I just filed my 2012 taxes. I had 4 different W-2s and a 1099-MISC. I usually file my taxes really early, and this year I kept putting it off and putting it off. I couldn’t really bear to see my total income for last year, nor to figure out the taxes I owed from consulting and teaching projects I did with my old job. 

But today, which happen to be Easter, a bunch of people I work with got together and we repainted our performance space. It looked so clean and lovely, and it will be a great start to our Spring season. I figured I owed myself that same fresh start. 

So I did my taxes. Afterwards, I had this strange impulse to buy myself a present, and I realized that  was my “old self” talking, the person who would buy new shoes or a new outfit because I had a bad day at work, the person who would cover up anger and frustration with a “present.” 

I’m thankfully sticking to my plan–no soda, no credit cards. It’s been 3 months, one whole quarter, and I’m still on my plan. It’s hard, but amazing and totally liberating. 

I feel like I have taken the final step in putting last year behind me. That too feels liberating. 

Now I will eat some French fries and watch a Danish movie 

 

I know that even as I sit three feet away from a person who just sent me an email, there is always time for me together write or say the words “thank you” via email or my actual mouth, every time they do good work. There is no excuse not to say it. It is not wrong to praise. Saying “thank you” also opens up the possibility for giving feedback (both positive and negative) on projects, because the person feels acknowledged and valued. I seriously want to make a study of saying it as much as possible as a boss. 

On Saturday, I had to go to work for about 45 minutes to help handle lights for a photo call. I had not dine a dimmer check since 2006, which was the last time that I stage managed a play (called Porno, basically the most awesome avante garde psycho-sexual dramatic comedy-drama that I refused to let some of my friends come see but still maintain is one of the best thing is have ever worked on). When I got into the booth at the space at work and flipped on the dimmer packs and started playing with the two-scene present board, it actually felt really good. I was there because of a scheduling mixup–I was supposed to be on my way to my shower so that I could get ready for a date. 

But honestly, it felt good to need to be somewhere. The two hours in between my lunch with my great friend and my “call” time were uneventful, and it was good for me to be out and about, even if it was in Williamsburg near the Bedford stop, essentially the Midtown of Brooklyn (crowded, crowded, full of jerks, crowded). I got to the theater, and it felt good to be there. 

What I miss is having somewhere to go. I have certainly written about this before here. I miss having shows on the weekends, I miss having a groups of artists I am working with. I also just miss having someplace to be, where I am needed and wanted. Working in the office, sometimes I have to work really hard to get out of there on time, or ever, and I have to be very careful to set boundaries about my time. With a show, the pull on your time is intense, but it is also finite. The run will end, the show will close, the emergencies will stop. The work that you put into a great show comes back to you every night when you are on stage or in the booth, it comes from the performers and the audience, and the energy is really exciting. 

I have always though of myself as an introvert, and as I walked on Bedford Street on Saturday, trying to make sure my purse didn’t hit someone’s baby stroller and attempting to look at shoes while being shoved into a rack of sweaters, I definitely felt like an introvert. But maybe I really do feed off of other people’s energy–it just needs to structured in a different way. 

Sometimes I think how fun it would be to try to act or perform again, but I don’t think I could do it in New York. Everyone here is a professional, it would be so much work and hassle, and too much competition. But mostly, I just like the idea of having someplace to be, and some fun people to be with, and something beautiful to make, even just for a few hours. 

Today I showed up my workplace to discover that someone had left a faucet running and flooded the bathroom. I mopped it up.

I also had a prospective renter tell me that I was really good at helping her think through details for her performance. I felt really proud of that. 

I am trying to let the good of today outweigh the bad. To that end, I am leaving early to go drop off a grant application and then join a gym so that I can work off some of this intense anger. 

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