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Conversation with Thomas, Lauren, and Molly

Updated: May 7



MOLLY: Hey all, Molly here. I wanted to pop in before this episode begins since it’s quite different from our other episodes, the ones that we’ve done and the ones we plan to do. So as a heads up, this is pretty much raw, unfiltered, unedited, an impromptu between myself, Lauren, and Thomas. As three people who have been involved with Grey Box kind of from the beginning in some way, shape, or form. I decided to leave this episode pretty unedited. So there’s the transparency of what it’s like behind the scenes. And they’re swearing, I didn’t edit that out. It’s a very meandering conversation that takes lots of tangents, and I hope that it provides some insights, that you enjoy the improvisational component to all of this; and perhaps you'll discover some gems in there on your own, all right? So enjoy.


They’re recording now.


THOMAS: it’s recording right...now.


MOLLY: Cool. Um okay, so, just like


THOMAS: Can I eat carrots?


MOLLY: Yeah


THOMAS: I like really want carrots.


MOLLY: You’re good. Um so I was having a conversation with someone about, someone who is also creating a podcast. And they were going on about like all the things that they had to put in place to make sure that the podcast, that like the clean little 30 minute cut worked. And from like making sure the kids were being picked up and dropped off at the right places, and making sure like the laptop worked and the charger, like everything that goes wrong, that could go wrong, yeah, we also present like here’s a perfect little


THOMAS: You just scared me because I like literally checked off each of those things as you said that.


MOLLY: Did you? Uh so yeah. I was having that conversation and thinking about how do we be transparent, of like, we are a hot mess, and also, as we are like attempting to keep our shit together, making things work.


LAUREN: Well, one of the show's was literally called Tangled Mess.


MOLLY: I know


LAUREN: And if that doesn’t kind of give us away, I don’t know what does.


MOLLY: That title was used against me this week. I can’t remember what I said but I set up for a perfect, like, you might say it’s a Tangled Mess. I was like, no! Now I have that with It’s Not that Simple and Tangled Mess. Well, shit.



LAUREN: I mean, some things just aren’t that simple.


MOLLY: Oh there it is. So we have lost venues consistently, annually. I think it’s the Spring of 20...no sorry, Fall of 2015? No, must have started Spring 2016 and then we lost a venue, Spring 2018, may we only lose venues in even years. But like two weeks before the show, kinda losing venues.


LAUREN: So you’re saying we should hibernate next Spring?


MOLLY: Next Spring? No, we have this space. Have I? Have I told you that?


LAUREN: No


MOLLY: We’re co-leasing this space now.


LAUREN: Nice.


MOLLY: Yeah, that’s why our junk is here. I mean inventory.


THOMAS: It is probably 15 beetles in there now


MOLLY: Don’t say that


THOMAS: I’m sorry


MOLLY: I know


THOMAS: I was just shook. A bad moment in Grey Box history, that beetle coming out of nowhere. Goes does in that


MOLLY: Yes it does


LAUREN: He's trying his best


MOLLY: All right. So like, what’ been, like, we’ll do the like warm, fuzzy approach first. What’s been the greatest challenge that has not been solved with Grey Box?


LAUREN: Wow. I don't know how you just phrased it like that but I'm taking it, it's mine. I'm going to, I'm going to steal that for later use. No, I just love the way you said that.


MOLLY: Thank you


LAUREN: Greatest challenge that has not been solved?


MOLLY: And I think we, we, we’re a really resourceful bunch and we, we can make things work but there have been things that haven’t gone well.


LAUREN: Honestly, anytime we use candy in the show; and then like we have a separate set of rehearsal candy, then show candy, and then candy that’s been on the floor, candy that’s been unwrapped, and none of it we can eat until like the day of the show. And then it's like a new round of candy, and then suddenly it's okay to eat it, and we have all this other stuff that's like, “Well you could, but it might have been in someone's pocket.” And that's just like, that's, that's a challenge right there.


MOLLY: Yes. We have lost performers the week of shows. Also gained performers the week of shows.


LAUREN: There was the one time I was an understudy, and I actually ran the show, I saw the night before, and then I was just in it the next day.


MOLLY: Yes. Yup. Yup. I remember that. It worked well. I think that’s also something of like, you know the modalities that we use, and the tools, so you can hop in.


