Day 15 In The Land of Corn…Day 5 of Tech…Day 2 of Hell…Day 1 of the Cast

So for all those readers out there who haven’t been paying attention.  Let’s bring you up to speed.  Since I’ve been in Iowa I dealt with the following things:

1.  Snow

2.  Thunderstorms

3.  Tornadoes

4.  Fire Alarm

5.  Earthquake

6.  Fire Alarm

7.  Fire Alarm (I didn’t blog about this one.  It just seemed redundant)

8.  Broken Ankle

It scares the fuck out of me that I still have four more days here.  What else does this god forsaken place hold in store for me.  If you don’t hear from me for a while, you know I was hit by a train crossing the road.

And so my day today.

First off I didn’t sleep more than two hours last night.  I wrote my post and used my crutches to hop up to bed.  And then I got my tooth brush and hopped into the bathroom.  And then I hopped back.  And then I attempted to take off my pants, which proved to be more painful than I ever imagined.  Ever try taking your pants off without touching you foot or moving your ankle.  It took about 10 minutes to get them off.  And I climbed into bed, elevating my foot on the pillow I was given at school.

And I lay there.  And lay there.  And lay there.  And I thought.  And I thought.  And I thought.

And I freaked out.  And I freaked out.  And I freaked out.  After all the excitement of going to the hospital, and getting the x-ray, and finding out it was broken, and all the excitement back at the apartment, suddenly I was left to deal with the reality.

And I’m basically unemployed for a month.  I can’t wait tables.  I have no design work lined up.  I’m not making enough here to live on for a month.  And what the fuck am I supposed to do.  How do I pay June’s rent?  How do I pay my cell phone bill?  How do I pay my health insurance premium which I desperately need right now.  How do I eat for a month when it virtually impossible to even try and cook for myself.  How do I even begin to get around in a city that is not at all handicap friendly?  How do I even get downtown for the doctors appointment I have on Thursday?  Or the one I have in three weeks to deal with my ankle?

And I freaked out.  And freaked out.  And freaked out.

And then I found myself totally awake.  Lying on my back.  With my foot elevated.  And throbbing greatly.  And finally I said what the fuck and got up.  And I spent 10 minutes putting my pants back on.  Grabbed my crutches and hobbled back downstairs.  By this time it’s almost 3:00 a.m.  And I’m sitting in front of my computer and I’m still freaking out.  So I send out a couple of emails or three.  I send one to my roommate, one to my friend Michelle, one to my friend Lou, and one to my friend Todd, asking them to call me when they got up.  At this point I moved to the couch and tried to sleep.  And I continued to freak out, and freak out, and freak out.

Finally around 5:00 a.m. I fell asleep.  And I got about 2 hours of sleep before my roommate called.  I told him about what happened and we had a good laugh about it.  As I’ve been saying all day.  I can laugh or I can cry.  And crying doesn’t make it any better.  And he tried to make me feel better.  And I ended that call and my friend Michelle called.  And I told her what happened and she tried to make me feel better.  And then we hung up and I tried to go back to sleep.

And within about two minutes the alarm went off and it was time to get up for my 8:00 a.m. appointment to get the cast put on my foot.  Of course it was pouring rain when I left so getting to the car was rather treacherous.  And with a lot of care, I got there and was off.  Needless to say, I was a tired Maddog.  Luckily it didn’t take very long to get into see the doctor.  He was very nice and came in to discuss exactly what was wrong with my foot.   Seems I broke my medial malleolus.  He explained that it was a vertical break not a horizontal break.  Seems this is the worst way to break the medial malleolus.  I like using that word.  So the answer was to get a cast put on the leg.  And so they got to work on it.

Here’s the part that sucks.  I wanted a blue cast.  Or a fluorescent green cast.  Or a bright pink cast.  Well any color but white.  But it seems that’s all they have in Iowa.  Yes, even my cast is boring in Iowa.  So in case you wondering what it looks like.

Check out those blue toes.  I got lots of interesting looks at the hospital last night and even more today at the doctor.  I don’t think Iowans quite no what to do with a man who has blue toes.  But leave it to me to turn heads.

And from the doctor it was home to take a shower bath.  They have this wonderful thing called Stay-Dry that creates a waterproof seal around your leg and keeps the water off the cast.  I had my doubts but my doctor said it was definitely worth buying one.  And what do you know it does.  So at least now I was clean and finally able to wake up.

And then it was off to school.  Even with a broken ankle I had work to do.  And so I took care of my notes and just as I was finishing the costume designer showed up to do some decorating on my cast.  At this point, I’ll mention that these people are taking very good care of me.  I was taken to the hospital and then several people showed up to see how I was doing.  I was picked up and taken to my 8:00 a.m. appointment.  I was taken to get breakfast, and not allowed to pay.  I was taken to get lunch and not allowed to pay.  They are taking turns picking me up and dropping me off at my apartment even though it’s only half a block from the theatre.  They have been wonderful.  My house mates have been equally accommodating.  They bring me Diet Coke.  And coffee.  And beer.  And pillows.  And chips.  And ibuprofen.  And Tylenol.  And a chair to prop my foot up on.  They are great.

And so the decorating.  She decided that my cast needed sequins.  And so she got to work making a sequin heart on my cast.  And then she decided the one thing my cast needed more than anything was a diet coke label.  So she cut one off the label from my bottle and glued it to my cast.  She also put a border of pink spike tape at the end of the cast.  Pretty cool don’t you think?

