life after college and I get a job as an after-school program coordinator for elementary-aged children. That was an interesting and weird time in my life because I was living in Oak Park without a solid group of friends and had a boyfriend that was still in college. I also fit the starving artist stereotype because I was a part-time server. While struggling with two un-fulfilling jobs I was talking to this girl at a pre-school about how much she made as a nanny, and I almost wet myself. “YOU MAKE WHAT?!?!” When you work for a park district and you run an after-school program you don’t get paid when the kids don’t have school, and that is quite frequently, so not only did this girl have a full-time job with kids that she seemed to enjoy but she also got paid time off. So I promptly asked my boss for more money which he declined due to the fact that I did not have a degree in teaching or childcare, so I put up an online profile on E-nanny source and within three weeks I found my current family and quit the park district. Cut to my life now where I have a job that keeps me on my feet, walking, playing, cleaning, cooking, volunteering, dancing, and laughing. Bare with me, we are almost back to my original point, which is, I have never had a job where I’ve sat at a computer all damn day.

Between Friday night and Saturday I worked a total of 11 hours transcribing for a great theatre project with a great Chicago theatre company. My body did not enjoy the work as much as my mind did, because after a few short hours I had a severe pain in my neck, my eyes were fuzzy, and I swear I developed carpal tunnel syndrome. I rewarded myself with a shower at around the mid part of the day, but my legs were so stiff I had to hobble to the bathroom. I didn’t have the energy to put on make-up or do my hair, and by the end of the day I looked pretty scary.

Then, when I had about two minutes of audio left to transcribe my computer mouse froze on me. I could not access my work and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d saved it, and the Scottish had just left to go to Chase to get cash so I started worrying. I should also point out that I wasn’t thinking clearly because my brain was fried, my body felt like a brick and I was PMSing, so the odds were not stacked in my favor. I decided to unload the dishwasher while I waited for the Scottish to return. I reassured myself that a frozen mouse is an easy fix and there was nothing to freak out about. Unfortunately, as I was putting the silverware away I slammed my middle finger in the drawer so hard that I literally screamed out in pain. I started jumping up and down. Then I heard a noise from upstairs and suddenly remembered the reason that I felt like a zombie was because the dumb ass guys who live upstairs from us had a party yesterday until well past 3 AM!!! I was up all night in and out of sleep, listening to their awful music, hearing them move furniture, wrestling, throw bowling balls, and other loud activities until an ambulance came because one of them must have gotten hurt! DO I LIVE ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS? Why is there a non-stop party above me? As I remember this I start crying and say out loud to my rude neighbors that it’s all their fault I’m so tired and finally I collapse on the couch where the Scottish finds me a few minutes later. I tell him to never, ever, under any circumstance, leave the house without me again!!

Everything works out fine in the end. Of course. We restart my laptop and find out that everything has been saved. I eat some hearty pasta for dinner and my finger eventually stops throbbing. And best news of all, the landlord tells the Scottish that he heard there was an out-of-control party last night and seems concerned enough that he will make sure it doesn’t happen again. So while my petty little problems are nothing to really care about, they are funny to laugh at and I have learned that a computer desk job is not the job for me. I need fresh air, the freedom to move, and children around to keep me sane. Two weeks from now I have another weekend of transcription, I am going to make a conscious effort to not become a loony toon by the end of the day. Can I do it?!?!

SIDEBAR: I am taking a week off from the blog…insert sad faces here….because I refuse to do any work while I’m in NYC having the time of my life! And then because I’m a crazy person, I’m also hosting a party for the Superbowl the day after I get back into town. 🙂 So the next blog entry will be on the 8th of February.

Hugs and kisses til then, and stay away from those winter blues!!
Stephanie

Quote: “Without rest a (wo)man cannot work. Without work, the rest does not give you any benefit.” Abkhasian Proverb

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