Friday, April 30, 2010

Still Haven't Done The Plot

That's right!  I still haven't done it.  We move into the theater on Sunday.  I'm sure the city would be very happy to have it before then. Tho I'd really rather nap...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Catching Up... Or Not

I am surprised how much I miss Forever Plaid.  I still wake up with the songs going thru my head.  I know this will pass, but it's still sad.  And happy. And sad.

I attended the design run for show #3 last night.  It's a really cute show.  Some of the characters are a stitch.  There is a girl in the cast, probably 9 or 10 years old that is just adorable.  She kept bringing me props to look at and chatting away.  This will be a fun group.

Now if I can just survive the next two weeks.  We move in to the theater on Sunday morning, not Monday eve like I originally thought.  I got home last night just before 11p, but it took me an hour to wind down.  I am wiped out this morning.  I sat in the car in the parking lot for 10 mins before coming in to work.  Gah.  I thought I was catching up on my rest, but it seems like my schedule is catching up with me.  I've still got to get the plot done, I'm going to see DC United play tonight and Saturday, and I still need to keep my day job. Knock on wood - I haven't had a migraine (that wasn't hormonal or weather related) in 2 months.  Yippee!

Monday, April 26, 2010

One More For The Books

What a fun weekend of shows...  We had an absolutely amazing time working on Forever Plaid (ie: show #1).  I think Saturday night's performance was the best one we had all run.  It was sad to take it apart Sunday eve.  So many patrons asked if we would bring it back, bring it to a retirement home, something.  The response was fantastic.  Even if I got to the theater and was crabby & tired, I always left with a smile.  Knowing that what you're doing is such and integral part of the whole project and having it go so well is a wonderful feeling.

Show #2 (The Rabbit Hole) is still running.  I'm hoping to go see it this weekend.  If I can't get there, then I won't get to see it at all.  Show #3 (I Remember Mama) starts tomorrow night with a design run and we move into the theater on Monday.  I really need to think about getting that plot done.  The City should have had it weeks ago...

This past Saturday did end up being a very lazy day.  I dragged my butt out of bed around 9ish, to move to the couch.  My alarm went off at 530p so I could get in the shower and go to the theater.  I think I got up once to pee and get some food.  Even the cat was happy.

Sunday morning I was tending to Mr. Blondie, who was recovering from tending to his parent's yard.  In order to keep his father from using the heavy equipment (the man's not a puppy anymore) he took care of it.  He aerated the whole yard, planted seed, then tilled an area for a bed big enough for a dozen azalea bushes with hosta's mixed in.  Needless to say, Mr. Blondie was a bit sore.  Heating pads, Ben Gay, Advil, oh my.

Once I got him settled, I went to breakfast then to the theater.  Around the time we were done with strike and headed to the cast party, I checked in on him.  He was up and moving - very good.  After the party I had him meet me at the grocery store.  (I love that HT is open 24hrs!)  While we were there, the storms that had torn up Mississippi were on top of us.  Not as severe, but certainly strong.  $427 later...  (okay, with coupons and my store card only $208 came out of my account.  WIN)  ...we were ready to head home.  We put all the perishables in my car.  Amazingly, there was room.  It was still pouring, but the temp was pretty warm and there was no wind, so it was tolerable.  Got everything soaked, but eh... it's water.  We ain't gonna melt.

Today, I do not have to be in a theater.  Wednesday, I'm going to a soccer game.  Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun - layzee daze!  I really should get that plot done tho...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Needed Rest & Yadda Yadda Yadda...

I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed not having to be anywhere after work this week.  I've gotten a lot of rest, tho I'm not entirely caught up.  I have no plans for tomorrow during the day either, so it'll be a nice lazy day.  Mr. Blondie will have the Benz - he's going to his parents for the annual Landscape The 'Rent's Yard Day festivities.  Because of the show, I am unable to attend.  So I'm going to be chillaxin'.  Me, the kitty babies, laundry, maybe cleaning, snacking, napping...  Ahh...

