When I got to the Arden on Sunday morning, the parking lot attendant told me to leave my car and he would park it. This happens often and usually I remember to grab my keys from him between shows. But yesterday, I was so tired that I took a nap instead. So after the evening show, I went out to find the attendant gone, the booth locked up and a note on my car saying, "Your key has been sent call this number."
So I called and discovered that my keys were locked in the little booth in the parking lot and the guy had to come back to open it for me. Of course, he couldn't come right away for some reason or another. I had to wait and I was cranky. My assistant stage manager waited with me which was awfully nice of him. When the guy finally showed up and liberated my keys, my assistant, Bobby, said, "Well, it could have been worse."
Which totally shook me out of my crankiness because he was right. As I looked at him in astonishment he added, "At least it's not January, it is a nice night."
Bobby is an apprentice at the Arden which is a tough job. Each year the Arden selects an apprentice class who work at the Arden for 6 days a week for 9 months (or 10 months I'm not exactly sure) and boy do they work. They have the opportunity to work in every department at the theater: education, production, artistic, development, marketing. They really get to know what it takes to run a theater. But they also have a lot of grunt work to do, namely cleaning. The Arden doesn't sugarcoat this experience at all. During the interview process, they tell prospective apprentices, "You will be doing a lot of cleaning and grunt work and you have to be okay with it."
Bobby told me that when he is immersed in some crappy job like cleaning the bathrooms, he lists all the ways that it could be worse. It reminds me of that line in the movie, No Man's Land:
"What's the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? A
pessimist believes things can't get any worse while an optimist knows they
So I think I tend toward pessimism and the 'why me?' attitude which only brings me down. It's helpful to run into optimists and realize that at least it's not January.