What am I doing here?

This week I had my first experience as part of the creative team for a community theater production. I joined the table read (just what it sounds like) of a play that was just cast. A few times I helped by reading stage directions, but I am not particularly cut out for that sort of thing.

I am looking forward to this challenge, but at the same time I am a little intimidated. This is the first time that so much of the lighting design has been my responsibility. I have a co-designer, who is also the stage manager, but her help will mostly be hanging and focusing the light fixtures.

The talented cast jumped right into character with no prompting from the director. Soon we were all laughing. I decided I need to watch several rehearsals. Not only do I need to observe blocking and other details important to light design, but I need to be able to watch the show without falling out of my chair laughing. I am also running sound and lights when the show is performed.

I can’t wait to get into the meat of this project. I will be challenged and maybe a bit overwhelmed, but mostly grateful for the chance to stretch my creative wings.

Any tips or suggestions will be gratefully accepted.

Come to the dark side

I run tech for community theater. You know, turning lights and microphones on and off, playing sound cues, and such. I am in “tech week” for a show that opens Friday. This means rehearsal every day putting all the technical details together. Lights, sound, costumes, musicians, sets, props…anything and everything. By Thursday we need to be ready for a preview audience (what some people would call the dress rehearsal.)

I was at the theater before last night’s rehearsal chatting with the light and sound designers. I am operating the sound board, which for this show means 7 body mics, some sound effects and a few monitors. I asked the lighting designer who was running his board, and he said he didn’t have anyone yet. Starting tech week without a board operator is nerve wracking at best.

I knew a friend of mine is interested in getting involved in community theater, so I called her. She was at the theater a half hour later. She hasn’t actually run a show yet, but the light designer and I could tell just from her writing down cues that she will be more than capable of handling her 300-some cues. I’m excited to work with her, since we get along so well and she is taking a break from handbell choir.

One more person caught in the addicting creative process of the theater…

24601

Some of you immediately recognize the reference in my intro page. Others are scratching your heads. I get it. I don’t understand every cultural reference someone throws my way. But it seems I am the master of obscure connections. Sometimes I feel like Freddy Mercury when he combined John Wayne, Star Wars, politics and illegal drugs in the same song. Except that when he wrote those lyrics they somehow made sense.

I’m not so eloquent. Every day I say something that, in my mind, makes perfect sense, but falls flat when it comes out of my mouth. My poor daughter can only shake her head and laugh when we are talking about what to have for supper and suddenly I’m commenting on the song my brother sang from the basement of the house we lived in when I was in 4th grade.

If I am ever having a conversation with you and I say something that seems to come from left field, just smile and remember that is one of my quirks and why I’m so adorable.

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Oh, and a song in Les Miserables, ends with Jean Valjean singing, “Who am I? 24601!”