I did, this week, discover the love that is Euro Motorcars.  All they sell are Benz's and Stupid Cars.  My check engine light came on the same day I received the notice for my emissions inspection.  Yay.  On advice from a buddy I headed to Germantown to Euro.  I contacted his service adviser, and the next morning I was dropping my car off.  I showed him what my extended service plan was and he got a twinkle in his eye.  Apparently the plan I bought thru Carmax is one of the best out there.  <happy dance>  They gave me a free loaner, and I headed to work.

Now it's been a long time since I've had to make that commute on 270.  With no traffic, it should take 20mins to get from Route 118 to River Road.  Leaving Germantown at 8a, it took an hour and a half.  I usually get on 270 at 189, and even with traffic it takes less than 30mins to get to River.  Heh...  At least the loaner they gave me was a Benz.  Not as fun as mine, but it was comfy. 

Turns out there was some fuel exhaust valve thing that was malfunctioning.  This would have greatly affected my emissions inspection.  There was also a part that MB was recalling that needed to be replaced, so they did that too.  Instead of costing me $200, it was just my deductible.  Yippee!  The whole process was a breeze, the service was fantastic, and they even washed & vacuumed my car.  Blondie is happy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend 2 - Complete

We had some really great performances this weekend.  The audiences were fantastic too!  Saturday night - SOLD OUT!  Love it!  I did get a chance to catch up on sleep, but spent most of the weekend just intolerably cranky.  Poor Mr. Blondie - I've barely seen him over the last three weeks and when we do have a chance to see each other I'm Super Bitch.  Ugh... 

We have one number in the show that requires audience participation.  The guys are playing 'Heart and Soul' on the piano, and they pull someone out of the audience to play with them.  We always have a plant in the audience just in case we don't have a volunteer.  Friday night our costumer's Mom was in the house.  She's kinda crazy, but used to be in musical theater when she was younger, so the guys pull her up for this number.  She played it perfectly.  After two versus on the piano, one of the actors pulls her from the piano to dance.  (This is all part of their blocking.)  She goes off into this soft-shoe routine that was just hilarious.  As the number comes to an end, she does a Bugs Bunny/Warner Bros exit off SL.  We were crying we were laughing so hard.  How the guys were able to keep their composure to finish the number was amazing.  We pulled her back on stage to finish the scene (we give her gifts) and escort her back to her seat.  She just had a grand old time.  I wish we'd caught it on video.

We did get a fantastic review from  I was thrilled.  Tech usually only gets mentioned when something is wrong.  I was elated to see that lighting got mentioned positively!  I can't say that show #2 will earn the same recognition, but one can hope.  Now that I've got both shows open and running, I have to get to work on the plot for #3.  

No rest for the weary! 

PS: I know I've said this before...  I whine about being exhausted.  I get grumpy and difficult.   But the positive vibes from the audience are irreplaceable.  It makes the whole thing worth it when you have a show that you know the audience enjoyed.  I can't see most of the audience from my spot on stage, but I see a few.  When they're laughing so hard their eyes are tearing, you remember why you kill yourself to do your best. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ooo! I Can't Wait!

Mark and Sean together at Tyson’s!
630 WMAL welcomes Mark Levin and Sean Hannity to Barnes and Noble at Tyson’s Corner, Saturday, May 8th 11am-4pm.

Mark will be signing his brand new book "Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address Illustrated," and Sean will be there to sign his new bestseller "Conservative Victory – Defeating Obama’s Radical Agenda." Mark’s book signing of his wildly popular "Liberty and Tyranny – A Conservative Manifesto," drew thousands to Barnes and Noble. Put these talk titans together and one can only imagine how large this event will be. Make plans now to join us. Be listening to 630 WMAL and log on to for additional details.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We Interrupt This Program...

Fuck you, you bitch.  First you try to point the finger at me when a deposit isn't showing up in the system.  Guess what?!?  Per your directions, I gave it to you because my co-worker was out. YOU, the all perfect supervisor of our dept, left it sitting on your desk for over a week.  How is that my problem?  It's not.  Stop blaming me.

