Last Volunteer Workday

With the entire show run ahead of me, on the other side of hell week, it’s hard to believe my own departure is rushing towards me. The final week in the studio completely snuck up on me.

It crept in with the final volunteer workday, which I started in a stressed out mood anyway. The chaos of finding work for unskilled labor when so much is down to fine-detail finishing touches bustled around me, as I was pushed from work table to another, constantly having my set-up taken over for some other project.

After finally establishing a work zone and grinding through some wing-painting, I had lunch alone at the coffee shop, sitting in the little upstairs balcony, to clear my head. A kind text from Matto, following up on our game night fun, surprised me, and helped turned the day around. Especially once I was able to vent to Dave a little, I was able to take a moment to get a handle on my attitude.

I have been extremely fortunate that our intern crew meshes so well. There has been minimal conflict, and for the most part we all genuinely enjoy each other’s company. My competitive edge and love of structure has definitely put me in tension with some of the freer spirits, but over all I’ve been so proud of our ability to take those two approaches and appreciate each other for what we bring to the table. The fact that it took until the last studio-work weekend for me to really get teeth-grinding frustrated with people (not projects, I’ve been frustrated with projects PLENTY) is a blessing.

Also, eating a sandwich and having a cup of coffee did wonders. Never underestimate the hanger.

So I got back to the studio, and was able to stay focused on painting more of the remaining wings with Meghan and Sally. The rest of the day passed in a flash, and next thing I knew we were cleaned up for rehearsal the following day and it occurred to me that we were done with Saturday workdays. Just like that.

Jennifer was the only volunteer still lingering, having seen us through clean up. She is an older lady who has been here every week, and is better than paper mache than I am at this point. I took a moment to thank her, and give her a shout-out to the rest of the crew too. She’s a quiet, dedicated worker, so I know she may have flown under other people’s radar. It’s part of why I liked her so much.

She accepted the praise demurely, and I was glad to see that Donovan took a moment to thank her personally.

Jennifer did say she was hoping to help out during performance weekends, and I do hope we see more of her. She’s the perfect example of why all the stress of the volunteer crowd is worth it.

Then we were standing in an open studio, no more volunteers. I felt the lurching thrill that is the emotional translation of ‘here we go’.

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