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.

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Mid-Week Catch Up

OK, it is my hope to recap the first half of this week in today’s entry so that we’re all caught up on my life. I’m sure most of you were waiting with baited breath.

Monday

As previously mentioned, I spent the better part of the morning waiting for Time Warner to come out a repair whatever was going wrong with my cable. After about 30 seconds, the guy had everything fixed, and my life could resume as normal. Then, I hightailed it over to my sister’s so I could have my Tully time. I mean, can you imagine not wanting to spend every second of your day with this puppy face?

Best Dog Ever

Love.

Then headed to the city to grab drinks and a giant German pretzel, which I fully counted as my dinner. It was so delicious. To make up for that potential error in judgement, I came home and did a quick 2 mile shake-out run to uncoil from the 10k on Saturday. To my amazement, I finished the 2 miles in 20:36 making it my fastest time ever. I think the lesson learned here is that beer and pretzels make me a better runner!

Tuesday

Tuesday afternoon had me in an interview with a fancy Tony Award winner. And trust me, her office is FANCY. It was hard to pay attention when I could see the green trees of Central park straight through the conference room window!

I came home for my afternoon of Tully, then as evening rolled in, found all my friends gathered around my sister’s living room to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones (which everyone loving allowed me to pre-empt for the Tony Awards on Sunday night). I’ve mentioned our little commune in Astoria before, and nights like this just reinforce how much I love it! It’s the perfect mix of rabid fans, clueless watchers, (I’m afraid I fall into this last category, always asking, “wait, who is this again?”) playful pups, and well, and vodka. I rarely laugh as much as I do when gathered in this group. It was a great night!

Wednesday

Wednesday started off as a pretty normal day. I spent some time with Tully, returned a few phone calls, sent out a million resumes, and moved a wardrobe up three flights of stairs. Oh right, that last part was maybe not so normal. One of my friends is relocating to Manhattan and was looking to give away his wardrobe. Since Cousin Susan is still living out of her suitcase on the floor since arriving here in February, I jumped on the opportunity to help remedy that situation. For whatever reason, I completely flaked out on making any plans to actually move the wardrobe, so thankfully Gail came to the rescue and rented a Zipcar, and she and my brother-in-law headed out to pick up the wardrobe. After hauling it downstairs, Nick, Cousin Susan, and I dragged that heavy thing up the three flights of stairs into my living room. Hooray! we celebrated our victory with wine (naturally). Pics tom come once Sus and I get it reassembled. It’s pretty cute!

Okay, whew, that catches us up to Thursday, which was a pretty epic day. Hoping to get that entry written later today.

Welcome (Back)?

I thought maybe having a new blog home would help me a little on the actual writing part of keeping a blog, so I have made the leap here to fancy WordPress and we’ll see how it goes.

Life for this theatrical girl for the last two months has consisted of finding joy when I come in $.32 under my mint.com budget for groceries every month (anyone else? groceries are expensive y’all.) Yes, the theatre unemployment bug has finally worked its way into my life and has caused me to slow down a little and readjust life in the big city.

I’ve also filled my days by finally realizing the end is near for my dear Friday Night Lights, so I’m finally starting the fourth season. I’ve been putting it off for so long just because I don’t want my days of watching the Taylors pour coffee in their kitchen to ever end. That’s probably the least descriptive thing I could have ever said about this amazing show, but really, if you watch it, then you know what I mean. Brillance.

And then, there’s the running. Running. I keep waiting for the moment that I’m like, “oh my gosh! I LOVE this.” But really, I’m afraid that day won’t come until June 29th, when the Astoria Park Pool opens for the summer, and this lifelong swimmer can get back in the chlorine where she belongs. That being said, I’m still trying really hard to be a runner. Sometime that means signing up for races after a few too many glasses of wine (re: this Saturday’s NYRR Mini 10k) and for me it means the only thing that gets me out the door is the knowledge that when I get home, I can plug in my Nike+ and pull up my endomondo webpage and see all the CHARTS AND GRAPHS that come from doing a sport where GPS can track you. Motivation is motivation, right? And I’m totally convinced that you can run as far as you lie to your body about. For me this Saturday, that will start after about mile 1.2. You’re almost finished (with 5 miles to go…).

And as far as the job search goes, I find myself interviewing again, which is a weird thing after working so steadily for so long. How do you convince people you’re a good company manager? (For those three people reading my blog that aren’t related to me, a Broadway company manager is the liaison between the producers and the company – in charge of everything from ticket inventory to union reports to payroll to dressing room paint colors. Simply put, if someone doesn’t know who does x thing in the theatre, that job is most likely the company manager’s). It is an insane job with crazy hours and crazier stories, but I just can’t help but love it.  In any case, I am finding it difficult to really get across the kind of company manager I am. It’s sort of like one of those stories that ends with, “oh, well, I guess you had to be there.” It probably won’t be long before I’m calling colleagues of mine and asking them to tell the people I’m interviewing with the same story, just so that maybe it will be funnier coming from someone else. Whatever, interviewing is weird.

However, what prompted me to start this blog up about stories that pop up in my life that make me laugh was this text I received from my mom right before my latest interview. I texted her to let me know that I was headed into the interview and to wish me luck. Here is her response:

Be yourself, use your humor and show your fantastic personality. You’ll have them at “hello”… borrowed the quote from Jerry Maguire.

See, if you want to have any doubt where finding the humor in things comes so naturally to me, all you need to know is in this quote. My mom, so lovingly doling out positive thoughts to her nervous daughter, including borrowing a line from a movie made in 1996, and then attributing the quote to the original source. You know, just so I didn’t think my mom, the recently retired public school teacher was plagiarizing. Or, also, just making sure I was impressed by her knowledge of pop culture (which I was, I mean, it really is amazing that she got the name of the movie right.) Thankfully, I got this text after the interview, because I was laughing and crying at random intervals for the rest of the day.

So, there you have it, a pretty good overview of what I’m hoping to share with this blog. Just a place to share my random thoughts and stories and make you all realize my mom is the best ever. 🙂