Generally speaking, it suits me to blog about a show immediately after returning home from the theatre, while everything is fresh in my head and I’m buzzing with excitement. I think our immediate response is often the ‘realest’, and too much reflection can cause me to wank on and on about the fucking aesthetic relationship and what Kant would say or some bollocks like that. If we respond quickly, we respond truthfully.
Not so this week. I saw Entitled by Quarantine on Thursday night and it’s now TWO WHOLE DAYS LATER. I had been pretty staggered by my emotional response to the show, a piece created around the get-in and get-out at a theatre and performed by real theatre technicians, as well as a few performers (and a writer) who spoke openly about themselves. I was sobbing very early on and erupted into full shoulder-shaking snorts regularly thereafter. Everything that was said just chimed so completely with me. The relationships we have. The work we do. The things we create that go unnoticed. The decisions we make. The decisions that somehow get made for us. When the show ended I walked home completely stunned, and have spent a considerable amount of time staring into the middle distance ever since.
I won’t go on about it here (yeah, right) but I’m in the middle of a massive work project at the moment. I’ve never done anything like this before and am consistently challenged by it. Some days I feel like I have the best job in the world and other days I just want to crawl under a rock that’s been painted with a massive ‘FUCK OFF’. I’ve also just started my final year at uni and am COMPLETELY SHITTING MY PANTS about the future, short-term and long. Watching Entitled gave me these beautiful little insights into the lives of a group of (*cleares throat*) theatre professionals; their hopes but also their regrets, and it scared the crap out of me. I could see myself in all of them, and suddenly felt a bit like I was about to make a huge fucking mistake with everything. So, for the last couple of days I’ve been thinking hard about boring adult stuff and asking boring adult questions like ‘Is it important for a future employer to have an HR department?’, ‘Should I join a union?’, ‘Remind me again why I gave up a perfectly good job IN A FUCKING THEATRE WITH AN HR DEPARTMENT AND A FUCKING UNION REP to get an ARTS MANAGEMENT DEGREE?’ ‘What if I can never afford another holiday FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE?’
PANIC PANIC PANIC PANIC PANIC.
Tonight I worked at an event which is part of the big work project that’s been stressing me out so much lately. At the end of the night the guy who commissioned us said it was the best one yet, and in the car home my bosses asked me how I thought it was going because they’d noticed how totally broken and ragged I’d been looking. It was so nice to be asked. For the rest of the journey I charted pretty much every mood swing I’d experienced since April, and felt listened-to again. It made me wonder how the guys from Entitled feel about having made their show. I wonder if being able to talk about their experiences lifts their spirits too. I wonder if they’ll take a bit of that back to the next project they work on and feel that little bit more valued.
I also wonder if they’re members of BECTU and whether they have a worthwhile pension scheme, but that’s something to wonder about some other time.