So about two weeks until the planned exodus. Good lord - who knew a New York one bedroom can hold so much stuff... Of course part of the problem between us is that we have more books and paperwork than should be legal. If you ever want rid of us - one match should do it. I've been terrified to throw anything to do with a show away since Tony winning director Anthony Paige called me up a year after I finished assisting him and asked for the "name of that lovely nurse he met at the hospital when he bumped his head" which was successfully resurrected from the worn page of a notebook that time forgot.
Rich has been a packing marvel. The dog is perplexed that people keep stealing her furniture. My mother seems to have trained me to be a little overzealous with the bubble wrap. At this point I think the cost of bubble wrap has exceeded the down payment on the theatre. Rich keeps reminding me he's driving our mirrors to Indiana - not getting Savion Glover to do a show on top of them. My best friend is most likely going to be approved to take over our apartment lease - which thrills me - since I'd like someone I care about to be happy here - and enjoy the miraculous rent stabilization we stumbled upon.
I'm now on my sixth hour of driving lessons. Yes - learning to drive - in Manhattan. My driving instructor is a Philippine version of Mister Miagi from Karate Kid who speaks in extremely rapid parables. Also - being a Philippine, he switches 'f's and 'p's - so he keeps reminding me to 'foot my put on the gas'. Having only driven in Bermuda (where I grew up) on two lanes of traffic - on the other side of the road - with the steering wheel on the other side of the car - with a speed limit of TWENTY miles an hour...the first day on the FDR expressway was a bowel slackening moment. But - I figure - better crash the Philipino driving instructor's car - because Rich wouldn't want me to get my brains all over the nice new truck.
People continue to be extremely excited and supportive. My friend and mentor Rod Kaats who used to be the Artistic Director of the Helen Hayes in Nyack gave me great advice about how and when to listen to the community and measure that with following your own vision.
However - the other day I was at the Mac store in Soho taking one of their free workshops on one of the eight million programs I'm going to have to learn to use myself (so that we don't have to hire a huge admin staff). I mentioned during one of my questions that I was moving to Indiana and afterwards this woman came up and said "why are you moving to INDIA?". I corrected her, and gaily (and probably gayly) explained that I had bought a theater and was moving there to start a company. Her face went very stony and she looked at me as if I'd pooped on her shoes and said "Ohhhh. Isn't that.... RISKY?". "No, maam." I wanted to say. "In fact packing up your entire life and moving halfway across the country to a place in which you have only spent four total hours and spending your life savings on buying and renovating a theatre is actually voted number two in job security after chartered accountant."
A number of people have been telling us to pitch this adventure to Logo as "Green Acres" meets "This Old House". Love, Joel.