Friday, June 29, 2012

New Phase

I just finished my first week of rehearsal with the cast. Molly plays Amanda, the mother. The rest of the cast I had never met before. Laura, the daughter, is played by a young woman named Francine while Tom, the main character, is played by a (pretty hot) guy named Marshall. The Gentleman Caller is played by a guy named Rudy. Overall, my cast is friendly and I think working with them will be smooth.

I have a production meeting tomorrow where I will meet all of the designers for the first time. Molly is the assistant costume designer so she’ll be there which will be nice. At least I’ll know someone besides Tucker and Eddie. I feel prepared for it so I’m not too worried.

Volunteering at the shelter is going well and so are my classes. Working at Bruno’s has gotten to be better with regard to me and Brad. I think he’s started moving on, which is a good thing. I talked to Bruno and told him about my new job as a stage manager and let him know that during our performance season, I’ll have to change my shift to be day time since our shows are on at night. Weekends will be really tricky. I think I’ll have to work in the afternoon and then come back after the 7:30 performances are done. Bruno is being pretty flexible about it so I’m incredibly lucky in that regard.

My stipend for the show was deposited into my savings account a few days ago and it was a weird feeling to have my savings account contain more than $100 for the first time in months. I, of course, had to budget it out to pay for rent, bills, and student loan payments, but I still have some left which is nice. I might take myself shopping once the show is done to reward myself, especially since I haven’t been shopping for a really long time…at least not for fun. The last time I went shopping for clothes was when Zoey took me to buy underwear and socks right after the fire. Most of the clothes in my closet are things the girls gave/bought me. They have good taste, but it would feel GREAT to reward myself with a sexy little dress or a big comfy sweater from closing my first theatre show. We open on July 26th and close on September 9th

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I met with Tucker and I can certainly see why he’s difficult to work with, and I can’t honestly say I’m thrilled to be working with him. We met at a cafĂ© nearby Eddie’s theatre. I introduced myself and then grabbed an iced coffee and a muffin before coming back to our table to get down to business.

Tucker was wearing fake thick-rimmed hipster glasses, a plaid vest over a shabby blue t-shirt, and a pair of gunmetal gray jeans. He has a beard and mousey brown hair. I was wearing a pair of dark blue jeans and a simple black t-shirt and my hair was up in a simple pony tail. I decided to ask Tucker some questions to get a better understanding of his directing style and expectations of me as his stage manager.

“Do you prefer to take a five minute break every 55 minutes or a ten minute break every 80 minutes?”

“I don’t really allow breaks.”

“Really? Because Eddie told me that even though we aren’t a union-affiliated theatre, we’re supposed to be following union rules and those break times are fairly standard.”

“Well, Eddie doesn’t have to know.” He said whipping out his iPhone to text something.

“Actually, he does. I have to send him a rehearsal report at the end of every rehearsal so that he can be kept in the loop. He IS one of the producers and the owner of the theatre so it’s necessary that he receives my reports and he’ll be looking to see that we’re following union rules. Eddie wants his theatre to be classified as a union house soon and it’s important that we apply union rules for him to get that classification.”

I noticed that Tucker wasn’t paying attention. Or texting. He was staring at my chest. I cleared my throat and he looked up.

“Fine, whatever. Every 80 minutes, I guess.” He said looking at his phone again.

“We’ll also need to assign one day a week as a dark day where we don’t have any rehearsals or shows. When we switch to performances, our dark day will be Monday, but for the rehearsal period, it can be whatever day you’d like. The previous stage manager hasn’t been returning any of my attempts to contact her for the existing schedule so I think I’m going to have to make one. Which day would you prefer?”

“We didn’t have a schedule.”

“How is that even possible?” I said getting frustrated at Tucker’s lack of cooperation.

“I would decide whether or not I wanted to have rehearsal and all of the cast was on call.”

He then resumed looking at my chest, which, I want to point out was not on display. I was wearing a t-shirt. At this point I decided to cut the crap.

