June 21, 2007

Second Week of the Run

I call this: summer stock — Posted by KP @ 10:56 am

So I’ve been sick for the last two days. Probably got it at the Majestic on Monday. There’s always some bug going around, and I don’t doubt that four hours in that building could send me home with something. At least that’s what I’m blaming it on. I’m not nearly as sick as a person could be, just an incredibly sore throat and a slight fever that I can’t really keep track of because I don’t have a thermometer up here. So I take some Tylenol whenever it seems to make sense, along with some echinacea, which it’s probably too late for, and my favorite cold remedy, Cold-Eeze. Calling a show sick never results in a particularly good show, it always feels a little bit like watching the show underwater — the music sounds muffled, and the timing of everything feels different. Not to mention if your illness is respiratory (which mine usually are) you can never be quite sure when you attempt to speak a short little word like “go” if your throat will choose that moment to get blocked up and not let it out.

But last night’s show was actually pretty good. I bought some ice cream in the lobby at intermission, and that was very soothing, so the second act was better. The key here is to not lose my voice. As I said, all the cues are verbal, so that would be incredibly bad. I can probably count on one hand the number of times in my life I’ve actually lost my voice to the point of no sound coming out, so I’m not too worried. I was careful not to push when calling last night, and although my voice sounds worse today, I think I’m probably on the way to getting better. The nice thing is that in the second week of the run there’s not much to do other than come in and do the show. We don’t even have any matinees this week, so I’ve been able to stay in bed as long as I need to and take it easy around the house.

When I came in before the show yesterday I noticed we had a new section of deck put down just downstage of the rain deck, in a spot that had taken a lot of water damage. At intermission I was informed that there was a section of deck all the way upstage that needed immediate replacement before the rain deck could be rolled back over it. About eight guys and gals with screwguns going simultaneously managed to put down a thankfully pre-cut piece of replacement deck with almost no impact on the length of intermission. I was impressed.

Since tech it’s been relatively common for there to be some kind of problem that threatens to extend the already-long intermission, and since I began my theatrical career in high school as a “techie,” in situations with non-union crews I sometimes enjoy pitching in and actually doing stuff instead of standing around and watching the clock. By now I’ve learned enough of the intermission changeover for this show that I actually know what comes next and can participate without needing to be told what to do or what spike mark I should be going to. Because of the very low grid height at Reagle, a lot of drops have to be clipped up to their pipes in order for tall pieces of scenery (like the rain deck) to move under them. Once the rain deck is pushed back upstage (which I often help with, although I doubt I’m actually taking much of the weight), a lot of intermission is spent unclipping drops used in the second act, which requires one person flying and about five people along the length of the stage to undo each clip, let the drop out, and reclose the clip, while holding the bottom pipe of the drop up off the still-somewhat-wet rain deck. Then the drop is flown until it’s stretched out, and we give it a tug to (hopefully) take out the wrinkles, and it’s flown all the way out. This process went faster last night than I’ve ever seen it, and I was glad I could actually be of some use.