Ugh. Day 40

It’s been a weird sort of day.  I was dealing with some major depression last night.  Before I start explaining, I know that it was silly.  But when something bothers me, it bothers me.  Luckily I’ve been around depression long enough to know that it doesn’t last and lately it doesn’t take long to get through it.

The night started out fine but by 12:30 or so it was not so great.  We had an 80’s dance party last night at the house.  Nothing can make you feel older than listening to 12 year olds talk about how retro the 80’s are.  It was also fun listening to everyone give their opinion of what the 80’s were about.  What’s scary is that most of these people weren’t born till the late 80’s.  The night got more outrageous and by 1:00 a.m. even the 12 year olds were on their way to being drunk.  And as I looked around, it suddenly occurred to me that I’m insane to spend my summer with 12 year olds.  I suddenly wanted to be around people my own age.

I think I mentioned last night that I have a little crush.  Once again, I know that it was silly before you even say so, but I was a little jealous watching him having the time of his life at the party.  I was wishing that I could be one of the people that he was hanging out with.  And it’s not like we weren’t talking, it’s just that we weren’t talking the way that I wanted to be talking.  And still this was all okay.  Until I went down the hall and found the other people my age having fun.  And that’s when I knew that I had to go to bed.

It’s not that their fun was bothering me.  It was the type of fun they were having.  And I realized that I needed to leave the situation because I felt like it was inappropriate.  Everyone in blog land may disagree, but I don’t think it’s really appropriate for someone who’s going on 40 to be playing a kissing game with the 12 year olds.  I also don’t think it’s right to be groping and feeling up kids who are too drunk and too naive to know what they are doing.

And I went to bed depressed.  Depressed because I was old.  Depressed that I couldn’t have the boy that I wanted.  Depressed that I had the good sense to go to bed instead of watching or even worse participating in the “fun.”  I locked the door and turned the light off around 1:30.  And I lay in the bed, listening to the noise from down the hall.  And I realized that I no longer wanted to be in Oklahoma.  And I no longer wanted to be spending all my time with 12 year olds.  And I no longer wanted to be fat.  And I really no longer wanted to be old.  And everything looked bleak and grim.  And as I lay there I became more and more depressed.  And I actually cried last night for the first time in ages.  And I kept telling myself that I was being stupid, but when you feel depressed you feel depressed.

I finally fell asleep sometime later.  I woke up around 4:30 or so and heard Kelly in the hall telling people to go to bed.  And I lay there trying to go back to sleep.  I’m not sure what time I finally fell asleep again.  I was having weird dreams when the alarm went off a few hours later.  I woke up to an allergy attack so with crying as I went to sleep, and allergies my face was swollen and puffy.  It was only 11:00 a.m. so when I got up no one was around.  I showered and left as quickly as I could.

I had errands to run, including getting my hair cut.  And as the day progressed I realized more and more that I didn’t want to be here.  And so I started to really evaluate what would happen if I just left Tuesday as I was scheduled to.  The only real reason I could come up with to stay was because of Kelly.  “The Director” had told me he would pay me more to stay, but so far had failed to put it in writing.  Before the party started last night I sent him an email stating the amount that I was expecting and asking him to confirm this.  By the time I left this morning I had already received several emails from him, so I knew that he was at work, but no response to my money email.  And so I told myself that if he hadn’t responded by the time I got home I would cut my losses and leave.

And wouldn’t you know, the one person I didn’t want to be around when I made my decision was knocking on my door as I came around the corner.  Kelly.  And so she came to talk and I’m pretty sure she could tell something was up but if so she didn’t say anything.  So we chatted for a moment and then she said something about the rest of the time here.  And I said, “Kelly, I don’t think I’m going to stay.  I want to go home and “The Director” hasn’t responded to an email confirmation about the extra money so I’m leaving tomorrow as planned.”  And she got the puppy dog face that I was afraid of, and told me that she didn’t want me to leave.  And then she told me that she would call “The Director” right now to get the money confirmed.  And she did.  He freaked out when she called.  He told her that he didn’t know he needed to email me.  The email stated clearly that I need confirmation as soon as possible.  He told her to have me call him as soon as possible.  To which she said, he’ll call you, but he needs it in writing before he changes his flight.  And what do you know within 15 minutes I had the email confirmation.

