So, in addition to the crappy corporate job that I now have to keep at least until the hatchling comes (why do sucky jobs so often come with good benefits?), I’m also the artistic director of a small theatre company. And, oh yeah, there’s that dissertation I’m supposed to be finishing. The three positions (cubicle jockey, artistic director, and eternal grad student) could each easily take up 40 hours a week on their own, so my normal state of existence is overworked and crunched for time. This is even MORE true right before a show opens, which is where I am right now. For those of you who aren’t in theatre, the week before a show opens is typically known as “tech week” and it’s also typically known to suck, because it’s when all the technical elements like lights, sound, costumes, and a full set get added into the show you’ve been rehearsing for the past month or two. When tech week hits, the director’s focus shifts from being exclusively on the actors and their interpretations of their roles, and gets diffused among various designers, technicians, house managers and publicists. It’s hard on the director, because she’s suddenly getting pulled in 10 different directions by people with equally valid claims on her attention. And it’s hard on the actors because they sort of get abandoned to their own devices.
For some directors, tech week is truly a week from hell, but I’ve always prided myself on relatively low-stress tech weeks: no rehearsals that go until midnight, no all night building sessions, etc. I work pretty hard to get all my ducks in a row so that the elements of the show can be combined as painlessly and seamlessly as possible. Sure, there are always glitches, but I try to keep them small. The show I’m working on right now is a good example: it’s a three-woman show, and my completely awesome cast is basically ready to go – they’ll be ready for me to shift focus off them starting this weekend. My technical director is a pro, and the set and costumes are simple enough for this production that we should have a minimally stressful load-in to the theatre space.
But one thing I couldn’t have factored in was the pregnancy effect. Being knocked up hasn’t had too much of an impact on the process so far, but I’m finding that this past week in particular, the fatigue is a real killer. Since I don’t get home from work until around 6:00, and I have to be at rehearsals at 7, there’s no time for catching a nap beforehand; but then I’m usually feeling too wired after rehearsal to go to bed very early. And then there’s the stress effect: as confident as I am in this show, there’s no way to avoid stressing about it until it opens this coming Thursday. And stress has the lovely effect of making me even more tired and even less able to go to sleep. So that plus the pregnancy fatigue = one worn out squab. Anyone know a recipe for getting more hours in the day?