On going back to work
This week I went back to work full time for the first time since Lila was born. I really could not have asked for a better situation for my return. The last full time position I held was as a stage manager on the 1st National Tour of "Rock of Ages", which closed last July in Washington, DC. I was six months pregnant. After I returned home to New York, I started working as a substitute stage manager with the Broadway company of the same show. A "sub" stage manager is someone who fills in when one of the regular stage managers is on vacation, sick, or taking a night off. It is very flexible in that you can turn down work if you are unavailable - which was great for me, being very pregnant, and in the process of renovating a house and moving out to Long Island.
I continued to sub at "Rock of Ages" until about six weeks before Lila was born, at which point, I felt like I physically needed to start taking it easy - getting some extra rest, not being on my feet so much, not fighting through mobs in Times Square every night (belly armor, anyone?). I also really just wanted to focus on our move and getting our house ready for Lila's homecoming.
I resumed subbing when Lila was three months old. It was perfect for someone with a new baby. I was only working part time, and could turn down work whenever I needed to. I have continued this part time schedule up until now. About a month ago, I received a call from the production stage manager (PSM) offering me a full time position on the show, as one of the regular stage managers was leaving. Lila is eight months old now, and I felt like this was a great opportunity for me to step back into full time work - it is a show I already know backwards and forwards, with a team I have been working with for a year. The PSM has been really generous and understanding about my life as a mom with a young child - he has said I can take shows off as needed to spend time with Lila. I could not have asked for a smoother, easier transition back into a full time job amidst the haze of new parenthood.
Being a stage manager can be a lot of fun - especially at "Rock of Ages". I mean, we get to listen to bad '80's rock every night, come on! It is certainly never dull. I do miss putting Lila to bed, and the weekends are very long days spent away from her, but during the week I am home until 4pm (unless we have a rehearsal). I'm not getting a whole lot of sleep these days (I get home from work around midnight, in bed by 1am. Lila still wakes once or twice during the night and then is up for the day between 6-7am), but I would rather be on a schedule like this where I get to spend the majority of my day with Lila, than working a 9-5 job and able to go to bed earlier, but missing out on all the daytime hours with my daughter.
As far as work goes, it's nice being around adults again. It's nice being back amongst the Broadway community again. It's nice being back in Manhattan everyday again (although I am happy to go home at the end of the night - I think living in the 'burbs has made me even less tolerant of the Times Square madness than before!).
I had the realization a couple of weeks ago that I am actually living the very life I envisioned for myself - I am in a great relationship, I have a beautiful child, I am working on a hit Broadway show, and I am living in an awesome house with space and a yard (and a washing machine and a place to park!) in the suburbs of New York City. I am so very happy.
Just as the lyrics say that I hear every night - "it don't get better than this".