Ugh. I have to be up at 4:30 tomorrow morning. After many years of working on shows, I can work till dawn but I’m far from a morning person when it comes to crawling out of bed that early.
The good news is that I’m there to be more of a babysitter and cleaner than hard-working event labour. They just need someone to open the building early and clean up at the end. The bad news is that this is very boring and I’d really rather not be at work when there is nothing to do. If I could just find a warm spot to curl up and sleep in between times, everything would be sweet. But unfortunately, you know, one must stay professional when you’re the manager.
That’s just the event world though: lots of anxiety broken by occasional spans of mind-numbing tedium. If I was still in theatres, every tech knows that the drape storeroom makes for a passable bedroom on days like this. Sadly, our venue doesn’t have a drape storeroom.
It reminds me of all the places I’ve once slept though. Between shifts, or just stealing 20 minutes of a rare break, we sleep like soldiers: anywhere, piecemeal, half on our feet. I’ve slept on drapes, on carpeted dressing room floors, in the box body of an empty truck. I’ve slept on greenroom sofas, and in beds that were actually on stage as part of the set. On office chairs, beneath make-up tables, and in many many car seats. Pretty much anywhere that isn’t too hard or freezing cold will do.
Only once have I slept at my current venue: on the office floor when I had a 4-hour break between pack-out and the pack-in of the next gig. It was tolerable. There’s a shower.
I do wonder what it’s like to have a job where you just have fixed work hours and never have to nap to ward off exhaustion. I actually imagine that I’d just be tired and irritable and depressed all the time. I’d be twitchy in my chair. How do you make personal phone calls or run personal errands when you’re at work during business hours? I rely on my massively variable schedule to make me available for things like shopping or going to the post office during the day. I can’t do that stuff when I’m at work.
Oh yeah, that’s right. Other people do have jobs where they can take time to do that stuff at work. But then other people don’t have to babysit a building for 14 hours.