POTUS

My first week at Sister Act has been a whirlwind due to the nature of both the outgoing CM’s impending maternity leave and the fact that I jumped onboard a speeding train that had just barreled through Opening Night, many early morning tv press appearances, and Tony season madness; however, nothing could have prepared me for the VIP guest that would be in the house on the one-week anniversary of my employment.

 



Sidebar: So, most of you who know me know that I have an extreme love of the brilliantly genius Aaron Sorkin series, The West Wing. Thanks to owning the DVDs and to Bravo for showing 2 hours of episodes every morning for years, I have probably seen the entire series at least five times through, and still. if I knew I could find it on tv right now, I would turn it on and watch it all over again. Game on!

 

I only quote The West Wing now, as it was the only experience I could draw from to welcome the President of the United States to Sister Act Thursday night.

No, not Martin Sheen. This President:

Um, how incredible is that? From a sheer logistics standpoint, it has been incredible the number of details that come into making appropriate arrangements, and though I am only on the cusp of the arranging, it is beyond exciting. And neve-wrecking. And a million conference calls, and lists, and id badges, and lists, and moving things, and draping things, and words such as “lockdown” and “sweep.” Excitement. The most mind-boggling thing is that they don’t really tend to share many details with you until the absolute last minute, for security reasons, so we found ourselves in several dressing rooms the night before the event saying, “ok, so, turns out, they will be commandeering this entire side of the dressing room towers after intermission, so please check in with our amazing wardrobe staff to see how they have completely re-choreographed all of your Act II quick-changes and where they will be setting up your makeshift dressing rooms for the evening” to several of the principal actors in our show.

All in all, thanks to the flexibility and brillance of our outstanding company, the event went off amazingly well. To be honest, I didn’t actually get to attend this epic performance of Sister Act, as it appears four days isn’t enough time to be vetted with the Secret Service, nor was there any need to have three company managers on hand with all of the extra people milling around backstage, but just knowing POTUS was there was an awesome feeling indeed. Also, the stage right dressing rooms now have signs on them that read “POTUS Holding Room.” Game On.

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Weekend in the Blink of an Eye

Wow. How is it Tuesday? I forgot how fast time flies when you are able to leave the house for longer than it takes to get the mail (note: technically not even leaving the house). This weekend was a whirlwind of activity, so let’s catch up, shall we?

Friday had me working my first full day at my new home at 321 Theatrical Management. Technically, the office was closed (omg, SUMMER FRIDAYS), but of course, no rest for the weary company managers. We had a super productive afternoon where I learned all about bill paying, trade requests, weekly checklists, house seats, and other assorted glamorous tasks that make the running of a musical operate smoothly. After a full day, we headed to the theatre to make the rounds. Once the statement was signed, I came home, had some dinner and a glass of wine while I wrote this ridiculously long post, and finally packed my bag for my day trip out of the city taking place Saturday morning.

Saturday, I woke up bright and early to head to Em and Nick’s place to get picked up by our good friends to head out to the Poconos for our first annual (hopefully) choir retreat! We spent all day eating / drinking wine / singing / swimming in the lake / eating / drinking wine / singing. Basically, it was my idea of heaven. Plus, the scenery couldn’t be beat:

Seriously, there is nothing like escaping the summer heat of the city to spend a day with great friends and actual fresh air. Loverly.

After an exhaustively fantastic day, we rolled back into Queens, and I promptly fell asleep in preparation for the longest. Sunday. ever.

Sunday am started at the insane hour of the runner, which I loke to call 6am. Seriously, SO EARLY. Which, of course, meant I was waking up every half an hour thinking, wait, is it 6am now? How about now? Now? Ugh. The worst!

In any case, once 6am actually rolled around, I got up and got dressed. I spent awhile packing my bag for post-race, which included singing at Mass, working in the office, covering a show and heading back to Astoria to watch the season finale of Game of Thrones. Seriously, can you imagine me thinking about all this stuff at 6am? Not pretty.

Anyway, I finally got out the door, brought my stuff over to Em’s so Nick to bring it to rehearsal for me after the race, and realized, I was probably cutting it a little short for the subway, so I jumped in a cab (feeling not guilty about it at all: yay employment!). I arrived in the park around 7:30am (ugh) and waited to meet my new CM who happened to be running the same race! Hooray for team management running a little Portugal Day 5 mi. He also was super awesome for picking up my bib and running tag for me, since I was out-of-town all day on Saturday. best. ever.

We met up, I grabbed my bib, attached my running chip thing-y, he headed up to the fast corral, and I headed to the back of the corrals because, well, because technically I’m a jogger. It was quite warm in the park (NYRR says 71 with 63% humidity – ugh). But, despite the heat and the sleepless night, it wasn’t too bad of a run. I walked the hills a little because I didn’t want to die of heat stroke. I finished the run strong though.

