Last night it happened. The dreaded. As I was checking in Barbara Walters and Martha Stewart at The Paley Center's annual gala I started to feel that tickle in my throat and a pounding in my head. By the time Kelly O' Hara was singing, "A Wonderful Guy" my nose was running and I felt like I had been hit by a truck.
I've got it. The cold. The one that everyone has been complaining about for the past month. Fortunately, I fight colds the way I develop and produce musicals--persistently and fiercely. If all goes according to plan, I'll have knocked this baby out by Monday.
However, in the meantime, I've got to stop and take notice of what my body is trying to tell me. Which, articulated in two words is this: slow down.
Slow down, Nicole. You aren't a superhuman. You are just a mere mortal. And if you aren't going to slow down yourself, I'm going to make you slow down.
Should I be surprised by this act of rebellion on the part of of my immune system? Heck, no! I'm lucky I got off this easily. I've overload by body with more stress than anyone's immune system could handle. Just to remind y'all (and myself), Helen on 86th St. is my "hobby." I have a full-time, grown-up job as the Manager of the School and Family Programs at the Paley Center for Media that requires me to teach and "manage" forty hours a week. My department used to be manned by five people. Now it's just two of us doing the work of five people.
So there's that.
I also happen to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, which means that my full-time job doesn't even cover all my expenses. So I teach in the evenings, and read subtitles at children's film festivals on my weekends, and write musicals for my children's theatre, and so on.
Helen on 86th St., my hobby, happens in the cracks between my full-time job, my freelance jobs, sleeping and eating. In the past month and a half, for this hobby that I love so dearly, I have produced and co-directed a full-length Equity reading, conducted a one-day workshop in Boston, sat in multiple casting sessions, hired a production team of twelve, coordinated and participated in multiple design and production meetings, put together, packaged and mailed almost fifty Kickstarter "rewards" including demos, magnets, mugs, etc. (if you haven't received yours yet, it's on it's way!), created and adjusted budgets, knocked out hourly rehearsal schedules for next month, and so on.
In my regular life, Robby and I wrote two new musicals for Brooklyn Children's Theatre's spring season, one mini-musical for the York Theatre's 4@15 Festival, I read subtitles for fourteen foreign films over four days and coached seven Brooklyn Children's Theatre students for their middle school auditions.
So if a sore throat and stuffy nose are the consequences of all this, my body has been doing an amazing job of keeping me healthy.
And so I owe it. I owe it lots of sleep, a couple hours of bad reality tv, a morning where I don't set my alarm, an evening when I come home from work and don't turn on my computer, and a pat on the back. Because, both of us...well, we're doing a pretty great job of keeping it together.
The real question, though, is why? Why are we doing this?
Well, that's a whole other blog. So, you'll just have to check back tomorrow to find that out.