I’m sitting in Denver’s airport at terminal A38 dealing with my 5 hour layover (it seemed like a good idea at the time), but my mind is traveling a bit.
Maybe you’re curious as to why I’m in Denver… I’ll tell you.
In summation, I am heading to La Jolla, California to begin my internship at La Jolla Playhouse. However, the rudiments to that sentence are something I’m still in shock and awe about. Let’s take a journey, shall we?
If you didn’t know, I study Theatre Design and Production with a focus in Stage Management at CCM. It is strongly encouraged in my program to go out and seek internships, apprenticeships, and work at a professional theatre, being that the experience is vastly different than academia theatre. It’s more of a ‘learn by doing’ type job than a studious one. Anyway, I had taken a serious approach to procrastination during my winter break as I switched between goofing off and working at a ski resort. Alas, second semester had started and by January 31st I had only submitted one application. I knew how important it was to get an internship because entering the professional world with nothing on your resume is hard, despite coming from such a prestigious school. Names and good recommendations are the name of this game, so I got out of my slump at started applying. Truthfully, I wanted to end up at Utah Shakespeare Festival or at Williamstown Theatre Festival (neither of those happened). But, I researched companies, asked around, and wrote A LOT of cover letters. I was working on a show at the time, and I have got to tell you, having the downtime helped (shout out to Metamorphoses). By late February, I had submitted about 8 or 9 applications. The wait game began.
I got an interview at The Old Globe in San Diego first. Waited. I interviewed with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Waited some more. I spoke to Ash Lawn Opera. Waiting, still. And amongst the lulls and pulls of not having a summer job, I contacted all of the other companies. Then came the wave of, “I’m sorry, while your resume is impressive, we have decided not to hire you. I know you will be valued by another company though,” and the, “My apologies for not getting back to you, we’ve hired our season.” It’s hard to write about the disappointment and getting beaten out by other people, because I’m so gosh darn excited and blessed right now, but it sucks. I haven’t felt so down on myself in a long time. Every response is a punch to the ego and kill of the self confidence. I walked around with slumped shoulders for a few days. And then, it came. An acceptance letter. The Old Globe offered me a position. I was so excited and elated that I had something at all.
By this time it’s mid March. I began searching for places to stay in San Diego. San Diego’s economy is a bit higher than ours so I was looking at $700 ish a month for a room (sharing a room, mind you). I began to crumble because there is truthfully just no way that I could afford any of that, let alone convince my dad that he should.
And then God stepped in.
I would like to say that I gave it all over to Him and trusted Him fully, but it really didn’t happen that way. I got an email a few days after that from La Jolla Playhouse asking if I would like to interview. My thought was, why not? Getting my name out there couldn’t hurt and it’s late in the game. It’s such an amazing company that despite knowing that if I couldn’t go to San Diego there was NO chance I’d swing La Jolla- I set an interview up anyway. I interviewed the next day and through speaking with the woman, I told her that I wanted to be honest and see if it was possible to do LJP and TOG and have a bit of overlap. There was no use lying to her and playing games with either company. The interview ended a little awkward from the other company name drop and she mentioned she had a few other interviews to conduct and would get back to me in a week or so, but my thought was an honest, ‘oh well.’ Not a day later, I got an email with a job offer to be La Jolla Playhouse’s intern for their production of Ether Dome. I was ecstatic. This company has sent countless shows to Broadway and the networking is unreal. But you know, the craziest part of all was that I didn’t even fully apply to them. I sent a half application.
Fast forward… Hard decisions led me to accept La Jolla’s (seriously, real hard decisions. Google Balboa Park- that’s what I turned down). Every day for about three weeks after that I had an anxiety attack or mental breakdown about living situations. If you know me, you know that I thrive on structure and knowing. I love adventure and spontaneity is great and all, but confirming that you’ll do something for two months and it’s a month and a half away from you needing to do it- not having a place to stay out there, not having money, and not knowing people- it’s extremely challenging. Not to mention I had to take my parents into account for all of this, and their opinion is a reigning one. My dad kept saying, “Call some churches, stay with a family out there.” I mostly shrugged this off because of all the people I knew out there, not one of them could direct or offer me a place to stay. Maybe people weren’t kind in California? Who knows. I emailed a few churches anyway. After several intense phone conversations with my mother, she called a few for me (I was in a show at the time and too busy).
Two weeks later, I got an email from one of the church’s secretaries. I came to find out that her daughter is the costume shop manager at LJP and that (well, originally I had suggested Emily and I get a place and split rent- this info will make more sense now) she had a spare bedroom with two beds, so if I wanted to bring a friend I was more than welcome to. I don’t know how he arranged this one, but he did. All of my worries, doubts, and frustrations were alleviated- just like that.
In a moment, all of the energy, time, sadness, fights, and failures I had had, became no more. It had all been made right. The worst (actually the best, praise all things that come your way- good or bad) part was that I had done nothing to deserve any of this. It’s like getting a door prize and staying at home. I was amazed, I still am amazed. I don’t deserve any of this. He is doing things in my life and revealing himself to me in ways that I do not yet understand.
My relationship with God has been a flat lining recently. I was once told that you’re either getting closer to Him or further away, but you never stay in the same place. This is a shocking reality that hits me over and over. I want a deeper relationship, I want to feel his love always, but sometimes it’s easier to believe that I’m not equipped to do that. I’ve found it’s good to place yourself at the watering hole, even during dry seasons. Even while it has been hard to find God moment to moment, I would still show up to church to serve coffee on Sunday mornings and sing praise. Those little moments brought me back. But now, I am entering into another’s home, and the love they are showing me is incredible. I’ve never lived with a stranger in a new place, and I cannot wait to see what all of that entails and the adventures to come.
I’m sorry for the long explanation- I’m even more sorry if none of it makes sense. I’ve been people watching. We are such amazing creatures.
Anyway, I flew for the first time in my life today. Of course, with all of the good I’ve had recently- there must be some bad. I sat in the last row by the window next to a talkative (yet, informative) woman and on the other side of her were 10 months old crying twins. Oh joy. But, this was my view.
See ya on the other side, San Diego.