Monday, October 7, 2013

Hello, Goodbye

If you have ever heard anyone tell you that New York is a small town, they are absolutely, unequivocally, correct. This is something that I have been told before by my experienced New York friends, but I never really saw it until it happen to me until this past weekend.

To begin with, I went to see a play that my friend Sarah Lahue was stage managing called  Lickspittles, Buttonholers and Damned Pernicious Go-Betweens by Johnna Adams. Sarah told me I had to see because it was funny, had amazing actors, and was written entirely in verse. I was intrigued and decided to go see it, but it wasn't until I was sitting in the audience that I realized I knew one of the actors in the show. And then I recognized another, and another… But the one who really caught my attention was Chris Weikel, with whom I worked with a year ago at the Lark Play Development Center.

A snapshot of Chris and I from a year ago.
I staged managed two play readings during the Lark’s playwright’s week. One was Denny and Lila by August Schulenburg and the other was Secret Identity by Chris Weikel. I hadn't seen or heard from Chris in over a year because New York, and then I got to see him perform wonderfully in a hilarious show. Not only that, but afterwards when I was talking to him I was introduced to the playwright of Lickspittles and we discovered that we both knew each other. She starred as the narrator in August Schulenburg’s play, Denny and Lila. So not only did I meet two people with him I had previously worked with during the same week a year ago, but I met them both on the same night. Crazy!

Believe me when I tell you: New York is a small world. Last year I worked as an ASM on Restoration Comedy at The Flea theatre. While on this run, I worked one night with the resident director at the time Liz Carlson. She ran the front of house, and I was the go between helping her and getting the show ready. We had a splendid time and kept in touch.

This past weekend I was emailed about a job opportunity that Liz had referred me for.  This job opportunity was one that was so good, so amazing, that I quit my job at Actors Equity today to be able to do. I am excited to tell you all that I will be working as a stage hand on Julie Taymor’s upcoming show A Midsummer Nights Dream. Now I am sure many of you are asking yourself the same question I have been asking myself:

“Joey, are you stupid? Why did you quit your full time job to work as a stage hand on a show?”

Left to right: Oberon, Julie Taymor, Puck
Well, first off, don’t call me stupid, and I did it because Julie Taymor is an award winning director and one of the greatest directors of her time. Getting to observe her work, even from the sidelines, is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity that I, as a learning director, can’t pass up.  

What this means is that for the next four weeks I will be working on the show in some intense morning to evening hours. Then once we open I will be working the shows until January. These next four weeks are going to be busy and I will be working ever day, 10 am to 11 pm, except Monday's. So until we open, I am going to be nearly silent on the digital front. No blogging. 

Once the show officially opens and my days will return to normal I plan to write a big blog post about my experiences, so be sure to check back in November. Truly, I am very excited for this amazing opportunity. I can't wait to see what the future holds and what awesome people I will meet. Until next time!

"Lord, what fools these mortals be!"
Puck (Robin Goodfellow)A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 3 scene 2