Rant: Day Job vs. Passion

I’ve been going back and forth in my head for a couple of weeks now about this. I’ve been applying for a bunch of jobs and I’ve been tossing back and forth between applying for only what I’m passionate about or applying for jobs that I’d simply be good at. 

Whenever I mention passion to my much-older cousin, she says it’s dangerous to be fixated on mixing your career with passion. Passion implies forever, and our careers don’t necessarily need to be forever. Especially nowadays when people have several different careers during their lifetimes.

I want to find something I’m passionate about doing because whenever I meet people who are passionate about what they do, I feel a tinge of jealousy – I mean, obviously, right? It was always ingrained in me growing up that I should do what I love and what I’m passionate about, but is that not really the way it is? Just because a very small percentage of the population has managed to find a job they absolutely love, does that have to be what we all strive for? Because it’s almost as hard to find as finding your “soulmate.”

Why isn’t it good enough for all of us if we find a job that pays us so we can live our lives and pay the bills and take the occasional vacation? A job that we might happen to be good at, even though it might not be something we’re particularly passionate about doing? 

So, at first I was limiting my job applications to only companies for which I could muster up some degree of passion. Then I realized that those jobs are super few and far between and maybe my cousin was right: just find a job with people that you like (or can at least tolerate), that pays you well, and that you’re good at and, live your life outside the office. 

I went to school for theatre management and took an extra several-month course in commercial producing after graduation. I worked in theatre and the pay was lousy and the hours were even worse. I loved some of the shows I was working on, but even though I loved (and still love) theatre, I knew it wasn’t the end of the world if I didn’t work in the industry anymore. It was my passion and I could do it outside work. 

Isn’t that generally what passions are anyways? Things you do in your free time? Yes, I’d love to teach yoga full-time, but that path is hard as fuck, and you have to hustle, and I don’t know if I’m cut out for that. 

So, in the meantime, I’m going to try to teach (for $$ or volunteer) yoga on the side and then get a job that I’m good at. I’ll try my best not to work in an industry that I find revolting (again) and be content that maybe I’m not 100% passionate about what I do from 9 to 5 every day. My life outside of work is more important at the end of the day: friends, yoga, meditation, theatre, music. 

And if you make your passion your day job, is it really your passion anymore? Just asking. For a friend. 

Goodbye, Old Friend.

When an acquaintance posted on Facebook Saturday afternoon that the famous Angus McIndoe Bistro on 44th Street was closing on Sunday night, my boyfriend said we absolutely should go after our dinner and movie (which we happened to be seeing on 42nd street) on Saturday. I have such great memories of Angus from The Broadway League holiday dinner party in 2007 to sitting at the bar next to one of the producers of American Idiot (who would later become a friend) before the first preview to just having a drink there back in the day before a show when Sardi’s was too crowded and we were too lazy to walk down to 9th Avenue before or after a show.

The bartender told us they’d been notified of the closing the night before that they were out of a job after Sunday night. We watched Matthew Broderick walk by a few times (since the casts of Sylvia and Something Rotten were upstairs partying) and Stephen DeRosa randomly popped in too while enjoying a few beers. I chatted with the bartender about theatre and about how much I’d miss this place, despite how little I ventured to it in recent years. 

We were almost the last ones in towards 1am when we closed out our tab, wished the bartender good luck, and grabbed a cab home. 

I’ll always have good memories of Angus. The best we can hope for now is that it doesn’t become a Chilis or another Guy Fieris. RIP to another theatre district staple. 

Insert Obligatory Tony Awards Post

Since I left working in the industry almost 8 months ago, I have literally given zero brain energy to thinking about the Tony’s this year. I still see lots of theatre, and love it, and have lots of opinions, but since my job no longer rides on whether show X, Y, or Z stays open, and also because I know, and have known, for a long time, that the awards (and this goes for any awards shows) are bullshit, I’m no longer invested in who wins these awards (holy run-on-sentence, Batman). 

That being said, I still have lots of opinions on who should win. My thoughts after the cut…

Best Play: I’ve seen Curious Incident, Disgraced, and Hand to God. I hear Wolf Hall is amazing too, but I haven’t been able to convince myself to spend the money or go spend 6 hours at a theatre yet. Hand to God was a let down for the most part, Disgraced was very good, but Curious was visually stunning and extremely impressive in the way they translated this book to stage. My pick: Curious.