And so I guess I’m staying.  I changed my flight.  And I extended the rental car.  And I’m still depressed but not as much.  I would still love to come home.  And the biggest issue is the money.  Because of my foot, I’m way very short on money.  By the time I leave Oklahoma I’ll probable have about 16 cents in the bank.  And that’s  before I pay the bills due in July.  If I didn’t have the best roommate ever, I’d probably be homeless living on the street in a card board box.  So I need the money.  Even if I don’t get it till the company processes it’s box office sales at the end of the month it’s money that I can use to help catch up.   So I really can’t say no to it.  But I want to.

And that is my day.  Kelly and I went to the movies and finally saw Indiana Jones.  We were supposed to get dinner after but she wasn’t hungry.  So I spent the rest of the night alone.  Which was good and bad.  When I’m depressed it’s actually better for me to force myself to be around other people.  It helps work though the shit and it gets me out of my head which is a very scary place to be.

And so tomorrow I don’t fly home.  I go on tour.  Yes that’s right.  We are taking our show on the road.  We leave at 7:30 a.m. (I didn’t know people woke up that early) and drive three hours to some theatre in the middle of nowhere.  And we do our show.  And on Wednesday morning we get up and leave our MOTEL (it’s probably a Motel 6, because we all know how cheap “The Director” is.  And we drive three more hours to some other podunk little town where we perform in the local high school that was built in 1922 and hasn’t been updated since.  And on Wednesday night we drive three hours back just in time to get up and load everything back into the theatre here.  What could be more fun.

The point of all this is that I’m not taking my computer tomorrow, so I won’t post again till Wednesday night.  So don’t think I’ve ended it all in Oklahoma.

Quitman, Georgia — Day 15

I’m not having fun.  I’ve known this for a while.  But it’s really starting to sink in.  And it scares me that I still have four weeks of this shit left.  It’s been nothing but stress since before I got here and I now wish that I’d carried out my threat of not coming at all if I didn’t get the complete set of scenery drawings.  If I’d done that I’d be in NYC right now, sleeping in my own bed.  I might be bored but I wouldn’t be miserable.  And in the past couple of days the reality that I’m miserable has become more apparent.  It’s not like one single thing has happened.  Or there was one thing that broke the camels back so to speak.  I just know how I feel.

The reason I know this is true is because I don’t really give a crap about finishing my design.  The electrics crew is supposed to start hanging my show on Thursday at the earliest, Friday at the latest.  And I am nowhere close to finishing it.   It took me almost an hour tonight just to sit down at the computer and start.  It’s now 4:42 a.m. and I’m about four or five hours behind where I though I’d be.  And I really don’t give a fuck.  Well I do.  But not really.

I guess the thing that’s bothering me the most, is that no one else is doing there job (Kelly excluded) and so why the fuck should I have to.  More importantly why do I (and Kelly) have to pick up the slack for everyone else.  I don’t want to make anymore scenery decisions.  In fact I don’t care what the fuck the scenery looks like.  I don’t care when it moves.  I don’t care if it’s even there.  I just want to worry about the lighting.  And just when it seems like things are getting there “The Director” comes along and makes some stupid decision or remark and sets us back three or four days.  Today we were meeting about what the paint treatment should look like on a set of chairs that get used in two shows.  He was a fucking idiot.  We pointed out the one chair that was finished and ask if he liked.  His response was some comment about the other eleven chairs that were still in the process of being painted.  I just want to punch him  It used to be I wanted to smack him…but now I’d like to draw back and knock him on his fucking ass.  And then maybe kick him a time or two for good measure.

Kelly, the stage manager, actually has it worse than I do.  She has to deal with “The Director” all day.  The stories she tells me make me want to punch him even more.  He does things like sit down and tell her what the plan is for the next day and then call her on the way home to yell at her because she didn’t provide him with a type written schedule.  How hard is this?  You are working on show #3 all day.  What else do you need to know.  It’s not like you are going to go home and actually think about what you are doing the next day.  We both know you won’t.  He also does things like ask Kelly to put his hair cut appointment on her schedule so she can remind him to go, otherwise he’ll forget.  And the worst thing, he’s RUDE to her.  And of all the nice people I know, Kelly tops the list as being one of the nicest.  She still sends thank you cards…in the mail.  I’ve never heard a say one cross word to anyone.  She gets frustrated but she always holds it together.  And he will bitch at her, and be rude to her and treat her like shit.  Like I said I want to punch him.

