I am currently working on a Project. This Project involves Other People. I am very firm in my belief that some of these Other People were never properly socialized to the point of being able to work well (or at all) with others. To the tune of Passive Aggressive Verbal Abuse, Rudeness, and Delusions.
(I'm purposefully being vague.)
I am, however, VERY proud of myself for how I am handling this situation. (she types as she stuffs her face with Trader Joe's Cheesy Poofs and washes them down with cheap beer in a wine glass.....don't judge me.)
I took a hiatus from theatre work about 8 or 10 months ago because I was always angry. Angry about the work, the people, the schedules, the money (or lack thereof), and I am pretty sure it contributed at least partly to the weight struggles I've had, the cholesterol struggles I've had, and general moodiness ( i know... me? moody? no.....).
This attitude is something I've tried to be hyper aware of as I tentatively dip my toes once again into the frigid, sometimes violent waters of A Career in Theatre. And I definitely find myself reacting strongly to being treated so poorly and unprofessionally. This time, though, it's more a fleeting flame of frustration, and then simply amazement. I've learned that all I can do is shake my head and laugh at how it's the End Of The Universe if that light cue isn't perfect, or All Kittens Will Die if that dress isn't precisely period, or The Entire Show Is Ruined if that picture frame can't be 2 inches smaller.
Seriously? I mean, I get it. We all want to be good at what we do (the best?), and prove that to everyone around us. But when it really comes down to it, we all get to go home at the end of the night (ok, well, hopefully... this is theatre, afterall, and sometimes you don't get to go home until tomorrow. but EVENTUALLY, you do get to go home). Hopefully we are lucky enough to have someone we love to come home to, and something more important in our lives than focusing that light or upholstering that chair.
I think I've finally learned to let it go. To walk away from a job well done, or sometimes a job done good enough (no matter what some Other Person might believe in their alternate delusional universe where life begins and ends on that stage).
Some people may see this as a loss of passion. I don't think it is. I think it is more of a gaining of perspective.
My health, my sanity, and my happiness are not dependant on what I do for a living, and are not worth compromising for the next Project. I will still strive to be great at what I do (be it painting, propping, or waiting tables), but I will walk away smiling about all the great people and things in my life instead of tossing and turning all night over that Project.
I raise that glass of cheap beer in salute to figuring out what is important.