Hope you all had a lovely week and weekend! Mine were both terrific!
On Tuesday I started my new part time job at the Gateway Theatre as a Production Assistant during the down time between shows. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to get to know the theatre better, as well as working alongside Ashley, the new house tech! She and I met during Closer Than Ever and immediately hit it off! So inventory on Monday is gonna be a blast. On Thursday I started my second part time contract at Urban Ink Productions. They’re a theatre company here in Vancouver that puts a focus on theatre by Indigenous people and telling their stories. I’m currently helping them apply for grants and doing other little administrative duties around the office. I really love the people there and hope to be back on a more frequent basis as the months go on! An added bonus — they are located in the Woodwards building, my former apartment building! It felt like coming home.
The view down West Hastings street from my desk. Not bad at all!
In between these shifts, I also continued rehearsals for the Lawyer Show. We’re about half way through blocking the show now and it’s really starting to take shape. We have all of March and April to rehearse and then in May we move into the Waterfront Theatre for our 4 performances. It’s been a great experience so far and I’m looking forward to getting to a place where we’re all so familiar with the show that it’s like clockwork — always my favorite part of any rehearsal process.
With a lot of my work happening downtown this past week, I opted to take transit and walk instead of driving and paying for parking. I must say I really enjoyed being able to walk everywhere. But even more than that, I enjoyed having the time to think about what’s next. Cause I’m always thinking about what’s next ;).
When I lived in Vancouver the last time, I was in school and always had a goal in mind. When school ended, the goal was to find some paid work for one, but also to get my dream project ‘Miles Off Track’ off the ground. Every day was spent applying for jobs, taking whatever I could get, doing free work in hopes of it getting me somewhere (ha!), and working tirelessly on Miles Off Track. I really thought it had potential to go somewhere– and so did some of my friends, who came on board for episode 2. It was easy (and so fun!) for me to spend hours upon hours blogging, sourcing content for the photo of the day, contacting locations for future episodes, coming up with fundraising initiatives, leading my kick ass team, and so on. And then one day.. It became apparent that I was going to have to go home and charge my batteries and figure my life out. So Miles Off Track went on permanent hiatus and I started working on all sorts of other things. I traveled the world, went back to school for theatre, traveled some more, worked in theatre and then decided to come back to the city I love. And here I am.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I decided to move back here this past June. When I made that decision, I set a few more specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound goals for myself (ha, SMART goals. Some things always stick with you). Get out to Vancouver, get consistent work in film, start a relationship with someone out here, move in with your best friend, build your dream life, etc. Most of my goals did not quite work out as planned — working in theatre now almost non-stop, long distance relationship, ending a friendship, etc. — but they worked out best for me and have gotten me to a place where I feel happy and like I can do anything! The whole reason I moved out here!
Almost everything I’ve done over these last few months has served the purpose of getting me to Vancouver and then gaining some sort of stability. I’m finally at a point now where I have solid work for the next couple months, my living situation is pretty terrific, my relationship is progressing nicely, I’m getting to explore the city more and more every week, and so on. So it must be new goal time, right?
In the past it always seemed so obvious. This is what you want, so do this and then things will either work out or they won’t and then you can go back to the drawing board. Oh okay! Cool!
But now.. It wasn’t quite like that. I didn’t know exactly what it was that I wanted. Most people would be content with things going well, but as always, I am looking for more.. So it was time to start figuring out what that meant.
I started with something suggested to me by my boyfriend. He asked me why I didn’t have anything about my work on my website. As someone who hasn’t really done the freelance thing (successfully at least), it wasn’t really something I took into consideration. Looking back on it now, it seems so obvious! So with that in mind, I got to work on my website a little bit. I added a theatrical resume to my About Me section so that I could start directing prospective clients to my website, and have something to show them other than my blog posts. I also toyed around with the idea of having a “what I can offer you” page where I list some of my skills, talents and maybe post some photos of work I’ve done. I am still working on how exactly I’m going to lay that out, but it’s at least on my radar now. The next step in this mission is to design and print business cards so I can start handing those out to people as well. One day at a time. Just these minor little changes may have an impact on the kind of work I can get in the coming months and that is always going to be one of my goals. Yay working!
Next I started to think about what kind of project I could see myself doing. And this is where it started to get problematic again.
Generally speaking, my big A-ha! moments come to me when I least expect it. Miles Off Track stemmed from an in-class assignment for a pitch and then the idea just grew. Moving back to Vancouver really came into my mind when I was sitting on a riad rooftop in Marrakech. It’s not something you can just make happen, you know? Timing is everything! But at the very least, I’ve managed to surround myself with people and projects that motivate and inspire me, and hopefully this will put me on the right track.
I’ve also learned the kind of questions to start asking myself. Why do you want to do this project? What do you hope to accomplish with this project? Where do you see this project taking you? And the most important question of all, Why does anyone care? Sure it’s all well and good for me to start working on something I love — but not if the audience doesn’t exist. If there’s anything I learned in Film School, it’s that there is no “If you build it, they will come” scenario anymore. You need to prove you have an audience before you make something. And then even when you do, you need to promote the hell out of it and make sure you get eyes on it. This is of course an achievable feat, but one that needs a bit of planning.
So for now, I’m thinking every day about what might make me happy. Where I see myself, what my next goal or project should be and I’m feeling good about it. Putting unnecessary pressure on myself to come up with a good idea isn’t working, so it’s time to let things happen as they happen. In the meantime, I will keep looking for work opportunities, doing my best in all of my jobs (I’m up to 4 now!) and dreaming about what’s next — because there’s always a what’s next!
Well that is it for me this morning! I’m off to work on a grant proposal and then to do inventory at the Gateway. Hope you have a busy day ahead of you, too!
Ps. As I typed this post, I got confirmation that I will be the ATD on the Arts Club’s production of Billy Elliott!