Misery, Mississippi — Day 11

My head hurts.

My stomach is queezy.

The room won’t stop spinning.

And it’s a full 24 hours after my drunken escapades.

Bourbon is most definitely NOT your friend.  I repeat.  It is not your friend.  It will sometimes masquerade as your friend, especially when it’s Bulleit Bourbon.  But never ever let your guard down.  It’s an evil, evil trick and you’ll regret having made that mistake.

I repeat bourbon is NOT your friend.

And how did I spend my hungover Friday.

I bought shorts.  Actually I bought four pairs of shorts.  They are green shorts.  Even though they are blue, brown, and khaki.  They are green.  I confused Kelly by this statement today.  I don’t know how they are green, but somehow these shorts are good for the environment.  I think it’s because the sun’s rays reflect off the whiteness that is my legs and is able to power a small city with the energy that is produced.

I also FINALLY got someone at my insurance agency to talk to me about car insurance.  I called four times and each time I was told that they would research my question and call me right back.  36 hours later I was still waiting.  When I called today, I was grumpy and said that if someone wasn’t able to answer my question after two days of calling, then I’d be happy to take my business to one of the other 1200 State Farm Insurance Agencies in the city.  That seemed to get there attention.

I was actually calling because after some research on line I discovered that there are car insurance policies out there for people that don’t own cars.  Yes, it’s true and I can buy protection for something I don’t even have.  Think of it as buying a condom when you are a lesbian.  So after two LONG days of calling I was able to confirm this fact, discover that in fact it’s only a few dollars more than the insurance I would pay just this week at rental company.  For a whole year.   And as of Sunday at 12:01 a.m. I’ll be fully insured to drive any car in the U.S.

After my insurance discussion, I went to the movies.  Since I have a new reader — Kelly.  I’ll let someone else explain what going to the movies means.

After the movies I came home to discover that I’d locked myself out of my room.  In my hungoveredness, I didn’t pick up my room key.  So I hung out in Kelly’s room and waited for the “RA” to show up and let me in.  Unfortunately, Kelly’s room is about three degrees cooler than the sun.   So by the time I was able to get into my room I was sweating like a pig.  Which is only funny because in case you didn’t know it…pigs don’t sweat.

And this brings me to the fun part of my day…

I’ll start by saying that I’m tired of being a grown-up.  I’m also pissed off that my friend Kelly has the hardest job in the company and is paid the least.  I’m also sorry that people don’t let her know how great she is…more often.  And I’m not just saying this because she’s reading either.

My day started with a production meeting.  I explained this last week for any newcomers.  The meeting was attended by me, the lighting designer and my M.E.  It was also attended by the stage management team, both TD’s, the prop person and the evil cunt Ashley, better known as the costume designer, used to be set designer.  For any latercomers she was fired last week from her scenery job because she’s dumb as a rock.  And this wouldn’t be funny if it weren’t true that a bag of rocks has a million times more intelligence than she does.

And so the production meeting started.  And “The Director” in all his usual flair began to stray from the known facts.  Suddenly he didn’t know what color the windows were.  He didn’t know what the banner looked like.  He didn’t know this.  He didn’t know that.  Which is all fine and we are used to it so we didn’t mind.  But then he did the unthinkable.  He turned at one point to the “used to be set designer”, from this point forward referred to as “Ashley the Cunt” and asked her what a piece of scenery should look like.  No one said anything.  We all kind of held our breath.  And she responded by saying “It’s in the drawing I sent ages ago.”  And once again we held our breath.  Well they held there breath.  I was biting my tongue to keep from flicking it across the table and knocking her off her chair.

And the meeting was finished but the damage was done.  By the time I was home from the movies I was pissed.  I was tired of the wishy washyness.  I was tired of the constant battle to get him to get him to decide something.  I was tired of his inability to show any appreciation for the hard work we are doing.  I was annoyed about this.  I was annoyed about that.  And more than anything I was annoyed that “The Director” had turned to “Ashley the Cunt” and asked her a question about scenery that we’ve designed and that she hasn’t been a part of in almost a week.

So I decided that enough was a enough.  Someone needed to say something.  And by someone I meant me, but I didn’t want to do it by myself.  So I arranged a meeting with “The Director”, the TD and the SM.  For tonight at 11:00 p.m.  What I wasn’t anticipating was “The Director” showing up at the house at 6:30 requesting me to go with him to get coffee.  But that’s what happened.

And so we get in the car and he asks me how things are.  And I say they are fine.  And he asks me again.  And I say fine.  And he asks me again and I say “they’re okay.”  And he says well what does that mean…and at this point I’m wishing that I were at home sleeping away my hangover.  I wish that I was at the dentist getting a root canal.  Or that I was at the doctor getting a colonoscopy.  But none of those things were true so I took a deep breath and said…”We are all a little frustrated.”

“By what?”

“By you.”

“What does that mean?”

“Just what I said.”

“No really, what does that mean.”

This went on for a bit.  Finally I took another deep breath and said that we were tired of the constant changing, we were tired of being made to feel anappreciated, we were tired of being expected to do things that weren’t our job.  And more than anything we were pissed off as fuck that he’d ever turn to “Ashley the Cunt” and ask her a question after the royal fucking she gave to all of us.  And she didn’t bring a condom either.  Actually the fucking she gave us was what my friend Sean calls the “Spit and Ram method.”  Fun for her, not so much for me.

Within seconds of this explanation of what we were bothered by, “The Director” shut down.  He stopped talking and began to sulk.  And then he got angry.  And then it became all about him.  No one appreciated him.  No one said thanks to him.  He was tired of doing everyone’s job for them.  He didn’t get paid extra to be a babysitter and design scenery.  Perhaps we might take a moment to think about him.  And then he began to fixate on the little things.  He wanted specifics.  I tried to maneuver away from them, but he kept asking.  And well there were too many examples not to know them so I started listing them off.  But then he became fixated on one example and could talk of nothing else.  Still angry and shut down.