Best Musical: I’ve seen Fun Home (off-Broadway, but I don’t think they changed a lot), Something Rotten, and The Visit. I’m hoping to see American in Paris soon and I hear it’s great, but whatever. Something Rotten was SO fun. It’s so creative and everyone on that stage is so talented. I loved watching it. The Visit was an exquisite mess onstage and doesn’t deserve any award at all. But all of that said, Fun Home I believe will take the award. Because of the acclaim it’s received from the critics. Do I think Fun Home will last in the long run? No. It is a depressing-as-fuck show. Is it an important piece of theatre? I don’t really think so either. Sue me. The performances are great and the material is compelling, but it’s dark. You can’t market this for touring audiences in Oklahoma. They’ll get the award so they can PRAY that it helps them on the road.

Best Revival of a Play: I saw The Elephant Man, This Is Our Youth, and You Can’t Take It With You. I hear Skylight was great in London, not sure about here. I think this one will go to The Elephant Man, because it was a fantastic production with a fantastic cast. Or the voters might go the way of You Can’t Take It With You because: James Earl Jones. Who knows.

Best Revival of a Musical: I’ve seen On the Town and On Twentieth Century. I think The King & I might win though as I hear it’s gorgeous and: Kelly O’Hara. Case closed. Lincoln Center almost never produces shit on Broadway. That said: musical revival nominees this year, as far as I saw, put me to sleep.

Best Book of a Musical: Nominated are Craig Lucas (American in Paris), Lisa Kron (Fun Home), Karey Kirkpatrick/John O’Farrell (Something Rotten), and Terrence McNally (The Visit). I swear, if McNally wins I’ll kill myself. I think Lisa Kron will win because she’s amazing and also because Fun Home might sweep the Tony’s this year, sadly. Secretly though, I’d love for the Something Rotten team to take it home. 

Best Original Score: Nominated are Jeanine Tesori/Lisa Kron (Fun Home), Sting (The Last Ship), Wayne Kirkpatrick/Karey Kirkpatrick (Something Rotten), and John Kander/Fred Ebb (The Visit). Again, if Kander/Ebb win for The Visit, I’ll kill myself. If the voters get nostalgic because oh-my-god-their-last-show-together-lets-give-them-one-more-win, oh god. My personal pick is the Kirkpatrick brothers. Who do I think will win? Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron for Fun Home.

Best Performance by an Actor in Leading Role in a Play: This is a tough fucking category. My personal pick is a toss up between Steven Boyer (Hand to God), Alex Sharp (Curious Incident), and Bradley Cooper (Elephant Man) because, OMG, both were just so good. I think in the end it’ll go to Alex Sharp but it might just go to Steven Boyer, because, fuck, he deserves it as well. I’m sure Ben Miles (Wolf Hall) and Bill Nighy (Skylight) were fantastic too. Let’s look at it this way: Who has more producers, Curious or Hand to God?

Best Performance by an Actress in Leading Role in a Play: Nominated is Geneva Carr (Hand to God), Helen Mirren (The Audience), Elisabeth Moss (The Heidi Chronicles), Ruth Wilson (Constellations), and Carey Mulligan (Skylight). The only performance I did see here is Mulligan’s. I think this’ll either go to Helen Mirren or Elisabeth Moss. Depends on whether the producers are feeling sentimental (Mirren) or not (Moss). And how much they like Mad Men, I guess. 

Best Performance by an Actor in Leading Role in a Musical: Nominated are Michael Cerveris (Fun Home), Robert Fairchild (American in Paris), Brian d’Arcy James (Something Rotten), Ken Watanabe (The King & I), and Tony Yazbeck (On the Town). Please, this is going to Ceveris. Once again: Possible Fun Home sweep. Or MAYBE the voters could surprise is with Watanabe (I hear he’s great). I feel like Yazbeck’s nomination was a filler. 100%.

Best Performance by an Actress in Leading Role in a Play: Choices: Kristin Chenoweth (On Twentieth Century), Leanne Cope (American in Paris), Beth Malone (Fun Home), Kelli O’Hara (King & I), and Chita Rivera (The Visit). If the voters are feeling nostalgic, it’ll go to Chenoweth or Rivera. If they’re adventurous, it’ll go to Malone. O’Hara can stay home as she is clearly the Susan Lucci of the Tony’s. 

Best Performance by an Actor in Featured Role in a Play: Between Matthew Beard (Skylight), K. Todd Freeman (Airline Highway), Richard McCabe (The Audience), Alessandro Nivola (Elephant Man), Nathaniel Parker (Wolf Hall), and Micah Stock (It’s Only a Play). I haven’t seen most of these performances (only two), but I’m going to go out on a limb and say they give it to Freeman. He was hilarious. But who knows.

Best Performance by an Actress in Featured Role in a Play: Voters can pick between Annaleigh Ashford (You Can’t Take It With You), Patricia Clarkson (The Elephant Man), Lydia Leonard (Wolf Hall), Sarah Stiles (Hand to God), and Julie White (Airline Highway). Wolf Hall is the only performance I missed here. Honestly I’d love to see Clarkson take this home. I have no idea who WILL take it home though. 

