Back in Black(box)

Hello, Internet, today is Wednesday, July 3rd (what?) and tech week at the Grand Bank Regional Theatre Festival is in full swing.

I suppose I should qualify that: the first of THREE CONSECUTIVE TECH WEEKS is in full swing. Today is the second full day of Q2Q (non-theatre folks, that means going through the show and running each moment when the lights change, or sound effects happen), which means full days spent in a big black room… so, obviously, the sun has come out and it’s started to be summer.

But, you know what it means? We open the season this Friday! Woo!

Oh my goodness, being back in the saddle is great.

This time last year, I was enjoying quite a relaxed season at this festival, but the years leading up to it had burned me right out. Being a professional artist is stressful. Huge amounts of uncertainty, both about how you fill your days and how you pay your bills. The competition (even in as friendly an environment as the Newfoundland community). Grant-writing. Part-time, minimum-wage jobs. Big plans for personal projects and just no time at all to work on them. If I could just gracefully go from one gig like the GBRTF to another forever, I would be set… but it doesn’t work like that.

And running away to New Zealand was an excellent, excellent thing for me to have done with my past year. Besides the incredible Southern Hemisphere adventures, I also got to borrow someone else’s life for a little while: a full-time office job, community theatre on the side, balancing my social life around a 9-5, Monday-to-Friday schedule. I had a great time there, I enjoyed that life, and I now have a much better understanding of why it is such a popular choice.

But I only really loved it because it was temporary. I didn’t feel trapped, because I could leave whenever I wanted. I didn’t feel unfulfilled, because my “project” was to be somewhere else for a while, to live differently, in a different place, with different people. And I think that project was an amazing success.

I loved New Zealand, and I love many of the people I met there and I have every intention of getting back just as soon as I can afford it. But this life – the one where I work my tail off in theatre for not-so-very-much-money but get to be my whole self and fulfilled by my work – is the one I want to live.

And if I ever change my mind, I’ll be one heck of an office administrator. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I have mad skillz in Microsoft Excel.

Now. Please to be checking out this here Google Calendar and planning your visit to Grand Bank. Because you KNOW you want to come.