Caffeine and Infrastructure

by Esther Emery

Before I update you on MOXIE shenanigans, a quick note about my kidneys.  Between preparing to run Sight Unseen for the first time tomorrow, fielding the not-so-unexpected news that “oh my god, the new theatre may not be ready on time for first tech” and brooding over that most difficult question of all, “how the hell does the tea kettle get onstage between scenes six and seven?” I took a moment to tally the coffee intake.

In the language of actors, “this is a discovery.”

I drink one cup in the morning over breakfast, one at Missy’s house when I drop off Milo, one per break all day long (that’s at least four, okay, on most days six) and, if I have any evening obligation (and I usually do), that motivates a seventh.  Holy cow. No wonder I’ve turned to hard liquor to get myself to sleep these last few nights.  

Let me give you some context. I’m an ex-smoker. I used to use cigarettes to force myself once per 90 minutes to exit the rehearsal room vortex and step out into the world outside. Now that I’m not a smoker anymore I see that this was desperately foolish.  In return for temporary and by no means guaranteed relief from the pressure to create (totally self-inflicted, of course) I obligate myself to an activity that takes up two-thirds of my break?  And it is so not cost effective.  See, like most reformed sinners, I like to preach the folly of my past.  I was lost, but now…  I am clean. I am healthy. I am not addicted. Not, not, not addicted. But I still need to get out of the rehearsal room.  And the coffee maker is such a perfect distance away. It isn’t so far that I can’t get back in plenty of time to chew my nails and think about that teapot. And it isn’t so near that I can’t clear my mind, or at least my vision, between runs of that problematic sitting-at-a-table scene five.

So… coffee it is. I am not clean. I am not healthy. I am addicted. But the show is going well. I have no intention of cutting down the coffee intake, at least until previews. It is what it is. I heart coffee and I’m not ashamed to say it. 

In other news, Milo took four steps unassisted.  Nick and I were both watching. Yay.  I’ve decided it counts and have announced that he is “walking.”

Now, about MOXIE.  Well, a little bit, anyway.  We’re cooking up some cool stuff that isn’t quite ready to be announced.  In the meantime Delicia is out of rehearsal for the first time since December (seriously, five back-to-back and overlapping shows, she made it look strangely appealing), and is focussing her attention on infrastructure.  We are long on talent and arguably short on doing things the same way twice. To combat the chaos, we’ve scheduled a staff retreat next month. The eight MOXIE staff members will arrive with job descriptions, observe how they do and don’t overlap, and leave with an organizational structure. 

How much coffee do you think I should bring?