Sunday, June 04, 2006

technical recovery

i had some shit to say but was too busy to say it all week, then when i had a little time, verizon's dsl crashed, and i was busy again by the time they got it back up...
for those who don't know what "tech" (as applied to theatre) is, this post title and the previous one ("technical difficulties") are dual references: being in technical/dress rehearsals for a show is the exhausting end of the process, just before the 1st audience sees it. it's a slow and painful (but necessary) process with actors (who, by now, should know lines, blocking, character details/intentions/motivations, but may not have it comfortably set yet), director (who gets to veto every moment of the production) and the production team (set/lighting/costume/props designers and stage management crew) getting the logistics of it running as smoothly as possible. it's predominantly for light+sound cues (i.e. when the lights dim and we hear the rain, the actor will take that cue to enter and cross to the table, then him sitting down is the cue for the phone to ring...) but sometimes it's also the first time the show gets worked in the actual space, which means the director may change blocking and other business (including props), seeing costumes in the light designed for the show can prompt changes, and sometimes even the set gets adjusted/repainted at this point (but we hope never again)...
the other thing about tech is that it's looong (saturday and sunday were both 10-out-of-12's for us, which means we have a 12hour call and work 10hours each day, either an hour each for lunch+dinner or a 2hour dinnerbreak, plus whatever other tech/dress calls are on the schedule) and tedious, because tweaking lights+sound and timing it with actors is the focus, not the performing of the play, so actors come out and cue-to-cue, which literally means that instead of running the whole play and pausing for tech needs we only run the sections where there's tech stuff happening, so there's no build, no climax, no story being told, no way to really work the acting/motivation/character stuff- just repeating cue lines a million times (and since we're combining technical with performance in this process and the stage manager's figuring out exactly when to call each cue so it happens @ the exact right moment, we really do run each one over+over- i ran my quick change 9 times on saturday, which meant putting on my schoolgirl costume of camisole, blouse, cardigan, tights, skort- yes, i said skort, so there's 3 layers on both my upper and lower body, in d.c. in june- shoes, ponytail, ring, and schoolbooks, stepping onstage, delivering the last line before my exit, exiting, dumping the books, then peeling off all that shit, and delivering my 1st few lines in a different accent at the top of my lungs so i can be heard from the dressing room, while putting on socks+shoes, dress that buttons all the way up the front, turning ponytail into a bun, switching the ring to my wedding finger and picking up the coat i'm carrying as this new character, and adjusting my body language to differentiate from the previous character as i enter. as soon as i'd enter with the coat, they'd yell "hold" and i'd go back to the dressing room, take off the costume i'd just put on, get back into the schoolgirl costume, and do it all over again. 9 times, until the sound cue, light cue, and myself were all coordinated). that's tech. if we don't do that shit, the show stinks. the tech makes the magic...
...the point of all this being that even before the dsl crashed, i was @ technical exhaustion with the children's hour, and now that the dsl's back, i'm hopefully also spending my day off (finally!) recovering from tech- not that this was all a complaint- tech is worthwhile, just tiring.
opening night tuesday...

now i'ma just throw in anything else i'd meant to mention this past week:
1. adding to my technical difficulty is the fact that, unexpectedly, my wardrobe is lacking in 2 almost-daily items: jeans+panties. this might be cool since it's hot+sweaty in d.c. and i always believe that the thrill of crotchless clothing should be embraced by wearing nothing but skin underneath (you men are really missing out on the skirt/dress thing, and should investigate sarongs if you're comfortable enough in your manliness). but right now, rehearsing in a dusty, mouldy theatre isn't really the time to take advantage of my wardrobe's current status, nor does it leave me the time to go buy some new undies and jeans. we actually tried to squeeze in a jeans-run yesterday morning so i'd have pants to wear to the theatre @ 2pm, and the car broke down en route (speaking of technical difficulties)...
2. i heard that when clinton was on his way out of office, he decided to stick it to bush by getting the d.c. license plates for the presidential ride that say "taxation without representation"- that makes me happy, to think that bush is riding around with those plates, and prob'ly won't switch them out because he can't read- although i admit that i haven't seen for myself, and don't know if it's true. but i like the thought.
3. i believe that our emissions are contributing to global warming and should be reduced, but i also recognise that the ice age melted without our help...
4. it seems that 50% of all people who call in to talk radio are named steve or kathleen. and don't know the meaning of the word "brevity".
5. i hate misuse of words (and if i'm guilty, i apologise- i actively try not to be, and check myself often) and wish that people'd realise that a "pluralistic society" implies tolerance and cohesion, not just the segregated or otherwise uncomfortable existence of different peoples in the same place. so stop patting yourselves on the back.
6. not enough people in our world are aware that their whole world isn't the whole world.

walk good.

2 Comments:

Anonymous keifel said...

sarongs are good. wearing mine to work tomorrow actually.

12:09 am  
Anonymous Roger Friedland said...

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1:39 pm  

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