Now it's this account rec you gave me last month.  I've got the mother fucking thing exactly the way you asked, with all the formulas and lookups exactly as they should be, and it's still not adding up.  I was working on it all day yesterday, and all morning this morning.  I know you asked me to tell you by noon if it was going to be a problem.  When I checked with you at noon, it was going fine.  Just adjusting formulas that I'd missed.  Then I kept at it, and still couldn't find the error.  I stayed late, got in here early...  I even went back to previous years!  The SAME ERROR is in PREVIOUS YEARS!  How did you justify the variance?  Did you just bury it somewhere?  The variance doesn't reflect in your rec, so where did you put it?  Cuz the math don't work, and it doesn't make sense why.  So don't be bitching to me that it puts you behind.  I really don't give a shit, and I am in NO MOOD to deal with your prissy attitude. 

I can't wait to hear how you resolve this one.  I better get a FUCKING APOLOGY.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress...

UPDATEThanks for taking 30 minutes of my time to tell me you missed an entry three months ago.  And for telling me that the enormous variance is because we're calculating everything with last year's rates.

Me: "But if we pay this out now, it'll be at this year's rate.  What difference does it make if they EARNED it at last year's rate when we're going to PAY it at this year's rate?  Doesn't that throw the budgets off?"

Her: "Well, that's a problem we have every year and we try to explain..."

"If we calculate it at the real rate it would be paid out, then the other depts will have more accurate information, and there won't be this huge issue about it at the end of the year when it catches up." 

"Excellent point.  Great catch.  Maybe you can add a column to this month's rec to make the adjustment and then going forward we'll use the current rates."

WHAT?!?  Did no one ever complain enough for you guys to track this properly?  This is my 2nd time ever looking at this monster spreadsheet and I picked that up right out of the gate.  What is so difficult?  (deep breath, now smile...)  "Sounds good.  I'll show it to you before we post anything to the GL.  Is there any other piece of this spreadsheet anywhere else that I may have overlooked?  I don't want to MISS another entry and end up in this same situation a month from now."

"Just make sure you format it like this and you pull the information from each tab like you did.  Then it should work."

Uh huh.  Like it worked the FIRST time.  Right.  I got it.

What Was I Thinking?

Is it nap time yet?

The show I'm in tech for right now is looking very good.  It's not there yet, but I should be able to wrap it up tonight.  Well, I don't have an option... Today is the last day I can be there.  A handful of things got resolved last night, so it shouldn't be difficult.  I just wish I could snap my fingers to make it happen, rather than putting out the effort.

I really can't whine about it either.  The production staff for this show is being run ragged.  I'm betting the producer will have a bazooka on her shoulder tonight.  She'll use it too.

As I'm sitting here trying to describe what the last few days have been like, I struggle putting it into words.  I must be tired.  I never have this problem.

Oh, here's a funny...  A buddy of mine put this as his FB status: 'Dolphins are just gay sharks.'  To which my response was, 'If dolphins are gay sharks, what are gay Jets?  Is the mambo at the gym more glittery?'  His only response, 'Oh Blondie... (sigh)'  LOL!

Okay yeah... sleep is in order.  After work, after tech tonight...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Forever Plaid: Weekend One

We really had a great opening weekend.  It didn't come without it's share of issues, but everyone was happy.  Including the audience.

Friday was basically issue free.  We always like that.  I got to see a friend (who is related to a member of the cast) for the first time in forever.  We had been talking on FB, and he'd recently bought an iPad.  So I made him bring it to the show.  What a neat toy!  I can't stand Mr. Blondie's touch screen phone, but I do love this iPad.  Aside from the coolness factor, I don't have a reason to get one.  But should that change, I'll have one in a heartbeat!

Saturday was fun.  Spent the morning working on show #2.  Cues are written, a fix list is started, and I'm outta here.  Then I headed downtown for a free speech forum that was sponsored by the radio station I listen to.  I got to meet some very nice people, but most of what I heard was a repeat of what I listen to daily.  Tho it's definitely nice to be surrounded by like-thinking people.  By the time I got done there, I had just enough time to run home, inhale a piece of pizza and dart to the theater.

When I got there, the director for show #3 was there.  He had called earlier in the day and mentioned he had paint chips to show me.  By the time I got done speaking with him, my brain was on overload.  What show are we doing?  I'm clearly doing to much.

Again, the show went great.  The audience loved it, the guys had a lot of energy, and the props chick brought rice crispy treats made with fruity pebbles.  What more could you want?

