Monday, October 30, 2006

Feeling fractured.

There is no better way to ensure a crushing blow to your overinflated sense of self that to start a new job and and tech week at the same time. Not only am I pathetically stupid at the office, I can't remember a damn thing about my blocking on the actual stage. Ah, I'm such a professional.

I started the new job last Wednesday, and everyone was unnervingly happy to see me. As I was getting the tour and being introduced to the other staff, every person I met greeted me with, "God! We're so glad you're here!" And apparently it's not my reputation that precedes me. I could be a reformed sociopath and they'd be thrilled to have a full contingent of staff able to count to 100 independently. However, as so often happens in new jobs, I feel pathetically stupid and woefully unprepared. My new job is several steps lower on the UW ladder in terms of both pay and responsibility than the last, but I feel as though I suddenly assumed the CFO position and am expected to have the company out of the red by next Tuesday. My God, these people are organized. They have levels of checks and balances the fussiest CPA would weep and rend his shirt over, and my nervous and over-wrought brain simply couldn't keep up on that first day. I was feeling a little concerned about expectations regarding my ability to function at a long-timer level right off the bat, so I addressed my concerns to the lovely woman training me, and she suggested I take it up with the manager, also new, and new to UW, as well. I was expecting to be told that I should be able to function fully independently by the end of next week, and was prepared to work some extra hours to make sure I wasn't letting anyone down. The manager paused after hearing my question and said, "Well, I would think six months would be enough time. Statistically speaking, even an employee coming from inside the same company needs six months to get up to speed." I must have had a look on my face of disbelief and bemusement, as she shot a glance at my co-worker and said, "Is that not enough time?" I started to laugh and told her that I was expecting a response more along the lines of, "Get your ass in gear by next Friday and you'd better have all those acronyms memorized or get out." We all had a hearty chuckle over that. I'm a little amused by my new boss, who is charming and lovely and has never really had an "assistant" before, and doesn't quite know what to ask of me. It feels odd to tell a woman with more letters in her degrees than I have in my name ask me to give her suggestions on how to best utilize me. What a change. Why did I wait so long to leave? Oh yeah, I'm chicken shit. Oh, and the whole Monday off thing? Fucking awesome.

We got into the Rialto last night, where we'll be performing this weekend. The house is this gorgeous old movie theater built in the teens, with walls the color of our dining room and plaster friezes encrusted on every immobile surface. Apparently, the dressing rooms are up some precarious and noisy stairs and there have been horrifying moments of, "Holy crap, that was my cue," with neck-breaking sprints down the clacking steps. As I'm on stage almost the entire opera and have no costume changes, I don't think I'll quite ensure my never being rehired by this company by missing a cue. I don't know what the future will hold for me with this company as I don't feel as though I'm singing my best, and the other cast members are pretty exceptional, but it has been a great and extremely well-run experience. One thing that can be God-awful frustrating for performers is working for a company that wastes time, both in rehearsals and on stage, and I certainly don't feel that way about this organization. I'm so damn paranoid, though, and I haven't heard any comments, negative or positive, about my singing, so I, of course, assume the worst. I expect comments from you all, dammit, after you come on Friday.

And now, I'm going back to sleep, because I can.

4 comments:

Das Klaun said...

Oh man, getting to perform at the Rialto. One of the few bright spots of Tacoma. I saw Citizen Kane there, and Star Wars, and on one occasion I got to stand on the stage in a clown suit, though I couldn't really be said to be performing.

ible said...

The Rialto Theater in Phoenix AZ was my intro to the world of commercial art. I assisted the resident artist paint "Fronts" in the summer of '52.

I saw Disney's " Bambi " as a first run at the Rialto . Mom said I laughed , shouted and cried . Maybe history will repeat it's self this coming friday too .

AAM said...

Hey Suz, even tho we won't be able to be there, we wish you much leg breakage! You will kick bum!

Anonymous said...

You'll be swell, you'll be great; Gonna have the world on your plate...at work, on the boards...EVERYWHERE