Often – lately, in particular – I find myself gnashing my teeth as an unconscious reaction to the predicament of trying to fulfil multiple roles simultaneously. In one part of my brain I’m Tessa the babysitter while another part scans through the database of upcoming auditions that I’ve stored in there along with what I’ll need for each one, and a third less senior section of brain mentally budgets the next three weeks AND responds to theatre company related emails (some part of the brain are somewhat understaffed). If it sounds a bit much, it’s cos it is really, and it can feel like being made to juggle champagne flutes while standing on one leg on a skateboard going backwards down a hill – why would anyone put themselves under that much pressure?
Having said that, I sometimes astonish myself with my ability to be in three places at once and accomplish everything that needs to be accomplished.
Today was one of those days that leave me sort of drained and exhausted but pretty satisfied and proud. I had a meeting that ended up being three meetings in one, I went to work, I went to a long and challenging audition from which I emerged feeling super proud of the work I presented and I went to other work and along the way I planned social engagements, rehearsal, negotiated an errand to pick up a crucial rehearsal prop, drafted emails for an FTP endeavour I’m co-producing and…I’m sure there’s something else but y’know what? Brain has done enough today. Brain can clock out. Brain employees need to go home to their families. Well done brain, also well done body, both outdid themselves today. All on about five hours sleep which is not enough but I’m thrilled at the prospect of an amazing night’s sleep tonight.
Yesterday we had the first real blizzard of the winter – let’s hope we stop at just the one. It was fine, not debilitating, in fact I found it quite bracing trudging down 7th Ave while snowflakes divebombed my face. It sort of felt like getting really intense microdermabrasion. Also, the area around where I work is where I lived the first time I ever came here. Work is 28th St and 7th Ave and the first time I ever saw NYC I arrived in a blizzard to an apartment on 26th St and 7th Ave. So I spent my first few days here doing exactly what I did yesterday – battling through snow and slush, cautiously picking my way over icy patches. So it’s cold, it’s abrasive, it’s hazardous but it’s also very nostalgic for me.
I laugh when I hear people say things like ‘a little snowstorm and all the schools are closing? I thought this was NYC not British Columbia!’
I know everyone likes to talk tough cos New Yorkers are genuinely unphased by most things, and to admit that a blizzard shuts down the city is a source of shame. I encourage those people to consider what it would be like if everything did stay open though. Most businesses do, the trains still run and snowploughs and gritters are out in full force making the roads useable. Schools, some banks and other public entities close if the threat of snow is heavy enough. This makes sense. There are a LOT of people on a relatively tiny island. If everyone came out and went about their business as usual during a blizzard…I mean, hordes of kids trying to ride buses on icy roads? The usual level of pavement crowding on busy streets, people trying to rush by slow walkers – added to the giant puddles that form by the curb and proprietors trying to shovel the area directly outside their business, or home? That is not a good idea! Not everyone needs to stay home or close to home but if you can during an NYC blizzard I firmly believe there should be no shame, in fact you should be commended for doing your part to keep the streets a little safer. Oy. Just one hero’s opinion!
Ok I think my skull is starting to melt with the energy my mind’s exerting to keep making sense. Over and out – so much love and warmth and hugs to all my nearest and dearest who never fail to lift me up when they sense it’s neededxxx