And I think the thing that pissed me off today, was about this rental car that’s supposed to be provided to me.  Last week if you remember he had a “massive coronary” because it was going to be 400 bucks a week.  So I did all the leg work and then spent money out of my own pocket to get insurance on my own that would cover the car.  So I went to him today and said, “The Director” I went out of my way to make this car affordable for you, can you please do me a favor?  I have put the deposit on the car which makes me responsible, but can I use your credit card to pay for the car because I don’t have an extra pile of cash lying around that I can spend on my car.  Especially since I haven’t really worked since mid April.  And his exact response was “NO,  I don’t want to be the bank for the company.”   I should probably point out that as he said this to me, I had his American Express  Card in my wallet to pay for the lighting supplies that we are picking up tomorrow.  So he doesn’t mind being the company bank when he it serves his needs, but when it serves the needs of his staff he says, “Fuck you!”  I’m tempted to take the card to Enterprise tomorrow and just have them put the balance on his card and then when he yells I can just say, “Fuck YOU!!!!!

The more I type the angrier I get.  I’m at the point right now that if it weren’t for fucking over Kelly, I think I’d pack up my toys and go home.  There is no love here.  There is no warmth.  There are no rewards.  Even the shows suck.

It’s like expensive community theatre.   Two of the major characters in show #2 speak in some weird dialect that makes them impossible to understand, and I have the script in front of me.  The soprano sings everything like it’s an opera and I have yet to understand a single word she is saying.  I asked a chorus member today to give me the name of one professional actor who can pull off opera and musical theatre and do both well.  I’m sure they are out there but I don’t know who they are.  The two genres are not the same and unfortunately we do musical theatre performed by opera singers.  They hit the notes but the acting sucks and there is no character in the performance.  And if even just one of these people had taken a real acting class they might know that just because they talk in a funny accent doesn’t make it funny.  And just because everyone in the rehearsal room is laughing also doesn’t make it funny.  It’s only funny to you and you aren’t going to be sitting in the house on opening night.  It’s also not funny when the actor in the back of the scene who is only there to take up space pulls focus because the “bit” you are doing is far more entertaining than what’s happening downstage.

This time last year I was in the first week of my time here.  In the weeks that followed I made friends that I’ll have for a lifetime.  Supreet, Pete, Kelly, Melissa.  All wonderful people that I loved spending time with.  It was nice to get home at the end of the day and sit in Pete’s room and have a beer.  Or tease Supreet about being a “dot Indian, not a feather Indian.”  Or to sit in Kelly’s room and drink vodka while we chatted about light hearted things like — what it’s like to lose a parent.  Or to go to Ed’s Hurricane Lounge, the biker bar about a block from where we are staying that has bras all over the ceiling and gather around the bar and do shots called “Prairie Fire” which is tequila and Tabasco sauce.  Or we gathered in the living room to play WII.   Or we watched movies.  Or we sat and talked about what it was like to work in theatre, or live in New York, or……………………………….   And it was fun.  I had a good time.  I worked hard, but the rewards were plenty.

This year if it weren’t for Kelly I’d have no social outlet at all.  The crew doesn’t like me because I’ve had to be grown up and fire the set designer which caused them more work, and I supported the firing of the Associate Tech Director because he was a dick.  So I’m the bad guy, which is fine, but it means that I spend a lot a time in my room wasting time or in Kelly’s room drinking bourbon.  (Which is not your friend.)

And it’s after 5:00 a.m. and I’m still not in bed and I have to be up and functioning by noon so that I can deal with my car, go the pharmacy for Kelly, and then come home and lock myself in my room so that I can finish this fucking light plot and try to have a good time.

And just to let you know, my trip to Kentucky is promising to be just as bad as Oklahoma so you guys are in store for almost eight more weeks of this.

By the way, Quitman is what I would like to be.  But it really is a place in Georgia.

