Wow. I can't believe it's been so long since I posted. This summer is kicking my tail, y'all. I love my job, but I'm struggling with parts of it this summer. Let me tell you a little about what I do. (Several people have asked--thanks for being interested!) I'm currently in my summer gig at Theatre West Virginia, where I am Production Stage Manager (PSM). In a nutshell, it's my job to make sure everything runs smoothly, both on and off stage. I am a mother-hen, disciplinarian, drill sergeant, confidante, teacher, leader, and many other things. I love my job. LOVE it. It's the only thing I've ever found that allows me to use all of my brain. I get to use my problem-solving skills, personality, people-skills, organization, trouble-shooting, creativity and so many other things. I get to dabble in all parts of the production, not just one. I get to be there from start to finish on a project. During rehearsal, the stage manager takes down blocking, which is every move the actors make. We track all the props, set pieces and costumes, then when we tech the show, all the light and sound cues and put them together in what's called a prompt book. The stage manager calls the show during performances, meaning nothing goes until the stage manager says GO. We sit on a headset in a booth with the sound and light board operators and call every cue in the show, including scenery shifts, etc. SO, it's a big job, but so much fun. I adore it. (most days) Part of being PSM is also dealing with the day-to-day issues that arise and supervising the technical staff. This summer has been a bit trying. Without going into specifics, I'll just tell you that there have been more issues than usual and we've added a fourth show to our season, so figuring out the Jenga-game that is scheduling has been rough on all of us. On top of all this, I'm juggling motherhood for the first time, and Dean is absolutely my top priority. I am emotionally and physically pretty drained right now. Cinderella (the third of our four shows) opened on Tuesday and the weekend leading up to opening was quite demanding. We did three dress runs on Monday, our last ending at 1:30am. I was so hyped up on coffee at the end of it that I stuck around the theatre and helped out in the costume shop for a while before heading home. I FINALLY learned to use a sewing machine! Fun times.
Cinderella opening was a good night, which I needed. It's easy to get discouraged when things get really hard, especially when you have so many balls in the air. I was about ready to throw in the towel, then something happened during the show that reminded me why I do what I do. There's a part in Cinderella where the Godmother makes the house disappear, turns two mice into a coachman and a footman, turns a pumpkin into a golden carriage and turns Cinderella into a beautiful princess. We use a body double so Cinderella's quick change is instantaneous. Well, when that golden carriage rolled onto the stage, about 300 little girls in princess costumes stood up and squealed and clapped and got the most amazed looks on their faces...and it was magical. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the little things and daily grind that you forget that magical feeling you once felt that made you want to do this for the rest of your life. I remembered why I do theatre and why I love it so much. I am so thankful to have had that moment to remind me.
Dean is doing wonderfully. He loves being the company baby and getting passed around all the time. When he's with us on show nights, the girls all line up to kiss him for luck before they go onstage. One day last week, he fell asleep with about 20 lipstick marks on his face. At his six-month checkup last week, he weighed in at a whopping 18 1/2 lbs! (no wonder our backs hurt all the time!) He started solids, which has been very entertaining. So far, we love everything except green beans. I'll post pictures of the horrid messes we have made very soon. Right now I have to go scrub sweet potato puree off the couch. ;)