Some of my achievements at work in the past two days of tech rehearsals:
1) Survived a 5.1 earthquake hitting four theatres -two in tech, two in performance. And a 4.1 aftershock while in the basement of the Shrine Auditorium. Got down in the space between the seats in the theatre and then resumed tech within five minutes. The show must go on people! That’s why they make safety chains for crying out loud! I remember when I was stage managing On Borrowed Time at the Pasadena Playhouse when the Whittier Narrows quake happened. We were in the last ten minutes of the play. Wren Brown, the actor who was playing the character named Brink, the embodiment of death, was in his spot up in a large oak tree on stage. The quake began to rumble, and I got on the god mic and announced in my own quakey voice, “Laides and Gentlemen, please evacuate the theatre in an orderly line.” Now, of course, we know not to go outside during an earthquake, but then I didn’t. I gathered the cast and crew in the alley to the east of the building, and we had a brief company meeting before deciding that we would continue the show. We decided unanimously to finish the performance, and did so, to most of the audience. It was only after the show came down that I was informed that the theatre did not own safety cables for its lighting. I got a lot of grief from the operators in the booth, too, for my reedy thin terror-crusted announcement. They ridiculed me for weeks for how I sounded in my announcement. The theatre now has safety chains, I trust.
2) Successfully negotiated regular price on eight dozen donuts for tech rehearsals. I tried to help out by calling the donut shop to let them know I would be cleaning them out on Saturday morning this week, due to simultaneous tech rehearsals.The not-regular person I deal with asked me to drive over there that night to put a down payment on the donuts. “I am your best customer!” I found myself saying in an atypically aggressive way. “No, I can’t come over there to put a down payment on donuts. Are you kidding me? ”
3) Survived watching the most laborious and unproductive tech ever. Can people really not understand an opening sequence as described? It took two hours to tech the following opening sequence:
Preset and preshow music are playing with house lights at full.
house lights go to half
actor is cued onstage from up left.
Lights up on stage center as house lights and music go out. Actor pauses to give preshow speech.
Actor crosses down right. Lights come up down right as actor removes card from easel. And begins to exit through door down right.
Second actor enters from HR and leans against SL wall of theatre.
Cue actor on from UR. Scene light up. I am not kidding. It took two hours. Made me want to give up the theatre. It was really discouraging. And dear reader, do not blame yourself. It was the perfect storm of theatre malfeasance.
4) Had to take a student to the ER tonight who injured herself laughing. Yes. I know it sounds like the punch line of some really bad joke, but she really bunged herself up during a conversation in the wings. Threw her head back mid chortle and thwacked it on a scenic column. That will teach you to not talk in the wings. Thankfully, she is all right.