“Hey,” I snapped my fingers at him, “Eyes up here, Tucker. This is how this is going to go: I’m going to make a schedule and give you the opportunity to approve it, then I will have Eddie approve it and we will start giving the cast an actual schedule to follow. We will follow union rules. And you will STOP LOOKING AT MY BOOBS.”

Tucker looked up at me again and leaned forward.

“I like a woman who takes charge.” He waggled his eyebrows at me.

“Never gonna happen.” I said sitting back in my chair and crossing my arms over my chest.

“You wouldn’t regret it. I’m an excellent ride.” He said winking at me.

“Oh, I seriously doubt that. Can we please just keep things professional? You lost your fist stage manager because you were dating and things ended badly, so let’s just avoid repeating that particular event.”

“Fine, but only because the integrity of my show is more important than you tempting me away from my artistry.”

I rolled my eyes and got back to business. Within an hour we hammered out a schedule and I e-mailed it to Eddie for approval. He got back to me in five minutes saying it looked great. I really have my work cut out for me with this show when it comes to dealing with Tucker. What a skeeze.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One Giant Leap...

I had my career changer class last night. We mostly worked on how to sell yourself in an interview using your previous career’s experiences and applying it to a hypothetical new career path. We did mock interviews for the majority of the class with Sue correcting us as we went. I felt kind of silly but I learned a few really helpful tips.

As everyone was gathering their things to leave, Sue passed around a sign-up sheet for our private consults. I signed up for a time and then approached her.


She turned around from packing her briefcase.

“Yes, Faith?”

“I was wondering if I could talk to you about something for a minute…”

“Okay. Go for it.”

“I’ve been offered a work opportunity that could lead to a career but I really just need some advice.”

“What field is it in?”

“It’s in theatre. I would be a stage manager.”

“And you used to work in HR, right?”


“What kind of advice are you looking for?”

“Well…whether or not I should take it.”

We laughed.

“Hmmm. Theatre is a risky career choice. There’s so much competition and the pay isn’t as great or as stable as pretty much any other job. But, if you take this opportunity, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to commit to it as a new career choice. I’d say go for it. Opportunities like this don’t come around that often, especially for professional theatre spots. If you don’t like it, take your paycheck and look for something else, I say.”

I thanked her and thought about what she said on my short walk home. I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of taking the stage management job for the past two days. When I got home, I plopped down next to Molly.

“Hey, how did your class go?” She asked.

“I think you should give me Eddie’s number.” I said.


“Yeah, but I have a feeling I’m going to regret this somehow.” I sighed as Molly ran to get her phone.

I spoke with Eddie for about 25 minutes and e-mailed him my resume. He hired me after a short phone interview and then gave me all the details. I start tomorrow. I’ve spent most of the day being e-mailed all sorts of documents and phone numbers and calendars for the production. The show is The Glass Menagerie. The director’s name is Tucker and I’m going to meet him for lunch later today, here’s hoping I don’t immediately regret this.

Monday, June 18, 2012

An Actual Paycheck?

My new cooking class is super fun! The teacher’s name is Ty and he’s a 30-something guy with a serious passion for food. He taught us how to make five-cheese ravioli during our first class. Our class is 8 weeks long and he asked us all to write down things we wanted to learn on 3x5 cards. Some people asked about appetizers while others wanted to learn desserts. Ty said that we would do a unit on appetizers but desserts were going to have to be for another class because the techniques are usually more advanced. I might sign up for that one after this class finished up.

The best part about this class is that Ty doesn’t use overly complicated and difficult recipes; a lot of them are actually a mixture of homemade and store-bought. Like, for the ravioli, we used store bought pasta sheets to make them but we made our own egg washes with seasonings to add our own touch and build the ravioli ourselves. And we made the sauce from a combination of homemade and store bought stuff, too.

My career-changer class is only 6 weeks long and is taught by an older woman named Sue. Aside from career-changing advice, she also gives financial and budget advice. She also teaches a class completely about finances and budget that I’m considering taking once this one is over. Our first class was kind of boring but we had to get a lot of procedural stuff down, like resumes and cover letters. Next week is how to sell yourself and your skills to different fields. And our last class, all of us get to schedule a time with Sue for a personal consult.

