All the world’s a stage

The travel part of traveling tends to be my least favorite part. Or at least it’s the most stressful, especially in instances of ocean-crossing, time-zone hopping, airport loitering. It’s limbo. Depart and arrive are polar points of a continuum; you constantly approach arrival the farther you wander, all while creating distance from departure with every step. It’s the process, the middle, the present, the moment-to-moment. It’s the prolonged tension of not-quite-there, not-quite-complete.

dulles-airport-departure

Departure, or the calm before the 16-hour travel storm

It’s like a performance.

I know all of my cues: check my bag at the kiosk, disassemble hand baggage at security, present boarding pass and passport, and again, and again, and once more, just to be sure I’m me and I’m where I’m supposed to be. I have rehearsed less thoroughly than some, more than others. The players – travelers, security personnel, flight crew, disembodied voices echoing throughout the airport – each performs, each is vital. Each is in constant motion; ongoing, in progress, in transit.

So as I sit, arrived (cue: exhale, decompress), in my Glasgow hostel, recovering from jet lag and awaiting another (mercifully brief) journey to meet up with my colleagues, I think about what we have arrived to do on this journey – to perform the documentation of performances. We are players recording players, with practical roles to capture theatrical roles; each player, each role, is essential to each production, on their end and ours.

Looking forward to the festival days ahead in Edinburgh, it’s my hope that the records we create will reflect the fruit of preparation and the release of completion, respective of the CalArts production ensembles and our documentation teams. We rise to the challenge of recording these performances and preserving them, armed with our budding archival instincts and know-how. I say, Bring on the Fringe.

(Originally written 29 July 2013; revised 2 August.)

About Alex Lange

I am a recent graduate from the MLIS program at the University of Maryland, where I specialized in Archives, Records and Information Management. I have a Bachelor's degree in Russian Studies, but became interested in archival science while working as a student at the National Archives in College Park, where I worked for 4 years. I have recently been hired at NARA in a permanent capacity.

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About Alex Lange

I am a recent graduate from the MLIS program at the University of Maryland, where I specialized in Archives, Records and Information Management. I have a Bachelor's degree in Russian Studies, but became interested in archival science while working as a student at the National Archives in College Park, where I worked for 4 years. I have recently been hired at NARA in a permanent capacity.

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