Saturday night, we closed Anything Goes and the 2014-2015 season…!
This was a good, but strange season for me. On one hand, I worked on five completely different shows, worked with some truly fantastic humans, and I had the good fortune to spread my wings and do some stuff that veered nicely off my normal props path. It was really fantastic to try new things – something I am definitely taking into the next season.
But on the other hand, it was probably the most emotionally draining season I have had thus far. I attribute this mostly to acting as Producer on two back-to-back shows. Now don’t get me wrong, both of those shows were amazing and I am EXTREMELY proud of my teams and the cast, crew and orchestras for each – the people on each of those shows have a very special place in my teeny Grinch heart (read: You are all fucking awesome!)
Each show taught a great deal about what a Producer should and should not do. There were some successes and some definite failures on my part. But I am still very much a newbie Producer who was pretty much winging it. Ok, well, that’s not entirely true. Without
my unrelenting barrage of questions and harassment the guidance of DS and JZ, I am pretty sure both shows would have been epic disasters. (Thanks, boys!) That was definitely a saving grace for me. I won’t admit this to either of their faces, but they are good mentors. 😉
At any rate, I might not be an awesome Producer right now, but I know that I have the potential – so that’s something.
Still, the back-to-back thing almost killed me. I feel like I have been producing forever. I know that being a Producer is probably not the most exciting role someone can take on in theatre – you aren’t a performer, you aren’t making rad things, you aren’t guiding the creative on the show. You are basically the general manager, administrator, and sometimes referee of a giant multi-headed beast that attracts some very passionate (sometimes too passionate) people. I joke about my motto, Producing: Like Herding Cats With a Laser Pointer, but it really is very accurate. Then add in the fact that I am a person who gets very invested in the shows I work on so I tend to put my everything into it – even when I should pull my shit back.
With this producing stuff, it is probably 200% worse because I am responsible for making sure the show is on track, on budget (or sometimes not… [sigh]), and the teams are doing what they need to do to get the show open, ran and closed. Given my propensities, there is a lot of worrying that goes into a show. A LOT of worrying. Too much worrying, frankly. A constant heightened state like this really can fuck up a girl’s brain and emotional equilibrium.
Being in this state for pretty much a half of a year*, well, by the end of it, I was emotionally drained, raw, and not doing the best job I possibly could do. I made dumb mistakes and I was totally off balance. Thankfully, neither show suffered because of it – they are bigger than me. But hindsight is 20/20 and there are a whole bunch of things I would have done differently – done better – especially when dealing with other humans. There are days that I am not as diplomatic as I could be. My mouth can really get me into trouble. A lack of filter can be a problem. Sometimes I have a hard time seeing things from other people’s perspective. I am not very sensitive. It’s the selfish part of me. But I am trying. Having to manage humans – especially passionate theatre humans – is certainly helping me be better(ish).
Still, in the light of a new day, I will try not to dwell on any of my failings or beat myself up like I would normally do. They happened and I have an opportunity to learn from them. That’s the best thing I could possibly take away from any of my experiences this season. It’s all about learning, yo.
Now as we head into July, I am already looking towards next season (hell, I even have a set meeting for Drood tonight!) I am doing a lot of different things next season. But I am kicking this Producer can again.
I mean, like with anything, you can only get better with practice, right?
*Ah. Strike Party revelations at 5:30 am.