Race Name, Date Dist.
(miles)
Gun
Time
Net
Time
Pace
per Mile
Overall Place/
Total
Finishers
Gender Place/
Total
Females
Age Place/
Total
in Age Grp.
Age-Grd.
Time
Perf.
%
Portugal Day
June 19, 2011
5.0 1:04:04 56:50 11:22 4155 / 4630 1412 / 1713 345 / 403 56:41 42.6%

Not too bad.  My lap times were:

Mile 1 – 10:20
Mile 2 – 10:35
Mile 3 – 11:49
Mile 4 – 11:48
Mile 5 – 10:46
Mile 5 ish – 1:29

Obviously, I need to work on my stamina for those mile 3 -4, but given the heat, I’m pretty happy with the result.

CM and I met back up at the end of the race and waited to see if either of us won a trip to the Lisbon half-marathon (boo – we did not), then I jetted my sweaty, gross self off to the east side to head up to choir rehearsal which was starting in a short 25 min from my finish time.

I met up with Nick, who handed over my ridiculously heavy bag of music / flute / makeup / clothes / shoes and whatever else my sleep deprived mind needed to pack at 6am. Thankfully, St. Iggy’s has a shower in the third floor bathroom (who knew?), that I was able to jump into for about 5 seconds before throwing my nice church clothes on and heading into the choir room.

After Mass, I headed downtown to the office to go over a few more notes. We covered the matinee, then our tired legs headed back to the office to finish the week ending reports. I think we both had hit the wall by that time, so it was great when we decided our end of day treat would be frozen custard from Shake Shack. Um, I could hardly even wait to get out the door before I had devoured it. Delicious.

I headed back to Astoria to take a quick catnap before Game of Thrones. Seriously, it was like a Mac truck ran over me. Exhausted. Before I knew it, it was time to head over to Em and Nick’s and join my friends for the final viewing of the season. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint, and I was able to stay awake through the entire thing. Win.

Trudged home and fell asleep like a winner. Thank goodness for that.

Monday, saw me enjoying my first day off of the new job. I spent it watching reruns of The Good Wife. Thanks Tivo. Then, I noticed that one of my friends had mentioned on FB that he was at the gym, so hoping he had the day off, I texted to see if he wanted to grab lunch. He was, and we did, and it was a brilliant day of catching up and chatting about work and laughing. In short, an ideal way to spend a beautiful Monday afternoon.

I headed over to get some much-needed Tully time and then helped Em grade papers (she lovingly asked me to “help company manager her teaching.” Love it. She totally won me over by promising Domino’s and wine. Love.

So, there you have it. What happens when I find employment and don’t write my blog entries as I should. Epic-ness.

What about y’all? Did everyone have a good weekend? Where’s your favorite place to day-trip?

Are You Free Tonight?

Okay, when I started this blog (oh so long ago), I was in the depths of my unemployment sadness. I’d been interviewing off and on, sending out resumes like crazy, and begging anyone I knew that was employed in the theatrical world to connect me to all their connections, in the rare hopes it would lead to something…ANYTHING!

I’m sure I was starting to alienate my friends and family, and I feel this past weekend, I really entered the despair and desperation of my unemployment. I realize that in the realm of the world that two months of unemployment is nothing to be stressing out about, and I’m sure for many, it would be a welcome break! Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy having the time to replace my shower head and run and start yoga and watch Friday Night Lights and make dinners and cross all those things off the to-do list that never get accomplished when you’re working; however, logging onto my Bank of America account was starting to give me panic attacks, so for me, two months was where I hit the wall.

So, anyway, earlier this week, I received an email from a colleague of mine asking for my resume and availability. Now, my union keeps an availability list of poor company managers seeking work, so these kinds of emails were pretty standard for me to receive. Add to that the fact that I have interviewed in this office a few times before, so I really didn’t think much of it. Hit reply, said, “hey, here’s my email…hope all is well,” and promptly forgot about (though I did say a little prayer after hitting send that maybe it would lead to an interview of some sorts.)

