Posted by: raesalley | February 11, 2005

Another opening of another show….

For those that know me….they know that I’ve been less “here” as of late. I think my LJ shows that as well. See, I walk a fine balance between the day job to pay the evil bills, school because I think gettin a masters will ultimately help me, and my passion – which is the theater. Well, for one week every production, my world balance shifts extremely to the passion corner and everything else can be forgotten.

Usually, I’d feel horrible about not having finished a paper yet that was due on Monday. Normally, just phoning it in to work and coming in late would bother me severely. Not seeing D for more than a few minutes before bed would make me cry… …but not on Tech Week.

Friday, we loaded in the show. Before that, we had been working in the space, but we didn’t own the space…so every night we had to strike everything and put everything back. We also didn’t have the 6′ radius, 7’3″ tall cage structure, so we were guessing at it using chairs. Since the floor is wooden and didn’t hold spike marks worth a darn, we were doing a lot of guesswork. But Friday, we set up the cage and the three platforms and tried to get an idea of where things lived.

Saturday was official load-in…where we set up the seating platforms and started hanging the drapes for the carnival feel of the space. Very cool. We also decorated the hall (which, we have to take down and put up every night) to see how that would work. I think I left sometime around 2:30am.

Sunday was a late call – 4p, but ended at 1am or so. It was our first official day of tech. Granted, we had no lights really hung, sound was still running off of a little boombox, and the big event of the night was getting through all of the physical transitions for Act One (scenes 31-16).

Monday I dragged to work, since I had two meetings I was required to be at. After that, I phoned in most of the day getting through the common paperwork of my job. My “call” was for 6p and I had every intention of being there early. I made it, but not as early as I wanted to be. (darn work. darn traffic.) We had lights, basic set up and not the carnival strings, but still no sound. We accomplished Act Two transitions (scene 15-1) with a slight review of the end of Act One (scenes 20-16). Now, while I firmly believe in the magic of theater…I’m starting to get panicky. Why, you ask? Believe it or not…we have yet to ever run the entire show beginning to end, and we open on Thursday.

Tuesday we’re scheduled for a full run for the first time. I’m still sitting in the house, and I’m jotting down light cues as the designer feeds me them. We have light strings hung for the carnival effect (and the colors correspond to scenes – it’s really cool), but the lights aren’t all dipped yet…so we’re not quite sure how it will work. The show runs very long because we start and stop to fix scene changes and what-have-you…but we get out eventually.

Wednesday, I drag into work late and have plans on leaving early. My call is for 5p so I can go over things and be ready to rock at 6p…and I know full well I won’t be leaving until the next day. Home feels good and I can see signs that I share the space with someone other than the four felines…but that’s it. I’m starting to forget what D looks like fully conscious. The show itself is being watched by me through closed circuit television in a small backroom inhabited by me and the two board ops. The Light Board Op (hereafter LBO) is bored silly because the LD is still running lights from the house – since now we have everythign dipped and pretty, he wants to see it one last time before we open. Not to mention, we don’t think I have all the cues in my book yet. Sound is being run…but the final disks aren’t present and all the cues aren’t even listed. But that’s okay…the magic of theater and all that. Run time is about twenty mintues more in the first act and fifteen minutes over in the second than we’d ideally like them to be. That’s will dropping an entire section of text and blocking accidentally. As I drive home at 1:30am, I call the switchboard and leave a message saying that I will NOT be coming in at all on Thursday. My call is set for 4:45pm for an 8p curtain. Owie.

Thursday – the glory of opening night. I spent the morning sleeping in (bliss!) and then picked up my drafting toys from college and got to work. I drew out, carefully, the scene shifts as far as I could go (Overture – 12) before my call time. I made dinner for the first time in about two weeks and went. Playing with colored pencils to match the taped markings, I’m cooking and it looks good. Several cast members thank me, which was cool. Hopefully it helps. I’m sitting on the floor and going over last minute details (like setting sound levels) when the crew starts showing up. That’s it…we start setting the stuff into the space and before I know it, it’s 6p and we’re hauling stuff into the hall to set it up while the cast is getting notes from the director. Just then, things are rolling…the hall looks like a carnival and smells of fresh popcorn…the cast is in costume and we’re having circle for opening night. Audience starts to arrive. Props are checked and rechecked. Fight call happens. It’s thirty mintues to curtain…then fifteen…then we get nervous. 🙂 Five minutes…a cast member realizes she doesn’t have her gloves and runs off. Places…then it’s time to go.

Overall, I think the show went well. There were a few mishaps (like the sound…we couldn’t hear it, so we’re not sure of the levels at all), but overall it was a really good show. Great for opening. I’m excited to see where we go next. I celebrated by singing my heart out at karaoke night/fat tuesday party

The most exciting thing I have to look forward to is that I have to look forward to is NOWHERE to be until 5:30p on Saturday


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