Three things I learned the hard way? a meme from Scott Walters
1) At all costs, protect your back. Thinking I could lift that TV into the car without a second hand and other similar such lifting led to 2 years of back pain I would really rather have skipped. Even now, I'm doing very good, but I see a chiropractor weekly.
2) Even with a contract, 75% of theatre spaces and their admins are 75% of the time real pain in the ass that 75% of the time disappoint. There is of course a sliding scale of disappointment, but even when money is plentiful, it always seems that someone got in the space and props are now missing, or the venue has double booked performances during 3 of the 5 days of your tech week in the same space (this has actually happened) or the artistic director of the venue telling the producing managing that it is too bad they have a contact with you, the show and set in the space you have already paid for will remain for another 3 weeks...this is the sort of struggle that is part of the job, so it is best to assume everything will take twice as long or cost twice as much. Either someone just lies to your face half the time, or they actually start believing their own inaccuracies, or due to their own budget problems got their internet shut off and haven't received the emails you sent. However, even if they haven't fixed the light board like they said, or cleaned out the dressing rooms, or struck their materials, they are always there with a hand out wanting the check. There are some real diamonds in the rough out there, (you know who you are hopefully) so when you find them cherish them and establish long lasting relations.
3) The grass is always greener. It doesn't matter where I have lived All over Florida, Atlanta, New York City, Chicago...after a certain amount of time pasts I get nostalgic for the better parts of the places I've departed. When in Florida, I wanted museums, the kind of culture I could only find in Northern cities. After I graduated from FSU, I couldn't get to NYC fast enough. But after living with the rat race for a year in NYC I would catch myself yearning for the ease of life I have in Florida. Chicago seemed like the perfect compromise, and it was until after 7 years I was burnt out and so fled to Atlanta where I loved the hills, the trees, the chlorophyll but had serious trouble with the politics and the rebel flags, after 4 months in Atlanta I seriously missed Chicago. Now I'm back, and things are good, but damned if i don't think of the ease of going to Turner Field, my own parking space, and the trees. I miss the hustle and bustle below 14th street, and sometimes I just miss the idea of sitting at the Starbucks on the beach where my folks live...Make the most of where you are, and if you are convinced it is no good, just take a 2 month leave of absence if you can before you invest in relocating your whole life again and again and again. Ultimately, even though I dream of Puget sound now...the people in my life win out...and I am blessed by my fellow Chicagoan Artists/Friends too numerous to name.
I'll tag Travis, RZ, and Nick Keenan