I went on an adventure today. An old friend of mine posted on Facebook that he needed a crew to help hang lights for a show going up next weekend. I’ve known John for thirty years. He’s quite literally my longest-time friend, and I only get to actually see him and hang out once every few years. (He is a very busy lighting designer and technical threatre guru, travels a whole lot.) It turns out he’s working in the metro area until probably the end of the year, and I’ve not seen him for longer than maybe four or five minutes since 2004. So I piped up and volunteered, even though I’m not a technical theatre person at all. I know how to do stuff, but I’m just not very good at it, barely competent. But I can pick up stuff, move stuff, and do the little things that can bog down the Big Kids. So, cool.
There’s nothing like being in a theatre, working on a project. Just being in the building is magic. For me anyway. Call was for 10am. I had to leave at 4pm. I had to take more than a few breaks to rest my knee and my foot and by back, but I did pretty well. Theatre work is the only work I’ve ever done where it doesn’t matter how much I hurt during or after, as long as the job gets done. And no matter how laborious, how chaotic, how repetitive, or how crazy it winds up being… I love it. Honestly, theatre work is for me like a religious experience for others. The only thing that’s ever matched it is fatherhood, and if I’m honest, even that’s a close tie. (I’ve more practice in theatre than I do parenthood, even with sixteen year olds.) If ever there was a place I was meant to be, it’s a theatre.
I had a blast. It was great seeing John again and catching up and shooting the breeze. It was like we’d seen each other a few days ago. I also made some new acquaintances, which is always fun. I wish there was another work day tomorrow or soon. Alas, there is not. Everything got done by about 5.30pm. (I left a 4pm so I could pick up my youngest and take him swimming.) If I’m in town that weekend, when the show ends I’ll go to strike. Strikes are always fun.
So yeah. I’ve always known where I fit in perfectly. Today made me wonder why I ever gave it up, really. Today was a very good day.