Finally we get to Starbucks and he’s stopped talking and is just brooding.  We go into the store and he says nothing to me.  He grunts at the guy behind the counter.  We go outside we sit down.  I do have to say that I appreciated him letting me sit so that I could see the hot gay couple at the next table.  They gave me something to look at while “The Director” sulked.

And he kept it all about him.  At no point did he ever try to look at things from our perspective.  It was about his feelings and his efforts and our inability to see his hard work.  And as I sat there, I realized that it was sort of like breaking up with your boyfriend.  And it’s one of those times where you think this would be so much harder to do if the douche bag wasn’t such a prick.  And as you sit and listen the more you realize that you are doing the right thing.  That’s how I felt sitting there talking to “The Director.”

Finally the 14 hour cup of coffee ended and we headed back to the theatre.  He asked if we still needed to meet tonight and I said that I thought that we did.  And then he didn’t speak again.

I sat through rehearsal.  I sat through rehearsal.  I sat through rehearsal.  I sat through rehearsal.  I sat through rehearsal.  I sat through rehearsal.  I sat through rehearsal.  I sat through rehearsal.  I sat through rehearsal.  I sat through rehearsal.  I sat through rehearsal.  I sat through rehearsal.

Damn for a two hour play it takes about four days.

And then after rehearsal Kelly and I head over to the local pub to have our meeting.

We get there we all sit down and I start by saying that “The Director” and I talked earlier today and that he’s aware of our feelings.  And he instantly made it about himself again and became uber-efficient director.  He wanted to cut right to the chase about all of these things.  He had always known what they looked like and had never wavered on any of these things.  And as he talked he became louder.  And it was clear that he was pissed.  And it was clear that none of us could understand what he was dealing with.  And it was clear…and I stopped listening.  And stopped trying to be diplomatic.  And then I started to tune him out, but that was hard because he was talking even louder and slamming his hand on the table and being irate.

And I snapped.

And I yelled at him.

And I yelled some more.

And I told him it wasn’t all about him.  That he needed to get over this angry shut down mode and actually try having a dialogue with us.  That if for a moment he’d stop being pissy and talk to us we might be able to work through all of this.  And it got slightly better.  It’s still all about him, but what can you do.  As Kelly says, yelling at him does no good and he just shuts down making your job that much more difficult so why do it.

At the end of the meeting i had decided (I do a lot of deciding) that we should talk to “The Director” and to the TD about some crap that’s going on with the the crew.  But since “The Director” was in a mood already we decided to just talk to the TD about it.

So fast forward about 30 minutes and join our show already in progress in Kelly’s room.

“So what did you want to see me about?”

“Just wanted to talk about some stuff we’ve been hearing about the crew.”

“Like what?””

(I’m doing all the talking.  Kelly ever the diplomatic one (as all good stage manager’s are) is just listening.)

“Well you know how Ashley took the show hostage by fucking us with the scenery design and holding it hostage.  Well Brian (the assistant TD) is doing the same thing with the crew.”

At this point the TD sinks into his chair and said “I thought that was happening I just hadn’t known it for sure.”

To summarize.  There is a power struggle on the side of Brian because he wants to be the head TD.  It’s not his job and he’s really not qualified for it.  He also got pissed when “The Cunt” was fired because it meant that a lot of work they’d already done had to be started over and the whole show was being reconceived and he felt like he should make more money.  My response to this initial statement was sure the crew should get more money but the rest of us should not.  It’s our job.  He no longer speaks to me because of this conversation.  He also made the mistake of telling the crew that they wouldn’t have to work after the first show opened.  (This has never been the case and had he asked we would have assured him that this wasn’t the case this year).  And so over the past two weeks, he’s become the hero of the crew.  And how’s he done this.  By casting himself as the good cop whenever possible.  He has become the dissenter among the crew.  He’s stirring the pot trying to cause trouble.  He’s announced things like, “It’s dangerous for the crew to work six, 9 hour days.”  “I’ve gotten you the afternoon off, because I know how tired you guys are.”  He’s also let it be known that he thinks the real TD is incompetent and he’s clueless.

He’s made no secret about these things.  And it all come to a head today when Brian and the head carpenter found out we were meeting with Eric to discuss the things we weren’t happy with.  They both announced they were attending this meeting and were going to let everyone know that the crew was no longer going to take the working conditions they were suffering under.  And well they let this get back to Kelly.  Who told me.  And since I’m always the one to stir the pot I decided that we needed to tell the “real TD”.

And so we did.  And he was shocked.  And taken aback.  And shocked.  But NOT surprised.  And then we had a VERY long discussion and I think the “REAL” TD is going to talk to the crew tomorrow morning and then he’s going to talk to the assistant TD and he’s fully prepared to fire him.

So by all means stay tuned for more exciting adventures.

And remember.  Bourbon is NOT your friend.

BTW…if you Google “Ashley the Cunt” this is the first image you get

Hot huh?

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3 thoughts on “Misery, Mississippi — Day 11

  1. Lemuel May 31, 2008 / 06:37

    I’m gay, remember? Ashley? eh… not so hot…to me. LOL!

    I am beginning you should take down this little “drama” that is being acted out there, write it down, and sell it to some Tv network as a soap opera. You could retire early.

    I am really waiting for the scene where you bitch slap the Director, Brian, and Ashley. Really I am. They all deserve it.

  2. Sarah May 31, 2008 / 09:10

    “Wow,” she says, eyes wide and mouth agape.

  3. Bill June 1, 2008 / 07:41

    Someone (you?) needs to tell The Director that the fish stinks from the head down.

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