One of the teachings of yoga is to let go of expectations of a certain outcome. This often carries over into my stagehand life, and is part of why I try not to work gigs on the same day I am teaching a class. It doesn’t happen every time, but sometimes you show up for a shift that ‘should’ be an 8 hour day, and something happens, and now its an 18 hour day. This is life in the production world, and the most successful people are those who have the ability to ‘go with the flow’. It’s not always easy! Lots of people have pets, kids, partners, households, and lives that all need some maintenance and attention from us. These things rarely fit in smoothly to the tiny pockets of time allotted to them.
I had taken most of last summer off from stage-handing to start my SUP Yoga business. Early in the season I was on a load in at an outdoor venue in town, thinking I could work a 4 hour call and get back to the Cape in time to load up my boards for class. Of course that was the day the busses got stuck at the Canadian border or something, and they were going to be late. Late enough that I would not be able to get back to the Cape in time for class. This kind of thing stresses me out to no end, over scheduling myself, and something I have struggled with in this business my whole adult life! I already had off the charts anxiety about getting my business up and running, getting all the equipment to the site and set up in time, and teaching quality SUP Yoga classes! So I made a quick decision and called the hiring hall to be replaced, then jumped in my car and fled the scene!!! (I wanted to be the first jerk to bail, because I knew there would be others…) This was a pretty dick move as a stagehand, and I felt kind of bad, especially since I used to be a call steward in the office, constantly trying to replace the book offs I was now becoming. But I had my business to look out for, and it was the right call for me. The good news is, someone else was happy to get the work, and my class was great that evening!
I struggled all summer to find a balance between working for ‘real’ money and nurturing my tiny new business, which will hopefully someday equate ‘real’ money, but is not paying my bills just yet… I definitely lost traction the more I worked in the theater, and was cursing myself for becoming obligated to something that was taking more time away from NamaSUP than I could afford, but it was a necessary evil. Making these deals with yourself can feel like a crazy balancing act. I have learned a lot in the last year about going with the flow… It seems like the more I plan, the more I have to let go of the plans and read the room!