The only time I see 7 am on a Saturday morning is when I have been up all night. Maggie and I took a night off from BLT things and went to help Nathan, Gilbert and Sullivan’s scenic painter. Nathan has done more for BLT than I could explain in a 100 posts. Needless to say if Nathan asks for help, I do all I can to be there.
This particular Friday I took off work a little early, but it being the 4th of July weekend, traffic took away my good intention of being there early. Nathan was, as always, charming. He kept finding things he needed done that were up to my skill level. My scenic painting skill set is growing, but I will not kid anyone, I am better at basecoats than painting grass.
Maggie said she did not have an all-nighter in her. First she was going to leave at 1. Then 2. Then 3. Finally, we had breakfast at a pancake-house at about 7:30 am. Two things became clear. One, Maggie can pull off an all-nighter, and two, I never see 7 am on a Saturday morning unless I have been up all night.
I jokingly talk about “theater folk,” how we party all night and still get to work on Monday. It is, for the most part a joke. But I did notice a number of years ago a difference in my friends who do a lot of theater.
In its earlier days BLT had a costumer named Sarah. Sarah was all you could ask for. A gem among gems. Sarah also had a day job with, at the time, United Airlines. Whenever Sarah had a party I noticed they would start at about 5 pm. I never made it before 8 or 9. But I learned that Sarah’s “other friends,” those from her day job, would come at 5 and respectfully leave by 7:30 or 8. Then Sarah’s theater friends would show up and we would party until dawn, then out to a pancake-house for breakfast. I found out about this double life when one of Sarah’s other friends decided to stay after 8. Of course she was immediately accepted into the theater group. (I have never found a more inclusive group of people anywhere than people in theater.)
By 9 o’clock the night was taking its toll. By 10 you could see it was late. By 11, Sarah’s friend gave up and went away and to bed.
When you think about it, it makes sense that people doing much theater might stay up later. You often cannot do anything until the show you are in is over for the night. That means you start at 10 or 11. Give yourself a few hours to do anything and suddenly you are a night owl.
I thought of Sarah’s “other friends” this Saturday morning while Maggie I were having pancakes. Most everyone in the place was full of energy, ready to take on the new day. Maggie and I had been up all night painting with Nathan. If our paint splattered clothes did not give us away, our smiles knowing we had helped someone in need surely did.