The other day (the one before yesterday) was not only a Tuesday, it was pretty much the best day I’ve had in Amsterdam. Certainly work-wise. I’ve discovered that sometimes work comes in a painful trickle, and sometimes it’s a stressful flood, and sometimes, like yesterday, it comes in a glorious delightful fountain.
The fountain is, I suppose, the ideal way to work; not too much, not too little, just a steady stream of enjoyment.
I’ve had a pretty good year thus far. It’s been full of lots of ins and outs, some ups and downs, some strikes and some gutters.
I’m nearing that December period of reflection that forces me to look back upon the months preceding and see what it is I like, what I want to do more of, what seems promising, what I’m good at, what I need to work harder on and so forth. And then, well there was Tuesday. The Ideal Tuesday.
I’m not sure when it became a very busy day, but it did. It’s nice to feel busy, as it’s attached to feelings of utility and self-worth. Then again, it started at noon. Which as a freelancer, is actually a pretty decent time to start.
Immediately after second breakfast I cycled off to a recording studio a three-minute bike ride from my house. My friend Mike D had hired me for some voiceover work. I played a very exaggerated Italian gelato salesman for the English version of a Dutch cartoon. And then I stuck around for another 45 minutes, playing assorted supporting characters in this cartoon. A couple of cats, a fish market vendor and a few other crowd scenes. I loved it. Such a laidback spirit, improvising in front of a big screen with these in-progress animations of this sweet cartoon. It was such good times that I forgot it was work, which is really an ideal state of work.
After an hour’s break, I cycled the seven minute journey to the university to teach back-to-back 90 minute Rhetoric classes. You may know that I’m not an expert on rhetorics, but that was no secret; I was hired to teach improv principles and theory to the students. And I do have a fair amount of experience in and thoughts on presenting in front of people, viewed through the lens of improvisation.
So I shared some improv exercises and tips for relaxing and being present while giving a persuasive speech. The time passed pretty quickly, and it seemed the professors enjoyed the guest session, all of whom participated along with their students.
By that point it was six pm, which was call time for the evening’s project: presenting the version of the Two Gentlemen of Lebowski, which I directed, at Mezrab.
The Knave abideth
The space filled up quite quickly with actors (we were a cast of 18), and the audience, many of whom were in bathrobes, got busy working on the White Russian bar we had set up for the occasion.
And it killed. It was an amazing evening. I had so much fun watching and participating (I played the “chorus”, Sam Elliot’s part from the film). And it couldn’t have gone better really: the laughter and enjoyment carried;
bar sold out of Caucasians, every little hiccup in the performance somehow contributed to its charm; and that was that. It was an amazing one-night-only run.
And that was my day. Three things to do, different and varied, yet alike in essence.
When it rains it pours they say, but that rain doesn’t always have to fall down. Although, I’ve discovered that in freelancing there are lots of ups and downs, so I’m learning to not be too discouraged by the downs, because there’s probably an up coming.
However, the inverse doesn’t hold true, or not for me anyway: when there are those ups, those Tuesdays full of fun and gainful employment in new realms, just fucking enjoy ’em, pardner.