LAUREN: And something I've been personally working on is creating silly endings to things that I stress out about like, you know what's the worst thing that could happen? And instead of going to that place of all this stress going to be created, and then we'll have conflict, and then people will raise their voices, to just like those totally left field, and be like well, you know, like a sinkhole is going to open up because I didn't get to rehearse in, and we’re all gonna fall in it, and that's just the way things are going to go, and then we'll have to take care of the audience; and it's going to be like one of those movies where we find some underground civilization, and just like keep going with the absurdity. So and at the end of it all, like the worst thing that can happen is not even that bad.


MOLLY: Mm hm


THOMAS: That’s a really interesting question. I feel like, I’ve always viewed Grey Box as like the, we’re gonna keep going, like… I’m trying to think of something that’s still existing, like I don’t know what’s still existing that’s a challenge. There probably is and it’s gonna smack us in the face but...and just out of nowhere but, like space was a problem, and that’s not really a problem anymore.


MOLLY: That’s been solved, yeah.


THOMAS: It’s been solved.


MOLLY: It presents a new challenge of paying rent, but at least that’s a controllable one.


THOMAS: We’ll see what scheduling is like. I feel like scheduling ahs always been the somewhat problem. We have a rehearsal on this day and two people are not coming. Or like, where are we? Which I think this space also fixes that.


LAUREN: Well, and I can like jump on the scheduling thing. When we were all in college, that one thing is that we could all say, “Yeah, I’ll show up at 11 p.m. and run the show.” Like we can do this. Absolutely. And that seemed fine. And now that all I'm doing is just one full-time job, and not a full-time class schedule, and dual enrollment, and drop... like I have more time but less energy because the one thing draws so much more of my focus, that in theory, I could meet after 3 p.m. any day of the week.


THOMAS: But kids destroy you.


LAUREN: This is. This is the truth. The man speaks the truth.


THOMAS: Oh no. Yeah that teacher thing because I...it was hardest to be a part of Grey Box in the transition year from college into like, “Oh, I have a job.”


LAUREN: Yeah


THOMAS: and now since that I have a job, I’m like, “Oh I totally have the structure to do a Grey Box show.” But like I was just talking to Molly earlier today, this week of New Teacher Orientation kicked my butt.


LAUREN: Mm hm


THOMAS: And I felt like I didn’t do anything but it kicked my butt.


LAUREN: Well, the, the kids went back yesterday. Not yesterday. Two days ago? And I was like, “Yeah. Okay.” And the day was great, and I was super happy with, you know, all of my groups. And they seem really, you now, still shy because it’s the first day but like, I can see like, how much they’re gonna grow this year. I went home, I layed down at 4 and then I didn't wake up until 5 the next day.


THOMAS: It did the same thing to me!


LAUREN: And that's how you know we’re back. And that’s show biz.


MOLLY: But I think this is like so many of us whether y’all are like K through 12, and then I’m in higher ed, and so much of the collective we're either in school, or on a school schedule. But I think there is a difference between being the teacher and being the student and as a student I was like, “Aw man it's going to be like so much easier when I have a real job.” It’s not. And that's so backwards.


LAUREN: Get out of my head.


MOLLY: Has there ever been a rehearsal process where you’ve been like just done and ready to tap out?


LAUREN: Yes


MOLLY: If you don't want to name the show, that's okay.


LAUREN: I won't name the show but the rehearsals when people are feeling insecure. I shouldn’t say that because we all always kind of feel insecure. But the rehearsals in which people are really needing approval for movement or choices they make in the show, and I'm like, “That's great.” Like if no one gets hurt, and we still get from point A to point B, like you're doing great sweetie, we don't need to stop every, you know, every rep of that part of the show and be like, “Well, I did this, is that okay?” And I’m like you're allowed to be that person. I, myself, need to learn to be patient with that kind of person.


THOMAS: But I think also that’s like when, you know, you’ve done so many Grey Box shows, that we all, I think, forget that it’s really difficult to be a new Grey Box person.


LAUREN: 100%


THOMAS: But it’s more or less like, I think it’s more that we have a very specific process that they need to jump in to. We’re all I think...mentally those people, like think that we...okay I’m gonna keep that in my brain, and not for public consumption.


MOLLY: You could put a pin in it for when we’re off the record.


THOMAS: We’ll put a pin in it for when we’re off the record.