So...remember this post? I found an escape. I talked with the Big Boss this afternoon, and my employment contract will now end in January. It ultimately ended up being PCPA's decision - the upcoming season is full of shows that give me a headache just thinking about them, and the Powers That Be know that - and while I would of course have preferred it to have been my decision, it's also the sign I needed. I'm a little nervous, but I'm okay with it.
Unless something really irresistable comes up (and John is calling tomorrow, so we'll see), I'm going to get out of the theater world. I really love working on shows, but frankly, I just can't afford the time, the stress, and the pay. It hasn't gotten any better the five years I've been in the industry, and getting advanced degrees doesn't really help either (Chrissy has a MFA from Yale and is making only slightly more than I make, and I have better health insurance!). I do want to stay on the Central Coast, though. My current plan (and I've already started the balls rolling on this, so we'll see how it pans out) is to try to get an office-type job at Vandenberg AFB (Mr. C from the dojahng works there, and said they are getting ready to start a new project, so they will be hiring lots of officey types soon and he'll send me the webpage of openings) and work that while I go back to school and finish my BS in aerospace engineering at CalPoly. (My friend Matt's reaction to this idea, which I've been throwing around for a while, actually, was "You'd be a total nerd wet dream...Good shape from martial arts. Attractive besides. Engineering degree. You'll have to beat them off with huge sticks," which I thought was hilarious!) It might be a lot of driving, but we'll see. If that doesn't pan out, Ma'am recommended a few of the employment agencies in town (she's a CPA and works with lots of businesses) to at least find some work while I go back to school. My parents also are very supportive, of course (and they love the Central Coast, too, and are okay with me staying here as long as they can continue to come visit).
So, I'm pretty sure life will be okay. Now I actually have a chance to work normal-people hours (with evenings, at least until I can start classes) which include weekends! Maybe even make some money, or save up a little! It will be hard to tell the kids tomorrow - PCPA is going to let me handle this however I want, and I think I'm going to play the "pursuing education" angle - but it's also like I just got a fresh start and I can do whatever I want again, which is kind of an awesome feeling. It was kind of a blow this afternoon, but if there's one thing I've trained to do, it's roll with punches. I did end up bowing out of rehearsal tonight (which was apparently not as disastrous as taking Wednesday night off turned out to be - one of my favorite students/one of our best dancers came out of a lift wrong and I ended up going to the ER after classes to sit with her and her new severely sprained ankle, yikes! - although Chrissy said they had a lot of minor things go crazy tonight), mostly because once I had the idea, I really wanted to talk to Mr. C about it (which was a huge gamble, because he doesn't always come on Fridays, but he ended up joining us for pizza), and I wasn't quite ready to tell people at PCPA at that point. I didn't know if I was emotionally controlled enough for sparring class, but it turned out to be perfect. Kids always are amusing, and just being there always makes me calm down. Plus, since it was Friday, Ma'am, Mr. C, TKD Grandma & grandson, Sir, Mrs. S, Baby S and I all headed down to Klondike's afterward. Having good friends helps fix anything (and boy, did we hear stories tonight!), and pizza and beer don't hurt either!