I’ll be working this evening and tomorrow with the union.
Last week a venue contacted me about working, a venue that hates the union.
Yesterday I was invited to join the union.
It’s been an interesting turn of events and a dangerous game to be playing, venue against union.
Friday I found out I was working again for my summer job, for the man who swore never to hire me again.
I’m a stage manager, a decent one. Every show brings me one step closer to fulfilling my mother’s prophecy that one day I’ll be a great stage manager, maybe even a production manager or technical director one day. This show is not important in the scheme of things (the one I work during the summer) but I count it as something I do so when I find something that does matter I’ll remember where I started.
I started on the stage I run now. I was eight years old and was told to carry anything I could, to unroll cables for my father, to put clips on microphone stands, to crawl in to the compartments under the stage and run cable lines, to climb up the ladders that were too small for my parents, to do whatever I could to set the stage up.
At the end of the setup it was turned over to the stage manager, always a man, always a college student, and he took credit for the show. He didn’t do the setup but he got the show. When I was eighteen they asked me if I would do it and I agreed.
When I was nineteen I quit.
When I was twenty the director called and asked me if I could find it in my heart to work again. At that moment I found myself standing on the same stage in my mind, looking at myself as an eight year old who wanted to run the show. I agreed, despite my best interests.
I run the show.
March brings anticipation for something that won’t happen until June. As much as I occasionally dread my job a part of me loves it and a part of me can’t imagine doing anything else. When I’m on stage I’m not Liz the pre-law student, or Liz the RA. I’m not even Liz as near as I can explain it. I’m in charge.
I want the venue director to like me, he’s one of my father’s best friends and is incredible at what he does. I want the union to like me because they control the venues. I want to be good at my job so my parents don’t feel like they wasted my childhood having me drudge along and help on shows. In short, I don’t want to be anyone’s second choice.
Today I had lunch with my father and he asked me not to do it as a career. I don’t think I will, but right now it’s the only thing (other than Greek Literature) that I can say I love.