Tired but Exhilarated (oh, and go see a show)

I am bushed.

I spent most of my break from my “regular” job running about Baltimore attempting to make a design a reality. I did the scenic design for a show called Where the Whangdoodle Sings and it is being presented by a local (to Baltimore) theatre company called Generous Company. A number of my good friends are in the company and having heard the script at a reading, I was extremely excited to be invited into the process. The script is new to the scene and I was profoundly affected by the piece when I first heard it read two years ago. The piece has definitely shifted since I first heard it, but the core energy of the work is preserved with an honesty that I often find lacking in modern pieces. As a designer, the script gave me plenty of tasty puzzles that mapped a landscape of strength and simplicity. My aesthetic is well suited to such a landscape.

The elements of lights, set, costumes, and props are things that the audience doesn’t often consider. The production team is meeting and collaborating long before the actors set foot in rehearsal. The director presents the vision and then we fly.  As the great Eleanor Fuchs says, each play is a tiny planet with its own rules, climate, passage of time etc.  That planet is born anew with every new production. The design is where our understanding of the planet begins to breathe. As a set designer, I offer the actors a world to play within and I offer an audience an invitation to come join them. The other designers sculpt their own invitations and together we create a collaborative effort that looks effortless once the actors give our elements life.

Whangdoodle was not easy to realize. There were definite limitations that characterized our work and ,ultimately, made it our own by blood and fire. Perhaps I sound melodramatic, but over the course of the eight days I was in Baltimore, I saw and experienced every possible emotion such a process can inspire. What overwhelms me most is my feeling of bone deep  gratitude. So deep is my gratitude that, if you would humor me, I would like to raise a figurative glass and give some toasts:

To the Alchemist and  the BrightLady!  (for housing myself and Handsome for the week, hauling my butt around on so many shopping trips and trips to the theatre, and glorious conversation)

To Herculine! (for stepping up and putting my dreams together into physical structures)

To Strong-Woman! (for helping me complete effects that would never have been finished without her assistance)

To Handsome! (for joining me for New Years and then offering copious love and support in the brief moments we could spend together)

To Wonder Woman! (who ran such a tight ship in the midst of stormy waters)

To Jesus Christ! (for keeping me together and keeping my focus outside of myself)

This show is good. The team that put this together is a fine group of people who are all dedicated to telling this story with honesty and love. If you are in the Baltimore area in the next two weeks, take an evening and go see Where the Whangdoodle Sings at the Baltimore Theatre Project (dates and times can be found by clicking the link preceding these parentheses). Tis a piece worth experiencing.

Still Alive

Apparently Banned Book Week must have sapped out a good portion of my blogging energy because it has been far too long since I sat to write. Suffice it to say I have also been quite busy trying to maintain my overall health in the face of an interesting schedule coupled with the stress of making sure that all is safe during the event….and then add on that the fact that I am trying to scrape my desires together in order to figure out how I want to approach the rest of my life. Does anyone else think that sentence sounded extremely melodramatic? (and also not exactly a paragon of grammatical correctness, Persephone is going to twitch out just reading it…and this one too 😉 Anyway, poorly phrased melodrama aside, life is not so bad over here. The insane hours do allow for a couple good things, like three full days off that I have been using to the fullest. The fact that they are Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday are even better because we basically do not have to worry about any place we visit being crowded. When I say “we” I am referring to a core group of coworkers that I often find myself in the company of for Monday-Funday adventures. Although I am tired, I am continually awed by the fact that I am blessed with so many fantabulous people in my life. Still, I am getting extremely restless. While there are some aspects of my location that I enjoy (like going to the beach in mid- October, that is really awesome), I have this ache in between my shoulder blades that won’t quit. My coworkers would probably place the cause on the stupidly heavy set pieces I help to move, but it’s more of a constant itch that only starts to get painful when I am ready to move on from somewhere. The uncertainty of my near future is something I am basking within, and I do not fear the fact that I  have no immediate knowledge of where I am going next, or when that where will become a reality. Nor am I intimidated by the possibilities that lie ahead.  As I told a coworker tonight, “One day, you’re going to die. There is nothing in life that should intimidate you in the face of that knowledge.” To some, that statement may sound morbid, but for me it is a reminder not to waste my time being anxious. Once I die, I begin a completely different journey, and I will not be able to experience the things on Earth in the way that I have the opportunity to experience them now. Thus, I welcome the restlessness, I enjoy the ache, because all it means is that I am alive, and that it is time to pursue the next experience God has to offer. That’s enough for me.