One of those situations in which there's so much stuff that I wanted to put on my 'blog that I was never, ever going to have time to do so. The important highlights, for anyone who reads this but isn't in touch with me otherwise:
Katya broke up with me a month ago. That sucked, but was almost certainly a good thing, all told (we'd been trying to save the relationship since the year 2002...) Sorry I didn't tell you earlier (unless I did tell you already) but for a long time I didn't really feel like dealing your reaction to the news, so to speak. We remain quite good friends, and I don't think that relationship is in any danger.
I got a job designing the lights for a theatre in Oak Park, which was more than a little hellish. However, I was quite pleased with the result (it was set in a series of bars, and so I got to use a hazer!!! Shafts of light, shafts of light!). More importantly, it was maybe the first ever gig where, although I was the Master Electrician and sole load-in tech, I was not the board op. In addition, it was a new theatre that I didn't have a previous relationship with--I felt all "grown up", so to speak, like a realio, trulio lighting designer. That, in turn, helped me to do the following:
I resigned from Triton, where I've been the Resident Lighting Deisgner for the past three seasons. I'll be doing three more shows for them, and that's it. For a long time being "resident lighting designer" of anywhere at all was just too cool to give up, and it was clear to me that without it, I'd just be a secretary who sometimes hung lights for cash. Now, however, I've had a couple non-Triton design jobs, a couple very regular freelance electrician jobs, and I'm starting to feel like I'm a Lighting Designer that works at Northwestern for cash.
I'm completely burnt out with Triton--mostly it's the distance (an hour and a half there and back again every night--that sucks) and that's the reason I gave for quitting. As it happens, I really don't enjoy working with the majority of the directors there. I used to dislike working with one guy, because he clearly doesn't give a crap about the lighting at all, just says, "Do what you do, and I know it will be great!". These days, he's just about my favorite, because at least I get the feeling that he treats me like an artist / professional, and listens to what I say. The other reactions generally feel to me sort of on the order of either, "That's nice, but moving on to something important..." or else, "That's nice, but do it this other way instead, and please stop talking." The one exception is Angela, the director of the program (and, I believe, the Department) who seems to be a genuinely good director with interesting ideas. That's not enough. I also got a pay raise this year, which I almost thought would be enough--but I have a day job, and can afford to say things like, "Money over Art!? Never!". So I do.
Speaking of money, I was promised $400 for that Oak Park show. Mind you, I never saw a contract and when I asked them about the money last Friday (a week after I should have gotten the check) I didn't get a response... but still, I'm trusting them. And so: