Sunday, November 15, 2009

West Side Story - Weekend 3

Yo Murphy!  Did you really have to resurface on Friday the 13th?  Thanks.  Thanks very much.

Friday morning I had physical therapy with a new PT.  She rocked.  If I can get all my remaining appts with her, I might be a little more optimistic.  I felt great after.  Work was easy, so Friday was a good day.

Then I arrived at the theater.  I walk in at 7p and head up to the light board.  I'm not there 2 seconds when Robert Jones comes upstairs.  The SM was looking for me - 'I wish she would call if she were going to be late'.  Um, I'm at the light board, dude.  Whatever...  I start going thru the light cues.  Something doesn't look right.  The city tech says no one was in the theater, and aside from powering up the board, no one touched anything.  :-/  Things don't look right.  After going thru the first 30 cues I realized the moving lights are misbehaving.  They are going haywire.  The colors are wrong, they're making all sorts of noise, they're not aimed in the correct place.  Crap.  I power down the board and restart it.  Now it's worse.  I can't get them to reset, I can't get the lamp to come on, I can't get anything to work. 

Now I'm starting to really cuss.  The city tech is showing me how to do a global reset of the movers - nothing is working.  It's 7:35 - we have to open the house.  I said if you guys don't mind me flashing lights all over the place, go ahead.  So they opened.  I tried calling Joe - no answer on his cell.  I call his home number.  His wife answered - I apologize for bothering them and ask if he's available.  I tell him what's happening, and what we tried.  He walks me thru a couple other things.  Nothing is working.  He gets on his cell and calls Shaffer - another city tech very familiar with the board - and has him come in to look at it.  (Joe lives on the other side of the planet, Shaffer around the block.)  About the time Shaffer shows up, Joe suggests that we reset the dimmer pack.  I've got the city tech on headset, my cell with Joe on his home phone, Shaffer standing behind me, Joe is also on his cell talking with ETC, and the city tech is on his cell with Kim (boss man).  People are suggesting - maybe this happened, maybe that happened - I finally say "I don't give a fuck what may have happened, just help me figure out how to fix it!"  Ok, maybe that was repeated more than once...  I just remember hearing my spot op say 'man, she's going off...'  :-)

We cut power to the dimmers that work the movers.  I power down the board for the third time.  Everything comes back up and I just let it sit for a second before I start going thru cues.  Cue 10.  Cue 17.  Cue 19.  They're working again.  I go thru the bulk of the cues in the first act, it's working.  Thank god.  Our convoluted circle of communication is terminated and all is well.  It's 7:50.  Plenty of time to spare before curtain. Just before we take the house to half, the SM says one of the instruments we use as a street light got bumped and was facing the complete wrong direction.  We have a scene where there are 5 groups in their own special, and this instrument is in the same area.  She is worried that this particular scene is going to be awkward.  I said no, we are using different instruments for that scene.  She kept pushing - are you sure?  I turned to her and said I'm positive.  She said you'd better be.

The first act runs well.  Every time we get to a cue that involves a moving light, I hold my breath.  During a quiet moment of the balcony scene, I execute a cue and one of the moving lights makes this horrendous clacking noise.  Don't start, please?  Have you not tortured me enough?  It's Friday the 13th.  I get it.  But can ya stop now please?  Nothing else unusual happened during the first act with regard to the moving lights.

Oh, BTW - the scene with the specials that the SM was all worried about - flawless.  We use a different instrument for that scene.  The light comes up, just as it should.  I said, "Oh look, they're lit..." with as much dripping sarcasm as I could muster.  No response.  Heh.  I look over at the city tech - he's got his headset mic off trying not to laugh out loud.

I love the spot op who took over for me when I started running the board.  She's great.  She's touched a spotlight once in her life.  Instead of closing the fader, she shrinks the circle.  When it doesn't go out, she swings the spot around til it's on the top of the wall back near us - but not before swooping it thru the audience.  A few seconds later, she finds the fader and turns it off.  Ugh. 

I haven't seen the second act for a while, so if there were little irritating lighting issues they were never resolved.  Now I get to watch the second act, cuz like I have to.  There was one scene that really bugged me, so I made a note.  But all in all the second act was fine.  The audience loved it.  Yippee!

Kim comes by the theater during the second act.  After the show he shows me what I need to do should this lovely event ever happen again.  The cast is heading to Gordon Biersch...  and while I live three blocks from there, I decide I'd better head home.

I return to the theater Saturday; making sure I get there extra early to make sure everything works.  Smooth as silk.  Excellent.  I fix the one cue in the second act that was bugging me from the night before.  I head down to the lobby to schmooze with audience members I knew (Kharfen Cookies!  YUMMY!  You rock Mr.  Kharfen.  I love your cookies - but I love you more!!!)  I attempt to bribe the producer for a ticket for my husband - we're sold out and she has a stash she keeps for emergencies - like WATCH judges who didn't make their reservations...  I try to pay her for it, she won't take my money.  :-/  I thank her profusely.

Earlier in the day I get a text from my buddy Brian.  He's doing Arsenic at the Arts Barn.  He's in the first 10 mins of the show, then you don't see him again until curtain call.  He said he was going to do his scene, then come to Rockville to see as much as he could of West Side.  Dude, you're crazy.  I told him we were sold out, but that he could come up to the bridge and watch.  I warned a couple people who would be up there that he might come by.  Do you know he did?  OMG...  I couldn't believe it.  LOL!  He watched about 2/3 of the first act, and hung around at intermission.  When they flashed the house lights, he went back to Gaithersburg.  He got back with 10 mins before curtain call.  One of the other cast members said 'dude, where were you?'  His response, 'Out.'  LOL!

The lighting is working fine.  It's so hot in the booth that if I wore make up it would be melting off.  There is one scene in the first act that the SM always calls late.  We got to that scene and I pushed the button at the correct time.  She was not happy.  We get to the end of Maria and she tries to call the spot out before the end of the song again.  I interrupted just before the spot op took the light out.  I really wanted to say 'are you ever going to learn when the song ends?'  but I didn't.  At intermission the Prod and Choreo came up to me thrilled that the cue was run on time.  Choreo said there was another in the second act that is always late.  Since I don't remember the scene well I executed the cue when she called it, but also figured out where it's supposed to be.  So it'll be correct for the matinee.

Speaking of matinee's...  It's 12:50p.  I'm supposed to be at the theater at 1p.  I'm not dressed yet.  Guess I should get working on that.  Enjoy the day.  It's the first sunny day here in over a week.  I almost forgot what a sunny day looked like...


  1. I'm so glad it worked out for the most part...kinda happy and kinda sad i wasn't there for closing weekend. See you sometime soon!!


  2. How did that chick get picked to be stage manager anyway?