So the world of events has swallowed me up and sipt me back out and now I'm trying to make sense of it all and figure out how it went, how I feel, and if I ever want to do it again.
The backstory is that Hilary's company got the chance to pitch a company that wanted a 100,000 Halloween party. Hilary was too busy to do it but knew that it was exactly my jam and paired me up with one of her employees to put together the pitch. I put together a really good pitch and got the job. I asked for a raise and I got it. I got a large budget that let me hire some really talented performers (most of whom I'm friends with) and put together an awesome set. I was really proud of myself and sure that I'd finally found a career that would work for me.
But, in the end, I had a really awful time. It was a huge thing that I'd never done before and I didn't have the support I needed to do it well. The employee I was paired with was helpful in some ways but really frustrating in others. To put it in theater terms; I was directing, designing, performing, and stage manageing. I am good at three of those things. I needed a stage manager. I needed a stage manager in the way that I need two hands. Can you get by without two hands? Yes. But it's really fucking hard. Instead of a stage manager I got a TD who was also kind of also the designer and kind of also the directer and...not what I needed.
I was also working with people that I didn't know on something creative that I really cared about, which I hadn't done for a very long time, with good reason. It's a hard thing to do. It's scarey and vulnerable and I've had so many bad experinces with doing that, I spent the last week afraid to talk to anyone because I was terrified of coming off like I was crazy or a bitch or a crazy bitch. That's my own mental problems at work, but I'd kind of forgotten that I had those problems until they reared thier ugly heads. And that was a terrible time to find out that those problems existed.
The thing is, I think I did a good job. Every problem that came up (and there were SO MANY) I took in stride and problem solved well. I never cried or yelled or was even the slightest bit bitchy to anyone. I kept a very light grasp of MY VISION and accepted when things had to be good enough. But I hated it. I was miserable the whole time. My teeth still hurt from being tense all week. There are knots in the muscles in my face. I was on stie for elleven hours and was so tense and busy that I didn't use the bathroom the entire time I was there.
And there was never a time when I could sit back, look around and go "This turned out pretty great. I made it. I did a good job." It was all the worst parts of techweek and strike and one single unrehersed performance where you get upstaged by a coverband and lobster mac and cheese and someone in the audience yells at you for daring to show a lady in her underwear. AND I COULDN'T FUCKING DRINK.
After it was all over (or, after it was mostly over and I had to strike the props) I was really fucking depressed. I wanted to drink forever and cry in a shower and then never plan an event ever again. And I can't lie, part of me still feels that way. But I drove home with Sarah Tops, who is an event stage manager for a living and who I really REALLY needed to make all this work and she made me reconsider. She pointed out how different things would have been if I'd had her or someone like her. And I thought about how much better it all would have been if I'd had ONE job. If I'd ONLY been the person who put together the sales pitch. If I'd ONLY been a set dresser or a performer or a performance wrangler. And that is something I could have handled. That's something I probably would have enjoyed. I think I was just trying to do too much. Hilary is used to doing everything herself. She has also been doing events for more than a decade. I think she just overestimated my abilites. And that might not even be the acurate thing to say because, by all accounts, I did a good job. Everyone I've talked to or read tweets from, thought it was a great party. But I don't think I did a good job. Or, more accurately, I don't *feel* like I did a good job. And I don't know how to reconcile those two things in my head.
So I guess I'm not done with the world of event planning but I'll have to be much more specific about what I need in order to do a job and have it be worth it for me. Because money isn't the only thing that makes a job worth doing. Not for me.
My shrink was right! God DOES hate me!--- Jay, The Critic
At the end of it all, you’ve got to have some spectacular cock-ups, because THEN, you’ll have stories…and you’ll have had a life. We've had a life.” – Cyril, Slings and Arrows