Backstage On Broadway (well technically)

22 11 2012

I’ve recently learned something about myself. I hate normal. Everything on my resume, everything I’ve ever done for work had to be something interesting. This makes me sound like a total brat but honestly, I pride myself in always finding something incredible to do with my life – not for bragging rights, mostly for the stories I get to tell from these experiences.

Yesterday was my first day working backstage for a broadway musical called Jersey Boys. Just from one day, I already have a bunch of stories. That’s a lot to say considering working admin for the past year has brought me only stories of anger and hatred. Within an hour of being at the venue, one of the musicians grab me for a hug BECAUSE he didn’t know me. People say hello to you when they pass you in the hallways, whether they know you or not. I noticed this to be true only with the foreigners, whereas the locals just mind their own business and don’t so much as give you a smile, even if they know you. My main job last night was only to observe how they worked backstage but more than that, I got to observe people. The difference is culture was fascinating. Like how I was introduced to everyone – the different reactions and responses. My boss introduced me to the show coordinators, wardrobe HODs, and a few performers. All foreigners and literally all of them responded with either a hand shake, a hug and also a “Hello nice to meet you Lydia.” The stage manager, relatively young lady was firm but was also dancing her ass off alone side stage to her favourite songs. She was *instructions instructions instructions HEY HOW AMAZING WAS THE PARTY LAST NIGHT*. I could only hope to be like her someday. I couldn’t help but geek out looking at how the production side was working, wishing the whole time I could do what they were doing. C’est la vie.

My boss then brought me to the wardrobe room to meet my fellow dressers, also the only few locals. “Hey everyone, this is Lydia. She’s here to observe.” and everyone in the room turns, looks at me from top to bottom and looks away – some even included eye rolling. I paid no mind as I knew I was only there to work and honestly didn’t let it bother me. It all just didn’t feel necessary to me. And honestly in this field, it’s every man for himself, and I know this from my previous experience working as a dresser. Although it does seem like a good idea to help each other in this sort of thing, people who work as dressers generally are very independent and don’t prefer an extra pair of hands. I’m guessing it’s a system thing and more people involved equals more ways of screwing things up.

So I’ve decided to look at work like how the foreigners see it. These people know this is work but they make the best out of it. Us Singaporeans, we’re so consumed with how much we’re making that even working for a fucking broadway musical can seem like a drag. I guess the more you tell yourself it sucks, the more it’s going to suck.

Well I’m going to go take a short nap before heading out for work. That feels kinda good to say at 1 in the afternoon.




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