“Make sure to take time for yourself…go get some dinner…” Travis says to me…yet again.
My name is Heidi, and I am the Stage Management (and also Company Managing/Tour Managing) Apprentice of the Summer 2017 Apprentice Company. It’s a terrible and wonderful thing to be involved in something that you love so much and would use all your spare time toward, but only get a few breaks a day. I feel like I know myself fairly well, and I know that given the opportunity, I would throw myself into my work here (which, frankly, doesn’t feel like work), but over the course of this apprenticeship, I have come to learn about a crazy thing called balance.
There are many different kinds of balance I come across on a fairly daily basis. There’s the work vs. self time balance, work vs social, doing it myself vs asking for help, and the ever present “do I fast food on a break or make something I have at home” balance (for which the answer for me is sometimes “go to Benny’s, then get in my alone time by eating it in the theatre all by myself”). It’s difficult to know when to tell yourself “you know, maybe it would be better for me to have a night to myself, even though I really want to spend time with my friends.” And it’s difficult to know how to tough it through the paperwork even when you just want to go to bed. It takes quite a bit of conscious effort to find the right balance of things and avoid burning out, but it’s really really easy to have the time of your life here because you are so busy and involved. You’re in the thick of things with people who all share the same objective of producing theatre, have the same busy schedules as you, and who are finding their own balances of life.
Coming here, I was so scared I would not be able to handle all the demands of stage management in a professional environment, knowing that I would have to work two shows essentially in rep, one of them being a tour that I am in charge of every facet of, and also do shop hours/camp, and also do paperwork, and also be social, and also sleep sometime, but I’m doing it. There is SO much happening around here and it is so busy that sometimes I do have to get some self care in by running to Benny’s and eating alone in the theatre before everyone comes in, but truly, the only way to handle this amazing craziness is to remember that there is always a balance to be struck.