Winter Blues…

I’ve realized over the past two or three days that the depression I’ve suffered with most of my adult life has returned.  It’s a sneaky little beast.  It would be so much easier to recognize if it just pounced on me.  Instead it sneaks up.  I find I’m sleeping a little later/more than I was.  I’m eating more than I should.  I’m a little grumpier than I tend to be.  Little things have started to annoy me.  My bedroom is no longer in order.  I don’t shave every day.   Individually none of these things mean much.  I slept in today because I was tired.  I ate a sandwich at 2:00 a.m. because I was hungry.  I snapped at the person because they snapped at me.  But then I wake up one day and realize that when all of these things are added together and I start to think about how I feel, I realize the depression is back.

I’ve also been dealing with it long enough to know why.  It’s winter and the days are SHORT.  It’s Christmas and the holidays have been depressing for me for many years.  I’m 42 and I’m waiting tables and I don’t like that fact.  I have no theatre work lined up for the next 3 months.  I’m also not as thin as I thought I would be by the end of the year.  And well I could continue the list.  Long story short I know why I’m depressed.

Now the question:  What do I do about it?

First I have to stop sleeping so much.  I need to set the alarm and get out of bed and drink some coffee in the morning.  This makes me happy and gets me going.  It’s just hard to do this when I’m really not feeling it.  I also need to start back on the South Beach Diet.  I have gotten away from it for the past 6 weeks or so, and I’m starting to gain weight, and at the end of the day I feel much better about myself when I’m eating healthy.  I also need to talk to my doctor about the depression when I see him on Thursday.  I usually act as if everything is fine, but it’s really not and I need to tell him so.  I think it might be time to change up the medication.  The tricky part there is I still don’t have health insurance and I WON’T take a prescription that has adverse sexual side effects.  And the ultimate way I’m going to get through this:  I just need to wait it out.  The only nice thing about depression (at least for me) is that it eventually passes and I WILL start to feel better.  The big question is how long that will take.  If you’ve never dealt with it, two minutes of depression is too much, so to think I may have to wait for spring to get her is a little overwhelming.

For the moment though, I just need to get through the holidays.  Christmas is tomorrow.  New Year’s is next week.  And then we’ll see how things are going.

Oh, What a day…

I’ve been kind of bummed all day.  For no reason really.  It’s just how I feel.  I think it might have something to do with being up so late last night.  I’m no longer used to the really late nights after being in Maine for a month.  I’m used to being in bed by 11:00 or midnight at the latest and getting up by 9:00.  Last night I got into bed at 3:00 a.m. and probably read for 30 minutes before I turned off the light.  And then I woke up at 10:30 a.m.  I tried to go back to sleep, but it was no good.  I finally got out of bed at 11:00 a.m.

And then I made the mistake of stepping on the scale.  I discovered that I had gained a pound since yesterday for no apparent reason.  Nothing’s more depressing than realizing that you are gaining weight when you are trying to lose it.  I’m sure it’s some fluke, but it’s made me think about being fat all day.  I was sitting on a machine today at the gym and like all gyms this one is surrounded by mirrors.  As I sat there I found myself staring at my reflection.  I did not like what I saw.  The face is okay.  But everything south of that needs to go.  My gut is huge.  My legs are huge.  My chest is huge.  And my butt’s the biggest of all.  For all my trying to remind myself that I am almost 30 pounds lighter and on the path to being skinny, all I could see was the fat Maddog.  At one point I almost left the gym.  It felt useless to be there.  No worries, though.  I stayed.  I didn’t lift weights as long as I should have, but I got through most of the exercises and then did five miles on the treadmill.  Hopefully tomorrow I won’t feel like this.

I’ve been on a cleaning kick since I’ve gotten home.  Before I start my job, I’d like everything to be in it’s proper place.  Which means organizing the DVD’s and CD’s.  Straightening up the bookcases and getting rid of the books that I’ve already read and will never read again.  Going through boxes, and drawers and organizing things, throwing things away, or finding a home for them.  So far I’ve done half my office space, the dining room and one bookcase.  This also included dusting and cleaning everything thoroughly.  I also now have a pile of about 30 books sitting beside my desk that I’m going to take to my favorite used bookstore down in the East Village.  They’ll pay me for some of them, but I’m not too worried about the pennies I’ll get.  I’m more interested in donating them to a place that I like.

In the past two days I’ve applied for two theatre jobs.  They are one off free lance gigs, but they’d both be great experience and would further my contact base in NYC.  I’ve always said you get your next job from your last job and that’s always proven to be true.  So keep you fingers crossed that these two opportunities come through.