Monday, November 2, 2009

West Side Story Tech - Day 3 of 11

OMG 6am is early... What happened to being under the covers surrounded by kitty babies at 9p?

Left work at 4, physical therapy appt at 430. Didn't get seen til 5p. I think my PT actually tried to rip my head off. It felt great at the time, but as soon as he let go... I had a headache before I got back to the car. I get home at 615 with the intent on grabbing food and heading to the theater. Instead, I called Joe to find out what the plan was for the evening and if I can bail. I'm dizzy and the throbbing is not calming down. Turns out there is no one else there to run the board while they finish focusing. It'll be easier for everyone if I just chill for an hour and come in at 730. Then we can knock out everything else. Ugh. No bailing.

Jimmy brought home dinner, and after eating I headed to the theater. I head straight for the booth. I hollered down to the stage to let Joe know I was there. Peter was pulling more gel, I had a couple minutes before we got started. I took the time to go thru my theater bag. PT says I'm not allowed to carry anything heavy. He looked at my purse, picked it up, and said cut the weight in half. Great... So I figured the theater bag would need the same treatment.

3 maglites, two 8" wrenches with bungee clips, a vampire wrench, a tupperware container with 4 gel swatch books, a package of replacement lamps for the maglites, and gel for the maglites. A full roll of black gaffers tape, a small roll of glow tape, two mechanical pencils, three pen style erasers, two wine bottle corks that say DRINK NAKED, a chart that converts Apollo color to Rosco & Gam, a lighting instrument stencil, a pen, the script for my next SSS show, a 4G thumb drive, three thank you cards and the cue sheet from my last show, a leopard print thong (prop/joke from Gypsy), a gummy bear, a half empty bottle of water, spiral notebook, two 3.5 floppy disks, a three ring binder w/the script, a hammer that has different size screw drivers built into the handle, the pocket version of the manual for the new board, four various tree gobos, a small chunk of concrete from SSS's ceiling, four AA batteries, a pad of post-its, and the USB charger for my phone. Hmmm...

My bag now has only the essentials for this show. I think it weighs maybe 5lb instead of 20.

Joe heads up to the catwalk with his copy of the plot. Peter is on stage, and I'm on the board. Let's go, I don't feel good. I did notice that there are about six people working on the set. Yay! It's still got pieces scattered about, but it's coming together.

In about an hour, the catwalk is focused and gelled. I'm still not understanding the color scheme much. The blue and amber washes are very pale. He also has a third wash, Magenta. With breakup gobos. Skelton Exotic Sangria is the name of the color (for those of you with swatch books, it's R39). It's a fantastic color. I personally wouldn't use it in a wash, but whatever. Push buttons. Push early, push often. Oh, and the back lights - they're deep violet, and the darkest orange amber Rosco makes.

Over the course of focusing everything, the plot has changed a bit. I reprogram the groups - incorrectly the first time, but I figured it out correctly the second time. Peter hands me a copy of his cheat sheet that had all the correct instrument numbers on them. When I program my groups, I have a method. Three color wash on the catwalk - warm group 1, cool group 2, neutral group 3. Then the first electric - same pattern. This continues all the way to the cyc - tho this show we took the cyc drape down and just have the black brick wall in the back. There are basically 3 electrics and the cyc lights. I'm looking at the cheat sheet, and I'm getting really confused.

The cheat sheet doesn't label what each row is - whether it's the cat, 1E, whatever. On the stage, the set wall is directly under the 3E, then you have the orchestra US of that, then the cyc lights. After struggling to figure out what the cheat sheet is telling me, Joe figures out that two of the rows - a row of back light and the 3E are swapped on the cheat sheet. I'm now beating my forehead on the table.

So we got the groups done. Peter wants to start setting cues. No problem. The crew is still working on the set, there are set pieces in the middle of the stage, and the work lights are on. Let's go. Push buttons... Wait! Joe can program the board and I can go home. Perfect. I quietly mention this to him, I get a 'heh' and he leaves. I sent him a text message: 'You're killing me. Deserter'. He responds 'I never left...' I take a deep breath, and move on.

The first three cues - House full, house half, house out. No warmers yet cuz we can't close the curtain. No biggie, we can do that later. The first cue is labeled Q10. I usually start the show in Q1, but again, not my call. When I questioned the numbering, he said that when he, the SM and Dir when thru the script, they've already numbered the cues, starting with 10. Ok... Moving on. We start to set the first cue. Groups whatever at whatever level. Hmmm... not sure how these colors are going to blend, he says. He has the magenta lights (which represent neon) at 80%. The wash lights are at 50%. Up to 60%, down to 40%, up, down, up, down. Not once thinking that maybe the magenta might be a little high. Every third comment was 'I'm not sure how these colors will blend. We haven't even brought in the back lights and the tweety bird/pee yellow. I'm not feeling well, I'm cranky... this is not helping.

Denise (the producer) pops in a few minutes after I sent Joe the text. She gives me a hug, we chat a little. The cast has the next night off, so we should be able to get a lot of the cues programmed Thurs eve. Peter hasn't figured out yet that we multitask. I can have a conversation with someone and you can give me direction at the same time. Instead, you can tell he's getting irritated. Denise asks me when my next PT is. I tell her and say that I'll be fine with the next one, and I'll be fine tomorrow, just the first day really sucks. She says Joe is making popcorn for us. I yell into the house loud enough that the world can hear me, 'Popcorn? What about CHOCOLATE?'

I apologized to Peter for getting distracted. Joe comes up with the popcorn; we've built a hand full of cues by now. The work lights are still on, the set is not in place, and we still aren't sure how the lights are going to blend. Earlier I had sent my husband a text message - he responded to me about the same time Joe sent me a message, 'it's dark down stage'. The thrust is not lit at all. The lights are focused as if the thrust isn't there. Ok...

At 950p I throw in the towel. Can't do it anymore. Joe - you help him if you guys want, I'm going home. They decided to pack it up - we're supposed to be out of the space by 10p anyway. Joe shows me how to save the show to my thumb drive, we shut down the board and I'm gone. David Elvove is parked in front of me and is standing outside his car. We start chatting. At 1015 Joe sticks his head out the door, 'Amy GO HOME!' Alright, I go home.

I get a text message as I walk in the door. I'm cranky and snippy, and Jimmy had a tough day at work. Didn't blend real well. We chill a few minutes and I remember I have a text. It's from Joe. He says Big Robert wants to step in. I asked which part - set or lights. He says LD. I said hey, Robert is the TD. He can do that. And I'm ok with it. Joe agreed. Lord knows I don't have the energy to.

Tonight should be interesting. I have no idea what I'll be walking in to, but that's ok. What fun is it if you know what's going on?

It may not seem like it, but I'm not evil. I just need things to make sense. These last few days a lot of things aren't making sense. And I get frustrated when I don't understand something that should be stupid easy to understand. I get along with and work well with a lot of people. I don't judge by the color of your hair or skin, your politics, your personal preferences. I just want to do my part to make this show something enjoyable to see. Maybe I'm picky (ok I am...) and I have my own way of doing things. But I really am open to learning new ways of doing things and new ways of approaching projects. I want to learn from other people. So if I can understand what your approach is and why, I'll help with all the energy I have. But I admit that if I'm not getting what you're doing, I get frustrated. I had a feeling this would happen with this show. That's why I constantly remind myself - Just do what you were hired to do. Gotcha.

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