Totally Overwhelmed

Today was one of the longest days and it was totally overwhelming.  The day really started last night after the show when we had to fix a moving light and some other cabling issues.  I had to totally strip apart one of the revolutions and re-build it, but it seems to be better now.  When all was said and done I think I arrived home around 1AM.  I had to get up at 5AM to get ready for the flight out to California to go to CalArts for a tour and interview.

The logistics of getting to CalArts were certainly interesting.  Flying into Burbank from Salt Lake City is not an easy thing to do.  The flight out today was routed through Oakland, which is about an hour out of the way plus layover.  So, I arrive in Oakland to find that there is an earlier flight to Burbank that is about to leave.  I ask the agent if there are seats available and If I could get on that flight.  Answer: “Sure, but it will cost like $100.”  Ummmm… Hello!  You have empty seats on a flight to the same destination and I have a ticket but I can’t get on the early flight without more money?  That is dumb!  Forget all this TSA crap, they don’t make flying a pain, it is the airlines!

Anyway, I resigned myself to the layover waiting and rustled up some food.  Not a bad idea.  Then I get a call from the people at CalArts about who is picking me up.  I had thought that it was going to be my friend from Ithaca who is here in the MFA program, which is what I had been told.  This was apparently news to the woman coordinating the logistics, which instilled some moments of panic on her part, but all got sorted out and the original plan went through.

After being picked up I had lunch with one of the lighting design faculty and we got to chatting about the job and such.  Informal, relaxed, good way to do things.  First impressions, these would probably be good people to work with/for.  After lunch I got the first of a couple tours of the day and then I got to meet the person who is temporarily filling this position.  Nice kid, just graduated from the MFA program who really wants to get back to pursuing his design career.  Learned a lot about what the job is about and how the day-to-day stuff happens.

The theatre program and the school in general are very intriguing to me.  As they kept putting it, it is a little arts school.  They are making their decisions on acceptance based on portfolio, they don’t really look at test scores and such.  So, the school is full of very “artsy” students.  Nothing wrong with that, just a different atmosphere.  The program is also basically design focused, with tech being something that they know the students need, but not a focus.

What does this mean for me and the position?  Well, the position seems to probably be about 70% management, supervising and logistics, 15% teaching, and 15% hands on.  Probably nothing that I can’t handle, though when I really started to think about it, my lack of formal training in education daunted me.  When i mentioned this to the production manager/Assoc. Dean he said that they don’t mind this as they treat real-world experience with a lot of respect and hope that I can find a meaningful way to pass that on.

In my adventures around campus with the staff and with my friend I got to meet a few of the students and go to dinner with some of the MFA lighting students.  They all seem to be having a good time here.  They took me to a performance of their current show “La Ronde.”  Quite an interesting show, but they certainly have some fun and interesting technology.

After quite a long day I made it back to the hotel and am about ready to crash.  I have been totally overwhelmed by the events of the day.  This certainly would be a fun and interesting job.  I think that I would probably do well here.  I am concerned about leaving PTC in the middle of the season and I am concerned about being able to move here on the short timeframe that they are looking at.  I know, I have yet to be offered the job, but thinking about all these things is a little stressful.  This is quite the big, life-changing kind of decision.  I am not even sure that I have the time to think this over.  Just knowing that I am one of three final candidates puts on a lot of pressure.

Well, being excited and overwhelmed and overtired means that I will probably sleep very well tonight.  I am sure that tomorrow will be another long day before I even get on the plane back to Salt Lake City.  If any of you out there have insight, words of wisdom, or thoughts, please, let me know.






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