Friday, February 8, 2013

Basking in kindness

I used to get incredibly nervous when my work went up in front of the public. I don't anymore. I used to worry about what everyone would think of me. Of my work. I don't anymore. Instead, I find myself hoping the audience is having a satisfying experience.

Again, another long day. We were in tech from 10-6, then a reception from 6-8, and then a performance from 8- ...well, we didn't know how long it would run. The creative team actually took a betting pool, guessing the running time. (Ned who played the main character won $9 with his guess of 74 minutes. Actually it ran 67.)

When I hire people now, I make sure that they are mentshes. Because you know what? You can have all the talent in the world, but if you treat other people like crap, what good is the talent, really? Because none of us do this kind of work for the money, and so we need to be good to each other. All this is to say that we had a gorgeous team of people working together. I mean, GORGEOUS. Everyone was kind. Everyone was talented. Everyone was patient. Everyone was flexible. Everyone was on time. Everyone was professional. Everyone was supportive of the others. And you know, when you are working for way too little money (I am not talking about myself -- I am talking about what freelance theater artists get paid) this work and social ethic is just essential.

And I think it contributed to my having moments of joy throughout a day when I was wearing many hats, and had many stresses, and was taking care of many people. It was, by definition, not a day for selfish joy. It was a day to make sure that every other person was cared for. The director. The projection designer. The audience. The box office staff. The press. The play itself. And yet, there were moments when I sat on the stairs with the director, and leaned my head on his shoulder and laughed in a way you do when you are close in a heightened and compressed amount of time. And yet, there were moments when I sat in the auditorium and wept at the art itself. And moments when the audience started filling the hall (and filled it completely to capacity—including 6 obstructed view seats) and some were friends, and some were Important People, and some of the Important People were also very kind people, and that filled my heart with joy as well.

So, gratitude is the precursor to joy, right? So, thank you. Thank you to everyone I got to work with these past weeks. Thank you to everyone who attended. Thank you to everyone who said a kind word. I hope you had a satisfying experience.

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