"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Safe Zone

Remember playing tag, or kick the can or any number of games with a "base"? It was that one place you could go to escape for a minute, re-charge and rest? Sometimes we need them in real adult life, don't we? We need a known safe zone where we can go regroup, de-stress and then re-enter the situation ready for another go at it.

I'm a bit of a misanthrope, not real fond of strangers or large groups of people even if I do know most of them. I don't mingle well, I am awkward socially. I do enjoy parties but I'm never really completely comfortable at them. It's a weird contradiction, I know. Our great friends the Iapaluccis love to throw big parties, ones with lots of people I don't know, people I do know who I 'm not so sure about and lots and lots of really wonderful mutual friends. We love to go, *I* love to go. But they can be really a lot to handle sometimes, for someone like me.

I have a "base" at Jen and Adrian's house, though, that makes it much easier. It's the kitchen. Almost every time we are over there, I end up spending time in the kitchen, and not just hanging out. Probably why it's such a great escape is because I tend to do proper kitchen-y things in there. I wash up, put out food, cook. Often Jen is in there, she's the hostess with the mostest and head chef so it's perfectly natural, but sometimes I think she's on "base" too. And when she is there, she usually gives me a mission, which is awesome. The other night, for example, it was well into a party, 10:30 when the festivities got going at six, and Jen announces she's forgotten to cook the shrimp and I need to toast the coconut. So there we are, with all the dozens and dozens of guests milling about and partying, at the stove cooking coconut shrimp late at night. Yes, 10:30 is way late for me, don't judge. When we were done, we plated up and I followed the shrimp out into the yard and re-joined the party. It was great. I just love the idea that there's a place to decompress. It involves the magics of shared cooking and friendship at the same time and it's a really cool thing.

See, it's not hiding, it's essential party stuff going on :)
Coconut Shrimps!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

16 Days and Props To Roy

That's until midnight, December 31, when I am no longer president of the board of directors of Brunswick Little Theatre. I know because I have a phone widget counting down for me. It can't come soon enough for me, I'm kind of sorry to say. I'm just worn out.

I'm sitting here and should be writing an agenda for the last meeting under my leadership.  And writing a treasurer's report. And figuring out revenue/expenses for the last three shows. And sending all the paperwork needed for a temporary alcohol permit to the Rotary Club. And answering the email from the promoter wishing to rent the theatre for a concert in February. All this really needs to be done tonight. But just can't till this glass of bourbon starts to take effect. My wanna is gone.

I find myself admiring Roy Disney more and more every day. He was Walt's "reality man." Walt imagined and dreamed and built and filmed and created and made real magic. And he ran out of money and time and space over and over and over, but every time he just knew Roy would find a way.

It's been that kind of year with me and BLT. It's been money, yes, we've run frighteningly low twice, but that's not at all the only thing. It's been finding a way to get a story or a photo in the papers. It's been negotiating with a theater manager and taking the chewing out when the agreement is ignored by a third party BLTer. It's been selling tickets and keeping track of seats while a director constantly adds them and takes them away. It's been dealing with patrons angry when we sell out and directors angry when we don't. It's been playing accountant while three people run around with debit cards and refuse to report spending. It's been trying to explain to a board enthusiastic about a new home that "want" and "need" are two very different things and that money doesn't grow on trees. It's been trying to find directors and shows to fill a season. It's been thermostats and propane and riding mower batteries and ADA compliance and fire codes and playground signs and pinestraw and storage and ashtrays and piles of lumber and security deposits and ASCAP licenses and solar powered night lights and temporary stages and yoga classes in our rehearsal space. It's been reading and negotiating and signing a rental contract and scaring off prospective buyers of our rented space a couple months later. It's been facing canceling a show due to the very possible condemnation of the old theatre we had planned to perform in and then meetings with government officials to ensure we didn't have to cancel that same show due to permitting issues in our own space. It's been threats and angry phone calls. It's been negotiating a contract for another theater troupe to use a space we barely even used ourselves. It's been finding new board members and re-writing by-laws and tracking down members and donors and grants. It's been a lot and I'm just tired.

I wonder how many people have any idea what it takes for even a tiny little community theatre production to get off the ground. Things having zero to do with the show itself. I imagine movies are the same. When I start to think about all that had to happen for the groundbreaking work of Walt Disney to be possible, the movies and theme parks and inventions and all that, I'm just amazed. Hat's off to Roy.