Just got back from a wonderful 24 hours away with my boyfriend/business partner. After three hectic show openings literally back to back to back, we needed a break. +Lj was emotionally and physically exhausted and I had turned into Mommie Dearest towards everyone, especially in the cast... (think NO MORE TRASH BACKSTAGE! NO MORE PEOPLE MISSING CUES! NO MORE LAUGHING AND SCREWING AROUND! NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!) I would try to start each day all Zen-like, complete with positive meditations and affirmations, but to no avail. I would get frustrated and pissy as soon as I hit the theatre and damning to Hell anything and everyone in my path. Couple this with the fact it was the "I'm-sure-it's-lovely-but-I-don't-ride-a-bike-so-I-don't-give-a-crap-Sea Otter Classic" weekend event which not only put every cycling enthusiast on the Monterey Peninsula, but also every single one of their car driving friends, making it impossible to get anywhere efficiently. By the second weekend of our current show, "9 to 5,the Musical", I was fried. I needed a time-out. And EVERYONE in my life was in agreement.
So when the third person burst into tears after a conversation with me and after Lj and I were seriously contemplating ditching the theatre biz and getting minimum wage, "real" jobs, Sunday morning I said "We need some sun...let's go". So we packed up, and headed north to the heat and most importantly, an economy hotel with a pool.
Bliss. The lady at the front desk started to say "Well, normal check in time is 3pm and it's only 12 thirt-" but wisely stopped when I believe she saw silent Hurricane Koly beginning to touch down. "Let me see if we have any rooms ready for early check in." She did, and we were presented with a clean crisp room, right above a sparkling pool.
"Let's go!" Lj said, more energetic and enthusiastic than I have seen him in years. And within 4 minutes, we were swimming around, splashing and laughing like two twelve year olds. We were having fun. We were playing. We were having a good time.
It becomes important to note that as a director and producer, I am often telling adult actors how imperative it is to remember to play in their lives. Acting is just a sophisticated form of pretend, no matter what anyone says. We as adults forget that fact all the time. We are too busy, as Lj often says "chopping wood and carrying water", to meet the basic human need of fun.
Lj suggested after the swim and a luxurious nap that we contact our friends who live in the town we had escaped to. Brilliant. They guided us to a fabulous small Italian bistro and the four of us proceeded to laugh and eat. The subject turned to work, (they are some of our theatre's biggest fans), and we both got sullen again. But, being able to open up to the people who aren't in the daily grind with us, and hearing their suggestions and their laughter was like crazy good therapy. Situations that made me nuts during the past week seemed funny and not so aggravating when regurgitated in the presence of the people who love us.
Good food. Some rest. Good friends. A lot of play. Being away from the theatre. All necessary to my sanity. As Lj put it..."I feel human again."
Not bad for 24 hours.
PS: Thank you to the cast and crew at our theatre. I apologize for my snappiness and will return a much better person tomorrow.