When I got home from work, Molly was home. She usually has rehearsal or work at the hotline so I was surprised to see her.

“Hey.” She said from the couch, “You want some wine?”

“Sure,” I said grabbing a glass from the cupboard and setting my bag down.

I joined her on the couch and kicked my shoes off.

“I didn’t think you’d be home.” I said as she poured.

“Well, rehearsal is kind of…on hold for right now.”

“Really? I thought rehearsals were pretty inflexible.”

“They are. The whole production has been put on hold.”


“Our stage manager and director got into a HUGE fight. The stage manager quit so Eddie has to find a new one and they aren’t really easy to come by. No one wants to work with our director. He’s not a very easy person to work with.”

“Who is Eddie?”

“He’s the producer, he owns the theatre we’ve been working with for this show.”

“Wow.” I said taking a sip of wine, “So are you going to audition for a different show and leave this one?”

“I honestly don’t know yet. Hence the wine. It’s a pretty dire situation, Faith. I really need the money this show would bring in. I could finally pay off my car with some of it. They’re paying me to act and to be a seamstress for the costume designer. Aside from the financial pay off, working with this designer is a big opportunity for me career-wise. I don’t know what to do yet.”

“Well, if the stage manager quit, something big must have happened. I remember stage managing in college for a few shows and it’s a tough job but usually you just go with the flow. I wonder what happened.”

“There are rumors that they were sleeping together and things ended badly…but you’ve stage managed?”

“Molly, my bachelor’s degree is IN theatre. It was my major. I have a double major in communications and theatre. I thought you knew that?”

“UM. NO. Faith you should throw your hat into the ring! Give me your resume; I’ll give it to Eddie!”

“Molly, I haven’t worked in theatre since college. There are more qualified people out there, trust me. Besides, you just told me how much of a nightmare the director is to work with. I don’t need that. Not after working with Kevin.”

Molly was really discouraged and finished off her glass of wine. I felt bad for her and wanted to cheer her up so I kind of lied.

“I’ll…I’ll think about it, okay?” I said.

“Really, Faith!? I think it would be awesome if we worked together. I promise, I’m an ideal actor, I’m always on time and I memorize my lines really fast. You wouldn’t have to worry about a single problem when it comes to me!”

“I said I’d think about it, Molly, not that I’ll do it.”

“Do you want to know how much you’d be paid?” She asked giving me a sideways glance.

“Molly….I said I’d thi-”

She blurted the number out and I was flabbergasted. It was a lot of money. I’ve been living paycheck-to-paycheck since working at Bruno’s. I’ve only really been able to save a small amount of money because my student loans are so expensive. I’ve only been able to pay off the interest since the fire, but taking that job would fix a lot of that. I’d be paid half when the show closed and half when I signed my contract. I would have enough money to pay off one of my smaller student loans and even have a small reminder of what my savings account looked like before being unemployed and losing all my stuff in the fire.

I wasn’t really going to think about taking the job, I just told Molly that so she wouldn’t get too sad while drinking but I’m seriously considering it now. Am I crazy?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weekly Commitment

Today was my first day at the animal shelter. It’s a no-kill shelter and there are so many different kinds of animals. It’s sort of far away, I had to borrow Molly’s car in order to get to it but it’s a big place so it was easy to find. They have cats and dogs but they also have farm animals that are up for adoption, too so they have a large acreage for the goats, horses, pigs, and even a baby cow that somehow wandered onto the property. During my weekly shift I’m in charge of picking up the poop in the yard that the dogs play in and making sure the water trays in the barn and other outdoor areas are filled. After my chores are done, I get to hang out with the animals for as long as I want. I took a big German shepherd named Bruce out for a walk along the property along with a little white toy poodle named Margot, a fat bulldog named Sam, and a pit bull named Sarah. After that I brushed a black pomeranian named Todd.

I didn’t go into the cat area; I don’t think I’m ready. I did see it from far away, though. The cats all seem to have their own little area but mostly live in a large communal area with lots of toys, cat trees, and scratching posts. The litter box room is off to the side and is its own separate space for the cats to get some privacy. There also looks to be another room but I don’t know what it’s for.

