Red Bull Blues

The first year of university is really hard, guys. It’s constant adjustment: adapting to new workloads, new teachers, a new lifestyle, perhaps even a new home. Some stuff you’re prepared for, other stuff you’re definitely not. And I was NOT prepared for the levels of crazy that these past two weeks have reached. Hence the reason I haven’t blogged in a while, which I apologize profusely for, by the way.

Let me paint you a picture, dear readers: the show that I was assigned to this semester, Choreographic Works, opened. This meant that every night for two weeks, I was at the theatre until 11 o’clock at night, ushering or doing the gel changes for the side lights backstage. The work’s not so bad, and since we have to do it every semester, I’m used to it by now. I’ve even come to love doing it—nothing beats the thrill of a quick and silent gel change. It’s kind of funny to think that in a few years, I could be getting paid to do such small things (but for now, I’ll keep paying through the nose for the privilege 😉 Hahahaha).

Choreographic Works is a show that Ryerson Theatre School runs every year, and a yearly tradition has emerged among the tech crew, which always follow the second Friday show: the Techie Dance. So once again this year, after a week of gruelling rehearsals, the technicians working on the show (including yours truly) performed a parody version of the dance show, techie-style. This meant dancing en pointe in our steel-toed boots, failed attempts to imitate choreography, and REALLY awful interpretive dance using lighting gels, safety harnesses, and anything else we could squeeze in. It was SO much fun, even though I am in no way a dancer and my body was really hurting afterwards.

I got home from the Techie Dance—truly sore and aching, but happy—and collapsed, somewhat dreading having to get up for another call at noon. I went on the Internet for a little bit, and just as I was thinking of going to bed, my friend Tessa called me on Skype. She’d accidentally sliced her finger open and was freaking out.

Why does life have this annoying habit of throwing everything at us all at once? I forgot to mention that all this was happening right in the middle of all my midterms, which were scheduled a bit late, to be honest. More like three-quarter-terms. But I digress.

I calmed Tessa down, and convinced her to go to the hospital near her house. Unfortunately, she was all alone, and I couldn’t just leave her on her own. I agreed to meet her, even though that hospital was on the other side of Toronto, and it was one in the morning at this point. And I had no change for the streetcar.

I ran out into the hallway, pounding on my friends’ doors to ask them for change, but it was Friday night and no one was in. Finally I spotted a couple of student security guards making their rounds of my floor. I begged them for some change, and between the three of us, we managed to produce the three dollars I needed to take the streetcar.

But, of course, I got on the wrong streetcar and wound up having to run the rest of the way there. I made it to the emergency room by 1:40 a.m., feeling rather proud of myself for not having an asthma attack. Hospitals are really nerve-wracking, especially when you have no parents there with you. It’s just another thing to adjust to, I suppose. Anyways, then began the longest wait of our LIVES.

We didn’t get out until six in the morning—it was AWFUL. We walked back to Tessa’s apartment to get her things, and then I paid for us to take a taxi home. By then it was 7 a.m. and I was ready to DIE. The two of us lay down on my bed, and since we were both exhausted, everyone we knew then began to call us, including my technical director, who wanted me to come in early to help with repainting the tap dance floor (I said “hell no”). Also, Tessa’s mother, her roommate AND my mother—I forgot to mention that my parents were visiting that day.

And so finally, I had to get up, go to my ushering call, then had a two-hour dinner break during which I got to see my parents and my sister, then had to go back to do the gel changes for the evening show, and THEN I had to help strike the set, which took until 2 a.m.

And that, dear children, is why they sell Red Bull in CASES. The end.

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