Now we get to Sunday...  Mr. Blondie and I go to our favorite breakfast place, then head to a new grocery store in our neighborhood that opened a few days ago.  The place was a mad house.  Since they're open 24hrs (I love Harris Teeter) we should have gone another time.  We ended up pushing the clock, so I had Mr. Blondie drop me at the theater.  I didn't have time to run home and get my usual black shirt that was in the dryer.  The shirt I was wearing was a dark rust color.  That'll do.  It's a little low cut, but not so much that it was inappropriate for the show.

The guys have bottles of water strategically placed around the stage.  There's no intermission.  They sing non-stop for 90 minutes.  So the water is a necessity.  At some point during the Ed Sullivan number, one of the water bottles gets knocked over.  I guess the lid wasn't on well, or it wasn't a sippy cup, cuz it left a puddle DSL.  My little window is USL, so I didn't see it.  There's a song where the guys are dancing and pass out on the floor.  When one of the guys sat on the stool by my window instead of lying on the floor, I knew something was wrong.  He mouthed 'spill'.  I leaned over, and Lake Michigan has formed DSL.

Brain goes into warp speed - we gotta clean this up fast.  I execute the next cue, then go flying back to the dressing room to grab paper towels.  I get back to the light board with a few seconds to spare before executing the next cue.  Then I wait a few pages for the appropriate time to run out there.  This particular scene is pretty dim.  The guys have just run off stage to put on their new jackets, and their lines are coming from off stage.  Paper towels in hand, I go darting around the corner and start wiping up the floor.  I clearly do not have enough paper towels for the job, so I'm trying to push the water off stage under a set piece.  I'm also diligently listening to the lines, as I have a cue before they come back on.  I hear that we're getting close to the next cue, I run back to the light board just in time to execute the cue accurately.  Phew.

The floor is not exactly dry, but it's better.  Then I realize I'd left the paper towels on the floor next to the set piece rather than grabbing them as I ran off.  Crap!  Oh well.  When the show is over I go back out with more paper towels and finish cleaning.

Afterwords I'm talking to a friend who was in the house.  "Nice rack!"  I blushed and thanked him.  It wasn't until about a half hour later it hit me...  (Shut up, I'm a blonde.)  When I was wiping up the water, I was facing the audience.  With the ambient light on my ghost white skin, they got a view of the girls that was never intended for their entertainment.  Well, variety shows are a theme in this show, and I definitely gave it some variety!  D'oh!

Did I mention that the Mayor of Gaithersburg was in the house with his wife?  Yeah...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Let's Open This Monster!

Wednesday eve I came to the conclusion that there was no way I was going to get done unless I had all day to work on stage.  I was struggling with how I was going to get everything done and not collapse somewhere.  At 5a Thursday morning I had a splitting headache.  That's it.  Not going to work.  I took some good drugs and went back to sleep.  I woke up again around 11a feeling pretty good.

Went to First Watch for breakfast, then by the RMT Bay to pick up some supplies, then to the theater.  I received an email that our producer was suffering from some major dizzy spells that were making her nauseous.  I replied to her email telling her to stay home and take care of herself.  At the same time tho, she was my help.  Crap.

I turned the gears up a notch and was climbing and running cable, blah blah blah for three hours straight when guess who shows up...  The producer!  (And her husband)  First thing I said was, "You BITCH!  You are supposed to be at home, in bed, taking care of yourself!"  Then I look at her husband and introduce myself.  LOL!  Her husband said she was feeling much better than earlier in the day.  I thanked him for being there and driving.  He is a lighting guy, so I had him help me a bit.

The director arrived around 530p, and by 6p we were blasting thru cues, adding specials and doing some fine focusing.  As we wrapped up I kept checking the time.  I told our producer that I'd be ready to open the house at 730p.  Rock on!

730p the house opens.  I'm starving and sweating like a pig.  I brought an extra change of clothes with me, and our AD brought me dinner.  I'd soaked my head and scrunched my hair.  I'm now sitting in the middle of the floor in the green room eating my dinner.  The producer sticks her head in - we're ready to go, everyone is seated.  I asked what time it was.  745p.  I have 15 mins to relax.  Then she says we were supposed to start the show at 730p, not 8p.  WHAT?!?  SHIT!  I grab my clean shirt, ripping the dirty one off as I run into the dressing/bathroom.  Pee fast, put clean shirt on, flush.  Refill water bottle and run to my spot on stage. 