Cut to Wednesday afternoon where after doing laundry all morning (including my duvet cover, where when I was shaking it out to put in the washer, I found my cable remote control. Oops. How would that call to Time Warner go? Um, so I just put my remote in the washer because I wasn’t paying attention…anyway, I digress) I headed to Em’s house for my daily dose of Tully love. For whatever reason, I didn’t bring my phone, since I had already talked to my mom, so would have no reason to expect any other calls. Ha. (Hi Mom!). But that day, when I got home, I had messages flashing on my IM, in my inbox, and on my phone. In checking them all, I learned that this colleague of mine was calling to see if I would be able to come in that afternoon or Thursday morning to talk with him. I called him back and discovered that they were looking for an Associate Company Manager on Sister Act, as the Company Manager was departing shortly on maternity leave, and the Associate Company Manager was bumping up. I tried to play it cool on the phone, but was DYING in my apartment. I. LOVE. Sister Act. Not only one of my favorite movies, but I loved, loved, loved the show, and obviously, having sung in church choirs my entire life, I obviously live that life (minus the convent part.) Anyway, so I scheduled my meeting for 1pm the next day. The IM was from my former ROA Company Manager telling me that she had just spoken with the Sister Act office and she was calling me to help me prepare for the interview. Dear Theatre Gods. Thank you for putting people in my life that have made me better at my job and who have watched out for me in this industry. SO. LUCKY.

Thursday morning, I was actually heading over to St. Ignatius to sing at a funeral for one of our fellow choir members who sadly had just lost her valiant battle with cancer, leaving behind her young daughter. I was so unprepared for how emotional singing at this Mass was going to be. It was such an honor to be included in the music, that I just kept telling myself I had to stop crying so I would be able to serve her beautiful spirit in the music. It was a difficult task, but somehow, I was able to stop the tears enough to sing the hymns. As always, the music at St. Ignatius was beautiful, even more so since many of the hymns were chosen by Chrissy herself.

With bittersweet emotion, I jumped into a cab on 86th and Park and attempted to pull myself together for my interview that was starting just a half hour later. I tried to redo my makeup in the car and to calm my nerves and remember all the talking points I needed to make.

Though I thought I might be late, I pulled up just on time and headed into the familiar office. I went through my interview song and dance (which I have previously mentioned is just so incredibly awkward). In the meeting was the General Manager of Sister Act, and both the current Company Manager and the soon-to-be Company Manager. After about a half an hour of me telling random ROA and Rat Pack stories, the GM excused herself and the ACM/CM and they left the room. I have to say, I honestly thought the GM had just gotten an email saying they had found someone who was a better fit, but thank you for coming in…

When they returned, they said, “We would like to go ahead and offer you the job right now.” Um, I’m sorry, what? This story cannot possibly be going down this way. My theatre stories are always full of drama and phone calls and fourth meetings and “how do you react when people scream at you” and whatever else insanity the world thinks I need to go through. I have no idea what my outwardly reaction was, but my inner self was a toss up between jumping for joy and bursting into tears (hey, thanks Xanax I took in the cab for allowing me to keep both of those reactions internal.) So, they asked if I had any questions, and so I asked, “When do you need me to start?” They looked at each other and said, “Are you free tonight?” “Yes, I am.” “Great, tonight’s payday, so it will be a great chance to introduce you around. I’ll draft up the memo welcoming you to the company and we’ll post it tonight.” I seriously cannot make up the ways these stories play out in my life. So, I filled out my paperwork, got my fancy new email address, and a received a quick introduction around the office. Then was asked to be back around 6pm for our trek to the Broadway Theatre.

I spent the next few hours calling my family and friends and texting everyone on the planet. Grabbed a quick dinner with my former assistant and box office treasurer who happened to be out around the corner from where I was texting like a madwoman, and went to Staples to buy a new notebook (impossible to start a show without a new notebook).

We went over a few things in the office then CM, mgmt asst, and I headed to the theatre. I was overwhelmed by the difference in space from the Brooks (teensy) to the Broadway (gigantic). The company is also much bigger than we had on ROA and they must have about three times the number of crew there. It was an hour full of “so nice to meet yous” and “I’m so thrilled to be here.” I think I was still in shock a little. We signed the box office statement (hey, thanks New World Stages for using the Shubert ticketing system, so I could sort of look like I knew what I was doing in the treasurer’s office). Then we snuck in to watch the end of the first act, and I was finally able to absorb what had just happened to me in the last eight hours.

Also, there’s this song:  I mean, seriously. It’s probably one of the most played songs on my iPod right now. I just love it. (you may recognize it from my 10k Playlist.)

Finally, I wrapped up my interview/work day, jumped in a cab (omg, I’m making Broadway money again, I don’t have to feel bad about taking a cab!!!) and headed to rest-au-rant where my sister and brother-in-law arranged a little impromptu party to help me celebrate my newfound employment status. So, many thanks to Em, Nick, Sus, Woody, Mary, and Joe for the Sister Act love. It was so amazing to be able to share my awesome day with you guys.

After a sandwich and a few cocktails, I was a zombie, so I dragged my tired self to the apartment and promptly feel asleep.

Much love and thanks to all who have taken this journey with me. For all the listening, MetroCard swipes, drinks, dinners, friendship, Netflix recommendations, career advice, and the numerous times you told me to have faith in myself that something amazing was sure to come along. I owe all of you the world. Now, go buy a ticket to my show.