Unfortunately the sequins didn’t stick as well as she had hoped they would.  She wanted to take them off, but I told her no.  They reminded me of her and that when the last one fell off I would call her from NYC and we would chat.  She thought that was a great idea and so we made the deal.

And then it was off to dinner with the faculty and designers and other guests working on the show.  It was at a Chinese place just up the street.  It was okay, but nowhere near as good as Chinese in NYC.  After dinner we all headed back to the theatre for rehearsal.

And it went okay.  I was tired and a little loopy from the Tylenol-3 w/ Codeine.  But I was doing the best I could.  At 7:30 I hopped up stairs and took my place in the light booth.  And around 8:05 we started.  And for the most part it went well.  The were some minor bumps but I was expecting it to be much worse.

But here are the two things that annoyed the fuck out of me:

First it’s final dress.  We open tomorrow night.  Tonight it the last night to fix anything.  I won’t make changes tomorrow because I won’t get to see them again until there is an audience.  And that’s always dangerous.  And there are five pieces in the show.  Two are duets.  One is a solo piece.  And two of them are large group dances.  Well the the male student who is dancing in one of the duets didn’t show tonight.  He didn’t call.  He didn’t let anyone know that there was a problem.  He just didn’t show.  And now, I’m expected to go in tomorrow afternoon and run his piece one last time.  I’m done.  It’s my time.  Why do I have to work my schedule around a spoiled student.  I was of the opinion that we should just tell him “Too Bad” just deal with it.  But the students here are coddled and babied and expect to be given one chance after another.  In  the real world he would have been fired.  At least if I was in charge.

And the second thing that annoyed me:  I negotiated with the women in the solo piece who is both dancer and choreographer to come in early so that we could do a staged photo call.  The lighting for her piece is beautiful but it’s very dark and will be impossible to capture live.  It’s also the piece that I’m most proud of and I want to make sure that I can include it in my portfolio.  So I got Justin (the new lighting design teacher, who may or may not be gay, who got the job that I applied for, who was shooting photos already) to come in and shoot the photo call before rehearsal started.  So I go upstairs to my booth where I can’t communicate with anyone on stage and I bring up the first light cue that I want shot.  And then much to my amazement I realize that Justin is only shooting close-ups.  And he’s taking about four hundred of them.  This is not what I wanted.  More importantly he should no better.  As a designer, close-ups of actors and dancers are useless.  They only work if you can show them in the context of the big picture.  So now I have 200 close-ups of the dancer to choose from.  I could have just as well pulled the pictures from a magazine as to have close-ups of her.  This means that I won’t have photos of this to put in my portfolio and there is no other time to shoot them.  And to this I say a great big

It pisses me off to no end.  And it’s not like I could run downstairs to explain how a photo call worked.  He’s a fucking lighting designer.  If he hasn’t attended a photo call then he’s probably never designed lights.  Of course the fact that I’m crippled isn’t helping any.  Ugh.  And one more big

And how about that new header???

Sorry, no proofing.  The Tylenol has kicked in and I’m going to bed.


6 thoughts on “Day 15 In The Land of Corn…Day 5 of Tech…Day 2 of Hell…Day 1 of the Cast

  1. Rick April 25, 2008 / 04:55

    Lord the new header nearly made me vomit. How, why and what in the hell is your foot like that (prior to ankle break)?

    Well, sounds like your Iowa-friends are taking good care of you.

  2. Lemuel April 25, 2008 / 07:38

    I, too was heartened to hear that the People of the Corn were treating you well. All in all I guess I am not surprised. We humans can be pretty despicable creatures, mean and nasty at times, but most of us respond with helpful grace when we see another in need. I hope you find the same grace when you return to NYC. In my trips there, I have always found them gracious as well.

    I was happy to read that you and your roommate could see at least a little humor in the tragedy of it all.

    [and I love the deco’d cast – especially with the toes. I’ll bet you did raise some eyebrows there! You’re lucky they did not think that they were gangrenous and want to amputate them! *eg*]

  3. Sarah April 25, 2008 / 14:36

    Please, please, please call your manager and ask if there is short-term disability coverage on your plan. If you do, you’re golden. If not, you can ask what sort of work you can pick up at the restaurant. It’ll be something off you’re mind.

    I know NYC isn’t the friendliest place for the monoped on crutches but people do get around with such injuries. Don’t freak out about that til you get there.

    Let me get this straight: You have a broken ankle. Boy dancer blew off his final rehearsal. You, with the broken ankle, who probably shouldn’t be on it more than you have to are supposed to attend a “special” rehearsal for the person who has a broken sense responsibility. Hells to the No.

  4. Peter April 25, 2008 / 16:42

    I know saying “Break a leg” is something done in theater, but you’re topping it.

    Hope all turns okay in the short term. Take care Maddog!

  5. Bill April 25, 2008 / 21:20

    You know what? With absolutely no medical background whatsoever, as soon as I saw the new header I thought “Hmmm…looks like a vertical break of the medial malleolus.” That’s just how I am. Intuitive.
    I have to agree with the previous comment. Just tell the Absentee Dancer that if he’d been there as scheduled before the fracture you’d have worked with him, but now – alas – he must rehearse alone. Then ask him to fetch something for you, like a beer or a maid-rite. They do have maid-rites where you are, don’t they?
    Of course, he may have a good reason for blowing off the rehearsal. Maybe he was painting his toenails blue.
    Sorry about the ankle!

  6. urspo April 25, 2008 / 23:12

    you sure lead an interesting life….
    I wish I was there to give you a hug and a diet coke and some health insurance and to paint your cast.
    When I was a lad i used to paint the casts of my friends and family.

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