My little area is very, well... little.  I have a tall skinny end-table that has the monitor on it.  The light board is on a rolling TV tray-like shelf about the size of a music stand.  With about a two inch gap between myself and the light board, the curtain behind me is touching my back.  Just before we started I bend over to make sure there's nothing on the floor I can trip over.  The sound guy, not realizing I was there, tried to determine why there was a bulge in the curtain.  It was my ass.  I've been goosed in a theater before, but this was new.  LOL!  I jumped and then started laughing.  He was a bit embarrassed.

The preview went off without much of a hitch.  The guys sounded good, the orchestra was together, and most of my light cues were accurate.  There's still a lot of fixing to do, but they're little things that only myself and the WATCH judges will notice.  About halfway thru the show (85mins - no intermission) my feet started falling asleep.  I'm trying to keep moving without being too distracting so I can keep the circulation going.  Tonight I'll have a stool, which should help.

In the meantime I get an email from the director of the show that opens next week.  Since last Friday was mostly useless, I'll be there tomorrow morning to write cues and finish up the focus.  I just wish I could keep my eyes open.  I'm so freakin' exhausted.  A co-worker this morning said something about it.  Not hi, hello, how are ya.  More like "You look like shit.  When was the last time you got some rest?"  Yup.  That pretty much sums it up.

If you're in the neighborhood, come see what I've put all this work into.  It's a really fun show.  Wear plaid.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tech... Tech... Tech...

The last few days at The Barn are getting progressively better.  Yesterday we ran almost the whole show with light cues and some sound.  It's going to be great when it's finished. We just gotta finish it.

This show is another example of why I need to make the effort to get things done ahead of time.  I'm cramming now to get thing accomplished.  It sucks not having much help.  However it will all get done.

Yesterday started out rough.  I'd decided the day before that I was only going to work half a day so I could get some quality alone time in the theater.  Ran by R&R to pick up gel and a motor for the mirror ball.  Mr. Blondie had a migraine the night before and was still feeling the affects.  So after I left R&R I went to his office to switch cars.  His a/c doesn't work. 

I get to The Barn and discover I have everything except the gel.  I'd left that in the trunk.  This is now the second time I've gone out of my way to get gel, just to find I'd left it somewhere.  Demmit. 

When I checked in with the front desk at The Barn, I'm chatting a little with the gal at the desk.  Ticket sales are looking good.  She says it looks like we'll have a nice group for Thursday.  Um, Thursday?  Apparently we're having a preview audience.  Really?  Am I that asleep at the switch that I missed this memo?  I realize it's not supposed to be a perfect show - it's our final dress.  However, that changes the urgency of getting things accomplished.  To us it basically feels like we lost a day. 

So I've managed to keep my cool and not completely freak when I start wrapping up the conversation to head upstairs.  She asks me how things are coming - slow, but we're getting there.  Help should start trickling in over the next hour so we should be able to get a lot done.  She stops mid breath to look at the calendar.  There is a class scheduled from 330p - 5p in the theater.  WHAT?!?  Now I'm really panicking, and still trying not to shoot the messenger.   I tell her that it was our understanding that we would have the space to ourselves this entire week, anytime.  She looks at one calendar - nothing on it but us.  Then another calendar shows the class.  She says she'll move the class to a different area of The Barn.  I tell her that I'm happy (I use that word loosely) to call off the troops - the last thing I need is the theater manager ripping into me about bumping another group.  She assured me that it wouldn't be a problem and he wouldn't give me trouble.

Background: I told the theater manager two months ago that we always seem to have conflicting reports regarding when we have the space and when we don't.  I mentioned that there was more than one calendar, and he berated me for even suggesting it.  Well, here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about.  I'm trying not to sound upset or shoot the messenger, but at the same time give me a break.  At this point I know more about how that facility is run than he does, and it's his full time job. Ugh.