Nancy is the volunteer supervisor at the shelter and she’s a very nice woman. She was wearing jeans and a blue plaid shirt over a black tank top when I walked in and shook her hand. She gave me the tour of the acreage and the volunteer sign-in area. Then she showed me how they end up taking animals.

“Obviously, when an animal is brought here we can’t put them into the regular population until they’ve been given a health screen.” She said walking into a large white room full of metal cages and medical equipment, “This is where the animals are kept until their health screens are complete. We have several vets that volunteer their time here to assess the health of our animals new and old. Our shelter mainly relies on volunteers in order to do what we do. There are only three paid employees: me, Jan, and Doc. Jan is our vet tech, she monitors the health of our animals and makes sure they get the health care they need if they ever get sick. Doc helps maintain the facility. He fixes fences, mows the grass, that kind of stuff. I run the website and manage the volunteers.”

She ended the tour back at the front desk.

“We are mostly funded by private donations. A lot of people give us food for the animals but it usually isn’t enough to last for a significant amount of time. There are a few local businesses that donate some of their profits to us and, of course, small donations from families that are familiar with what we do. We also make money from the adoption fees of the animals.”

I asked if there were any pamphlets that I could maybe give out at work and she handed me a box of them. I think Bruno might be interested in helping the shelter out so I’m going to talk to him about it when I go to wok later. I’m sure he’ll at least let me set out the pamphlets to help advertise it.

I had a fun time at the shelter and I think it will be a nice escape for me to have every week. My cooking class and career-changer class starts up this week, too. I like being busy. I think I’ve been so complacent about my life ever since Sean and I broke up that I’ve forgotten what it feels like to have plans that don’t revolve around anyone else but myself.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Now that I’ve decided to take some time away from dating and just focus on myself I’ve started a bunch of projects. I bought a gym membership to try and get myself more active, I can’t just sit around eating pizza and watching Project Runway all day after all. I also started a painting project in my room. I’m painting some cherry blossom sprigs on my walls and Molly even helped me make some new curtains for my room. They’re gauzy and really open it up with light.

I’ve also taken an interest in our balcony garden. I repotted some plants into old pots that I re-painted and got rid of a dying and infested spider plant in exchange for a new one. Basically, I’ve been a busy-body and I’m looking into some adult classes I could take at the community center. The hula hopping class I took there was fun but I eventually stopped because there’s just not enough room in city apartments to hula hoop. Maybe I can bring my hoop to the gym and do it there. There are a couple classes that interest me. One is a cooking class and I could seriously use some cooking help, I only know how to prepare a few dishes and mostly rely on microwaveable food or take-out. There’s another one that is a class about changing careers that I think would be practical to take. I can’t be a bartender forever and I certainly don’t want to be one forever so I think that class will give me a nice kick to get back in the game with a career job. The last class is a self-defense class. I’m not sure if I’ll enroll in it or not, I think the fees for the cooking class and career changer class are high enough so I might put that self-defense class on the back-burner for now.

In other news, my brother and Shannon broke up. I don’t know why and I kind of don’t want to. I figure it’s between him and Shannon and if he wants to share then he will. My mom called me with the news to try and get my take on it but I had nothing to say about it, really. I wouldn’t want people poking into my break-ups uninvited so I’m not going to do it to my brother. I guess she moved out and they are totally over. There was a time when they might have gotten back together but it’s Facebook official that they are over so I guess that’s that.

I start volunteering in one a shelter next week and I’m super excited about it. I think with the community center’s classes, my gym membership, work, and volunteering and the shelter, I’m going to be plenty busy and have lots of time to focus on myself. I can’t believe it’s already been two months since the fire. They still haven’t figured out who did it but there haven’t been any other arson cases that seem like the same suspect so I guess that’s a good thing. People were worried about a serial arsonist being on the loose but it doesn’t look like that’s the case, at least not with my building’s fire. I got an e-mail from Randy the other day. He and Teddy ended up moving to Seattle and they’re very happy there. Apparently, his wife’s family is based there and it’s been really good for Teddy to have that connection so I’m happy for them.