This morning I negotiated an extra hour and fifteen minutes to my arrival at tech, eschewing the hair and makeup portion of the tech.

I grabbed this time to dash to the Ralph’s to buy essentials. Because every stage manager in tech  knows the pain of the empty larder, the defeat of raising the laundry detergent bottle at midnight as you stand at the overstuffed machine, the guilt when you flip open the trash bin to throw out the coffee grounds and you can’t get them in because you literally haven’t had the energy to walk the garbage down the hall to throw it away. It is universal.

Oh, oh, poor me.  LOL. Anyway, so I slid my debit  card into my back pocket, picked up the house keys, shoving  them into my front pocket, grabbed the Shopping bag and dashed out the door. As I walked briskly to the store, it occurred to me how unshackled I felt.

Thats because for 90% of my time I am usually carrying these keys:

1) House key ring occasionally with the car key attached

2)Maui key fob attached to my office key, office bathroom key, keys to the copier area in my building, key to the theatre building where I am in tech.

3) What I affectionately call the jailer ring- 10-12 inches of chain holding  22 keys to every lock in my realm, including theatre keys,  keys to the props cage, etc.

4) A cart key with a clicker and a cute fob of international relevance.

I’ve already told you about my “little” rolling bag that follows me everywhere. Half of the purpose for this bag is to hold this  vast wealth of tools of access.

It is trite to mention that the people with the real power are the ones with no keys. I have yet to gain access to that echelon. My unfettered jaunt to the grocery store reminded me of a time early in my stage management career, where I worked on a musical review at the Coast Playhouse.

The producer of the show, manager of the box office, lead in the show and sweetheart, B.H., had the habit of running around the theatre preshow in his tighty whities.  He had a gorgeous physique, and of course none of us had a problem with his state of deshabille, but he had the habit of putting down his keys in random places- he had even fewer pockets in that state of undress than I do on a day when I wear a pair of dress pants with no pockets and set my universe into chaos.

One day when he had lost his keys for the third time that week, I said, “B, it might be wise for you to look at the reason you keep losing your keys. It seems like you might be trying to psychologically shed some of the responsibility of being the one who has to have them?”

The good news, gentle reader, is that I have not started to lose my keys. But pay close attention, because  when that begins to happen, I can’t pretend to not know what it means!




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