The run went well.  Some of the cues looked horrendous, but some were completely fantastic.  I still have a ton of work to do, so I'm going to the theater right after work.  In the meantime, I've got my eyes closed as I type.  I'm hurting...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sometimes I'm Too Much Of A Softie

The last few days have not been as horrible as I thought they would be.  I was able to get naps in every day, and most of the time I remembered to eat.  Yesterdays goals were not accomplished well at all.  I called R&R around 11a to place my gel orders for SSS and RMT.  They close at 530p, and since I leave work at 4p, I shouldn't have any trouble getting there before they close.

I left work right on time.  It's 14 miles from my office, to R&R. Taking the beltway is the quickest way, and I avoid the traffic lights, so that's how I went.  It took me an hour and twenty minutes to get from my office, to the exit I needed.  KILL ME NOW.  Yes, it was nice outside and I had the top down.  That was a definite bonus.  But my left knee is PISSED off.  I didn't get out of first gear until I was a mile from the exit I needed.  INSANE.  There was a tractor trailer behind me, and the sound of his engine drowned out any hope of listening to music unless I put the top up, which I wasn't willing to do.
As soon as I exited the beltway, I called R&R.  The guy was kind enough to wait for me - thank you!!   I take my gel, and go get food.  Ihop.  It ain't classy, but it's cheap, yummy, and since I didn't get a nap it was a nice break.

Once at the theater I started cutting gel.  The lights are all rough focused - all I needed to do was switch out the gel and write basic cues.  I was almost done cutting the first color when a very nice gentleman who was probably in his mid to late 80's arrived.  He'd been helping earlier in the day with a set for either the same show I was working on, or the one acts... not sure which.  Anyway, he'd lost his date book.  This date book is his life.  I appreciate this, as my Crackberry has attempted data suicide a number of times.

I stopped what I was doing and helped him look for it.  As we are looking, he mentions that he has an appointment to take his cat to the vet the next day and isn't sure of the time.  Since the phone number to the place is also in this book, it really needed to be found.  The whole time we were looking we were swapping kitty baby stories.  After about a half hour of searching, we finally found it.  He was thrilled, and I could get back to work.

He sat down and we kept talking while I finished cutting gel.  (I only tried to take my fingertip off once, and I didn't even draw blood.  WAHOO!)  Then I grabbed the rolling step ladder stool thing and started swapping gel.  He sat there and we talked the entire time.  I'm almost done with all the gel when he gets into this really deep story about a cat he had a long time ago.  I'm looking at the clock - it's 9p.  I've got to get these cues written, and the only way to do that is to desert this guy for the booth.

Next thing I know, he's getting physically upset about this previous cat and the fact that his current cat now is older and is going in for a large number of tests to make sure she's okay.  He tells me how he's on a fixed income (which I figured...) and how he made an arrangement with the bank that if he gets over-drawn they'll give him a cushion.  The approximate costs of these tests were upwards of $500.  He was going to spend the money to make sure his baby was okay, no question there... but it was going to take him a while to get caught up with the bank.

By now he's in tears.  Um yeah, that's great - I have cues to write...  No, I can't just walk away.  So I keep talking to him trying to calm him down.  After he's gone thru half a roll of paper towels, he decides that it's late and he should get going.  He bids his farewell, and mentions he'll be back the next morning to help again.

I feel so bad for this guy, but at the same time I'm relieved.  I can get some work done!  Then my phone beeps.  It's 1030p.  I have gotten almost nothing accomplished, and if I don't go home now, there's no way I'll be getting up for work the next morning.  CRAP!

I'm not supposed to be back to SSS for another week and a half, since I have the RMT show opening in a week.  I told the director &amp; producer I'd have rough cues done.  I don't have JACK done.  So tonight I head to RMT to get as much work done as possible.  Depending upon what my schedule is like for Sat and Sun, I may be able to squeeze some SSS time in.  I'm praying now that I can get a very good handle on the RMT show tonight, have a super smooth Q2Q on Sunday eve, and spend some time Monday eve at SSS.  If all else fails, I'll open RMT's show next Friday and spend Saturday during the day at SSS - which I was hoping to avoid.  Only time will tell.

Some days I wish I could say no.  Some days I wish I could just walk away in the middle of a non-evil conversation.  Other days I'm glad to be busy and happy that I have a heart.  Now if I can just keep it all going...