July 17, 2007

42nd Street Pre-production

I call this: summer stock,theatre — Posted by KP @ 3:48 pm

It’s our second week of the run of The King and I, and I’m starting pre-production on 42nd Street. On this, our third consecutive day off (I love this schedule!) I swung by the theatre to pick up some mail, and the casting worksheet and contact info for our 42nd Street cast.

My first step is to go through the cast list and make some kind of mark next to the names of people I’ve worked with before. These will be the first to go on the contact sheet, by copying and pasting from previous contact sheets. If I have their resume in my pile, I will double-check that the info I have matches the presumably more-recent info on their resume. Since I’m in no hurry, I will take the opportunity to update my personal contact files on my computer as I go along, so that my computer and phone will have everybody’s numbers on them as early as possible, before I need to call or e-mail anyone. When I get too many of them too close to rehearsals, or on the first day of rehearsal, it can be hard to find time to properly update everything. So I’m very glad to have gotten that out of the way.

Our director, Eileen Grace, has sent me her tentative schedule for the rehearsal period. I checked it for errors regarding allowed hours under Equity rules, sent back a couple notes and questions, and then will send it out to the actors I have e-mail addresses for when it’s ready. With that I have also started my calendar (see this post for the template) based on her schedule. I will fill in the details for tech and dress rehearsals after we decide on them at our production meeting.

Putting a show together is like a puzzle… the next ball I have in the air is the production meeting. Eileen and I have decided on 11:30AM next Tuesday, so I have now reached the point where I’m ready to send out an invitation to everyone else to find out if they can attend. But in order to do that I need to know who “everyone else” is, and there were a few I thought might be changing. A few e-mails answered the questions I had about sound engineer and prop master, and finally I’m able to send out the invitation.

With that straightened out, I was also able to make my “42nd Street Reports” group in Entourage, with all the e-mail addresses of everyone who will receive the report. See this post for more details about the report. I’ve even updated my rehearsal report template to change King and I to 42nd Street, so that will be ready to go on the day of the first rehearsal. The performance report is a separate template, so I can still use the King and I version of that.

The whole thing has only taken me about three hours, so not too much of a dent in my day off, but a big help in getting things ready for the next show before things start to get crazy. In fact, for both shows on Saturday most of the off-topic discussion on headset was about 42nd Street. Things like load-out, the lighting plot for the next show and how similar it will be, and how that will affect the time needed for lighting load-out and hanging for the next show. I was mostly just listening, but for the tech director, production manager and master electrician to be able to sort stuff like that out, it’s pretty helpful.

It’s a good feeling to be ahead of the game going into the last show. It’s an even better feeling once the last show opens to not have to worry about another show after it. But then of course comes the feeling of, “Oh my God, I don’t have a job!!” and “What do you mean I’m not getting a paycheck next week?” It’s very easy to fall into a routine and forget what a blessing it is to get a regular paycheck, especially one you can live on. I have one sort-of-job on the horizon, should nothing else come up, but I would love it if I had a real show lined up by the time I leave Reagle.