Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page

Where on earth is Jenko?

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Where on earth is Jenko?

I’m not hiding, I swear, although it may feel that way to you. I feel like I jumped in a pool and went swimming in February, and didn’t come up for air until now. Now, its over 2 months later and it has occurred to me that I haven’t formally announced where I am and what exactly is going on, so here it is, right here.

I’m in Idaho. Back in January, I was producing “Princes Don’t Live in Cyberland” in its 3rd venue in under a year. At the very same time, I was supposed to be apartment hunting since January coincided with moving time. What did I do? Focus on theatre of course. The day January 31st rolled around, “Princes” had closed its OC run, and I still didn’t know where I was going. It seemed like one hell of an adventure to me. At the same time, I was waiting to hear back from a job that I had been wanting for years. To work for a company that I have wanted to work for for years. So come January 31st, it was time to move out of Valley Village, and I needed to figure out where I was going and what exactly I was going to do. I found myself at my cousin’s home in OC, who I hadn’t seen since I was a child. It was truly amazing getting to catchup with her and escape from everything else that seemed to be going on at once. Around the same time that this happened, I got offered the job that I wanted. Even though I got the offer, it wasn’t going to work out. At least not for me at this point in my life. Which was a hard pill to swallow. After what seemed like a successful year getting the show up and running, I felt like I was falling flat on my face. Things were supposed to be getting easier, not trickier. Not long after I turned the job down, I found myself in the parking lot of Petsmart getting ready to drop my kitties off at a kennel until I found a more permanent living situation. It was as if everything suddenly made sense. I made a phone call to my parents, and I told them I was driving up to Idaho the next night. I just needed to get my head above water. I needed to run away as fast as I could could.

And trust me…I have NEVER done anything that spontaneous in my life. At the time, everything I owned was in a storage unit the size of a closet. I drove to the airport to pick up my dad (who flew out to do the road trip with me the minute I made the call), and off we went. Halfway from California to Idaho, I realized I never told anyone I left. Not my friends…not anyone. It just happened. In my head, it didn’t feel like I’d be gone long. I just needed to be away for a couple weeks to figure stuff out. I kept promising myself I’d come back. That there was absolutely no way I’d be staying.

Arrived in Idaho, and it felt like a weight had been lifted. I was someplace quiet. Someplace beautiful. I was in a place where I could think and sort stuff out.

But I still had no real plan. Theatre has been a part of my life since I was a child. It is the only thing that makes sense to me when everything else in life is feeling strange. My 3rd day in Boise, I did the only thing that could’ve possibly made sense to me. I went for a walk downtown, and strolled into the offices of Opera Idaho to introduce myself. I turned in my resume and said I’d take whatever gig was available. The next day, I learned that my timing was perfect. I was offered a contract to work as a stagehand on “La Boheme.” First off, I’d never seen an opera in my life, and now I had the opportunity to work on one. Through the opera connections, I started to work with the local theatre company, HomeGrown Theater. I was now stage manager of a new play, “Veronica Livingstone, I Presume.” Theatre was working out. Boise was starting to feel a little bit like home. I found that I loved the people here. I loved the weather. Any given week, you can experience sunshine, snow and rain. Its incredible. The houses are gorgeous. There are flowers everywhere you go. And the capitol building is stunning. I felt good here. I was also flat broke. Still looking at my situation as completely temporary, I decided to look for work. I at least needed to pull in some money, because lets face it, my bills weren’t running away. Got a full-time job at a call center. Trust me, when this happened, I had practically stamped an expiration date on the whole debacle. I’ve heard the horror stories. There was no way I was going to love this. I have zero experience in sales. I hate office settings. There was just no way. Once again, I was still looking at Boise as temporary. Next thing I know, I was liking my job. My bills were getting paid. I managed to fall into the only fun call center environment. I feel extremely lucky to be working for the company that I do. A company that lets me be silly and bring a nerf gun to work if I choose. Things with theatre started to pickup as well. After “La Boheme” closed, I got offered a 2nd contract to be Props Master on “The Ballad of Baby Doe.” Shortly after this happened, “Princes Don’t Live in Cyberland” got invited to be a part of a reading series downtown. Slowly but surely, Boise was starting to feel like home. I live right next to a river. The people are wonderful. And theatre is cherished out here. I visited NYC for the first time 7 years ago. 4 years ago, I visited again and promised myself that I would live there and pursue my dreams. Living in California, it was impossible to save money to make that happen. Out here, I finally feel like I can save my money quickly (and still do what I love) so that I can make the move in 20013.

That night that I packed my car and drove up, I was planning to run away temporarily and run right back. Life is funny, though. Life is what happens when you’re making other plans. As it turns out, Boise happened to be my ticket to NYC. Dreams can happen no matter where you are. “Princes Don’t Live in Cyberland” will be performing at the

Hollywood Fringe Festival this summer. All of the plans and contract negotiations were made from Boise. I have a financial advisor who is helping me budget for my move to NYC next year, and I’m currently writing my 2nd play. As for California and all of my friends out there, you haven’t seen the last of me. I’ll be out in Cali a few times this summer, and miss yo
u guys. My next visit will be in June, and I hope to see y’all soon.