Monday, November 2, 2009

West Side Story Tech - Days 9, 10, 11

Well, things are coming along. Tuesday eve it was decided that the city would step in and fix all the light cues. On Wednesday, Jack, Denise, Joe, Kim, and I were at the theater at 2ish, and started reprogramming. We changed some color, reset some basic looks that run thru the whole show, and then started with the individual cues. We were rolling along at a great clip, until Peter got there. SCREECH! Ya know the opening sequence of Men In Black when the dragonfly smacks the windshield? Like that. Abrupt halt. At this point I'm starting to panic. We have an audience Thurs (Blue Hair Night), we have got to get this done. Jack then says 'we don't do preview night anymore. So it's a regular dress rehearsal.' HAPPY DANCE!!! We have a little more time. Excellent!

At intermission of the run, Denise grabs me. She had to ask Peter for something and experienced the lack-of-toothbrush stench that I experienced the day before. "I thought I was going to throw up..." Heh... I'm not the only one to have suffered!

After running the show, we stayed until 1a making more fixes. Ugh - long day... Thursday, we arrived at the theater at 430p and continued the fixes. Peter had emailed me some notes and said he'd try to be at the theater around the same time we were. Well, he was right on time. It was painful. The idea was to have Jack on headset, and me adjusting cues... Peter gets on headset. When it gets to the point where I can't take it, I ask Jack to come upstairs as I had some questions. He comes up and I lock the door to the booth. Peter is still talking into the headsets. I finally just turn them off. Jack and I are whispering as we run thru half a dozen cues making fixes at lightening speed, when we hear a knock on the booth door. Jack and I look at each other, he says 'just keep going. don't listen.' as he walks to the door.

Jack is standing to my right, Peter comes in and stands right over both of us. Jack starts to cough and moves to my left. He and I keep going, ignoring much of what Peter is saying. Then I realize why Jack moved to my left (besides the whole personal space issue) Ugh! Day 3 of I-don't-know-what-a-toothb

rush is. I couldn't take it. I pulled a pack of gum out of my purse, shoved one in my mouth, then offered one to Jack. He declined. I offered one to Peter. He accepted. Thank you 7lb 10oz little baby Jesus glowing up in heaven.

I tried to keep going with my list of fixes, but was losing my patience very quickly. By this time I have Duane and Jack - I ask them if there is anything else big that they want fixed. We hit a scene or two, I write down a handful of notes, and we exit stage left, leaving Peter up there.

I hid in the lobby for the next hour - Joan had the cast on stage for warm ups, microphone checks, and running the fight scenes. Jimmy brought me dinner, and I chilled out. While I was in the lobby I had the city tech pull the headset out of the house - Peter does NOT need to be on headset yet again. Give me notes. Since I got rid of the headset, Peter moved to the booth. He was standing between Joan (the SM) and me. I was making notes as the show progressed, and Peter stood over Joan's shoulder working with timing. He did not say one word to me. Good thing, cuz I might have had to throw him out of the booth.

I spoke with Jack and Duane after the run on Thursday - We actually have a show. There are a couple cues that need adjusting, but from their perspective we can open without cringing. I, of course, have two pages of things I want to fix - but I'm so picky. I see little things that most people wouldn't. So tonight I'll get there around 5p and start fixing again. It won't be perfect by the time the curtain opens, but it'll still be great.

All this did not come free. I've paid a pretty big price. I've had headaches around the clock for the last week. Between working a regular day, getting dr's appts in, spending the rest of the afternoon and evening (sometimes into the next morning) at the theater, I'm spent. I can't shake the headache. I get home at 130a Wed night/Thurs morn, and collapse. Not before wishing hubby a happy anniversary, tho... The next morning, I barely had the energy to get to the bathroom. The alarm went off for me to get up for work, I sent an incoherent email to my boss, and closed my eyes again. I remember Jimmy getting up for work, but I don't remember anything after that. The next time I moved was around 1p. I got up, got some food, went back to bed. Got up at 4 and went to the theater. Jimmy brought me dinner around 7, we ran the show, and I was home at 1130. This morning has been rough. I was wiped out getting to my car. I've gotten up once from my desk to talk to my boss, other than that I haven't moved. Breathing is tiring.

I just do not have the stamina any more. I expel so much energy dealing with the pain from the headaches and trying to manage them, that I can't work a big tech schedule like I used to. Small shows, where I can do things at my own pace, I do ok. But this big musical is a killer. I thought I was wiped out when I got done with Ragtime. That was nothing.

I'm working until 3, going home to rest and waiting for Denise to show up with the food for the reception. Once the food is in my fridge, I'll head to the theater to make the final fixes, get the lobby ready, and then rest before places is called. Jimmy is bringing the food up to the theater after intermission so the lobby can be set up for the opening night reception. I'll make my appearance at the reception, and then go home. I'm not doing anything on Saturday except for the show, and nothing on Sunday except for the Packers/Vikings game. I've got to get my energy back for work next week.

It's really a fantastic show, and I'm very glad I've been able to be a part of it, despite the toll it's taken on my health. I've seen this show many times, and I still cry at certain parts. Jack, Duane, and Scott have done a wonderful job. You really shouldn't miss it.

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