Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Too much to do, too little time and not enough focus.

Work is hard. 

There's not much about my job I don't like...but I will admit to going through periods where the main way I use my brain is to regurgitate the right information at the right time to the right people. I've got a project right now, though, that has far-reaching implications, big stakes and high visibility...and takes actual strategic thought. 

It's kinda hard to shift back into it after a while coasting on fumes. 

And I'm feeling it in my outside work, too; it's just tough to shift into the mindset I need to be in to work on festival stuff. There's a lot in flux, too, so I'm out of my routines: Exit 16 is done, Fakers/Scriptease has a new director, Spite and Tantrum haven't had shows in aaaaages and the festival planning committee has just been meeting once a month. 

I'm taking Friday off, so I'll have four full days to get back on track—and one just to prep for the meeting this Saturday. Had to clean my house for kickball, so I'll be relatively distraction-free. The to-do list, in no particular order: 

—Finalize copy for posters, postcards and Web site
—Write preliminary press releases
—Organize all the info I've got
—Start the Big List of Everything
—Send fundraiser workshop info to auditioners (and check with Keith on response so far)
—Check on timelines to see if we're on track–and add dates to calendar for stuff like purchasing tickets
—Pull together a preliminary list of the kinds of workshops we want instructors to teach

On the plus side, there've been some great opportunities to play and hang out with other improvisers lately:
Kickball was a blast. We had just enough people—which meant everyone played a LOT, and had the stiff and sore muscles to prove it. 
Jared started his Free Longform Practice. So we got a whole dang lot of stage time last night. There was more chat about objectives than in Fight Club...so we knew what we were shooting for when we hopped up.
Burnin' Sternums has an idea. We'll start rehearsing in mid-June for our August show. I'm looking forward to playing with this team—I've got maybe a few hours of stage time with Nick and Keith, so it'll be a great new experience. 
Tantrum is going again. Pete led our first rehearsal, and focused us on patience and engaging with other players. I'm excited about where we're heading—much deeper commitment to characters and their relationships, and a much more real-world approach to scenework. 

The Tantrum work, especially, will push me. I'll be playing against my instincts in a few different areas, and it isn't always easy to just pretend the mental barriers don't exist. I realize it'll just take practice and consistently forcing myself to play more confident characters and get more and more comfortable with more physical contact. (I know I judge myself more harshly than others do—I see it in peer evaluations at work fairly often—and I just have to keep reminding myself that on stage.)

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