Best Performance by an Actor in Featured Role in a Musical: Christian Borle (Something Rotten), Andy Karl (On the Twentieth Century), Brad Oscar (Something Rotten), Brandon Uranowitz (American in Paris), and Max von Essen (American in Paris) are all nominated. Karl is fantastic, as is Oscar, and von Essen has always been amazing in everything, but please give this to Christian Borle. Thank you. 

Best Performance by an Actress in Featured Role in a Musical: Three Fun Home actresses (Judy Kuhn, Sydney Lucas, and Emily Skeggs) are nominated (ahem, excessive) along with Ruthie Ann Miles (King & I) and Victoria Clark (GiGi). I think it’ll end up going to Victoria Clark because the rest of the votes will go evenly towards the Fun Home ladies. 

Best Scenic Design of a Play: Please just give this award to Bunny Christie and Finn Ross for Curious Incident. Case closed. I’m sure the directors of Skylight, Wolf Hall, and You Can’t Take It With You are deserving in some respect, but Curious’ staging was just outstanding. The rest of you can stay home in your pajamas. 

Best Scenic Design of a Musical: I’ve only seen the sets for Fun Home (boring) and On the Twentieth Century (better, but cheesy), so I’m going to say that either Michael Yeargan (King & I) or Bob Crowley/59 Productions (American in Paris) get it.

Best Costume Design of a Play: I honestly don’t think any of the costumes for any of these shows that I’ve seen (The Audience, You Can’t Take It With You, and Airline Highway) are deserving of this award. Airline Highway had the most fun costumes. I think Wolf Hall might take it though (the one I haven’t seen) because it’s probably the most intricate.

Best Costume Design of a Musical: Between Something Rotten, An American in Paris, On the Twentieth Century, and The King and I, I’d really like Something Rotten to win. The costumes were just cool. It’ll probably go to The King and I though. 

Best Lighting Design of a Play: Again, thank you to the rest of the nominees, but Paule Constable (Curious Incident) should just take this one home. Wolf Hall and Skylight probably had nice lighting, and Airline Highway had boring lighting. Thank you everyone. Go straight to your show’s afterparty. 

Best Lighting Design of a Musical: I haven’t seen the lighting in or don’t remember the lighting in any of these musicals (King & I, American in Paris, Fun Home, and The Visit) , but I’m going to go out on a limb and say Natasha Katz for An American in Paris

Best Director of a Play: I’m torn between Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Hand to God) and Marianne Elliot (Curious Incident). Probably Curious Incident should take it home. Skylight, You Can’t Take it With You, and Wolf Hall directors, you can stay home with a bottle of wine.

Best Director of a Musical: I don’t remember the direction of Fun Home being anything to write home about but I wouldn’t be surprised if it won because: the industry and blah, blah, blah. Who would I like to see win? Casey Nicholaw for Something Rotten. The other two are revivals, meaning they had prior productions to steal ideas from, and An American in Paris… I can’t really say. I haven’t seen it. But there’s so much going on onstage in Something Rotten and so many people on that stage that it had to take an excellent amount of direction to pull it off. 

Best Choreography: I didn’t even notice that Curious Incident was nominated in this category but I guess it kind of makes sense. I think On the Town will definitely take it, but I’d love to see Something Rotten take it. I can’t really speak to the choreography in King & I and American in Paris

Best Orchestrations: One last time, I’d love to see Something Rotten orchestrator Larry Hochman take this home, but I think it’ll probably go to Fun Home orchestrator John Clancy. The dude’s from American in Paris and The Last Ship are also nominated.

That’s it. That was exhausting. I know everyone loves Fun Home, but I just had a much better time at Something Rotten. It has a better chance at longevity. Fun Home is too damn depressing. 

The line up of performances was announced this week – another long line of unrelated celebrity performances to get ratings so they can keep airing the awards show at all. They may as well just televise it on the web at this point and cut out the crap. I don’t need to see Jersey Boys, Vanessa Hudgens, or Tyne Daly perform. Excuse me, if you were not nominated, please stay in your seat.

May the shows with the most producers and therefore the most voting power win!

6-Time Tony & Emmy Nominated Actor Seeks Part-Time Assistant

My dad’s friend did his research and this is the great Tovah Feldshuh searching for an assistant. She’s been nominated for four TONYs and two Emmys. 

Tovah apparently went into acting because she couldn’t do math. 20-40 hours as part time work? Nope, sorry, lady. Forty hours is FULL TIME. At least she pays more than most full time gigs in the theatre industry (yeah, $20/hr is a LOT of this industry).

I would pay money for someone to blog about this experience. Come at me, Tovah.