December 31, 2009

Getting Close to Tech

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 7:21 pm

We’re in our last couple days in the rehearsal room. This morning Nick, Ashley and I went up to the theatre before rehearsal. The tech tables are already out. That’s mine closest to the stage in the center.

We’ve had some really complicated schedules as we try to squeeze every moment out of our rehearsal time, and finish all the haircuts, costume fittings and wig fittings. Yesterday the day was crazy. In the first 4 hours of rehearsal, we had 24 individual calls scheduled. Some of them were only 15 minutes long. So to keep track of where everyone needed to be, and to make sure they all got required breaks, I had to map out everyone’s day individually, at least prior to lunch. It was insane, but the chart was actually really helpful.

And finally, we used this time to take a portrait of Nick and I on the set. This is the “hobbit hole”: a small doorway tucked under the balcony stairs, used primarily as the entrance to Friar Laurence’s cell. In this photo, I demonstrate how there is absolutely nothing tight or uncomfortable about the size of this doorway. Nick does not seem convinced.

December 28, 2009

Load In

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 10:30 pm

One of my favorite stories from the tour so far:

This morning I came into the rehearsal room to find a shipping receipt folded on my desk. This isn’t completely out of the ordinary. Sometimes things get sent to the theatre in my name, such as props, the payroll/mail packet from New York, and so forth, and whoever receives it leaves the receipt for my records.

I didn’t recognize it, so I picked it up to see what it was. The delivery was itemized thusly:

Qty Description of contents Weight
1 trailer load of theatrical effects 21,000lbs.

It was a slightly bigger package than what I was imagining when I saw the receipt. I think the dimensions of the box are something like 53ft(L) x 8ft(W) x 13ft(H). I wonder if the Postal Service offers a flat rate box for that.

Fittings and Haircuts

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 6:12 pm

One of the things I hate most about my job is coordinating costume fittings, wig fittings, and haircuts. The schedules and needs of the director and costume designer, drapers, wig designers and hairdressers often conflict, and negotiating the actors through a very tight schedule without screwing anybody’s plans up can be very difficult, and usually gets screwed up by things you can’t control (a.k.a. Friar Laurence Syndrome).

With a ton of fittings and haircuts to be accomplished in a short span of time this week, each with their own particular criteria of when they could be accomplished, I felt that any method of organization short of moving solid objects around on a physical representation of the week would fall short or be prone to error. I literally cut up a cardboard box and made a calendar and individual pieces for each fitting that needed to happen, and taped them in order on the appropriate day.

It’s actually working quite well for us.

This was the schedule from yesterday.

December 25, 2009

Christmas Coding

I call this: computers,phones,tech — Posted by KP @ 6:59 pm

It’s been a really long time since I had the time to learn anything new about web development. The next thing on my list has been to learn more PHP so I can learn how to write scripts and generate dynamic content on the site.

I had an idea months ago for an online quiz I wanted to put on the site: I kept reading about iPhone apps where the title of the app gave little indication of what the purpose of the app was. Some of them were actually kind of funny (and by funny, of course I mean “could potentially be raunchy”). I had visions of a quiz which would present the title of an app and the user would have to guess from several descriptions of what the app was for. My only problem is that I didn’t know any programming languages to allow me to create such a quiz from scratch.

So today, Christmas Day, after a video chat with my family, I set about learning some more PHP (like all my coding knowledge, I don’t have any fancy books, I just type “php tutorial” into Google and see what comes up). I have gained some new knowledge, and I present to you:

The iPhone App Name Quiz!

Once I got used to the syntax, things came easily. Between my work on spreadsheets as part of my very nerdy involvement in the high command of Battleground Europe, and the stage management database I’ve been designing for the last four months or so, I have been spending a lot more time dealing with calculations and logic formulas. The last programming I successfully did before this year was in BASIC, back when I was in gifted camp when I was ten, so I am happy to find that my brain is retaining things and having an easier time working with concepts like if/then/else statements.

I’m not sure what else I’ll want to do with this newfound knowledge, but now I will have one more trick up my sleeve while adding to the site.

Twas the Day Before The Day Off Before Christmas

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 1:12 am

Just a visual tour of our final day of rehearsal prior to Christmas (Dec. 23rd).

The day began with the Guthrie’s weekly production staff meeting, which last year I attended weekly, but this year got a pass on — except for this week because we’re about to load in, and they thought it was, you know, kind of important.

And this year I had backup — Nick and Ashley were with me as well, and I didn’t have to sit in the “inquisition seat” where the rising sun aligns with the narrow yellow windows to blind the person sitting on a certain side of the room. The department heads had some tough questions for me, and I had a few questions for them, but overall it looks like we’re on track.

As the meeting was concluding, our truck showed up at the loading dock, to unload the marley floor so it can thaw and be rolled out flat for a few days before it has to be laid.

Trevor came down to the rehearsal room to return the key to the truck and tells us that the truck is at the dock if we want to take pictures. I love the fact that people are looking out for our interests as bloggers, as well as as stage managers. So naturally, we went to the dock and snapped some pictures, including Nick posing on the dock.

I didn’t get a good opportunity to get a clear shot of the inside of the truck. In fact, besides the endless rows of road boxes (they purposely sent us more than we need, so we would definitely have enough, and can return the unused ones when we play New York in late February), it was hard to see much. The set seems very flat (as well it should be), and is strapped neatly to the walls. The big staircase was in there in pieces, with what look like very handy castors inserted into the banister posts.

As it turns out, the marley was most of the way into the nose of the truck, so all our many, many road boxes had to be unloaded into the elevator to get to it, at which point they ended up loading all the boxes, and our infamous platform, Fred, into the theatre. The trailer was then parked on the other side of the parking lot to await load in day. It can’t remain at the dock because the Guthrie’s dock is this amazing giant garage-door-like thing that flips up. You can kind of see it in the below picture. With a trailer parked, the door can’t be closed, and while that may cause certain logistical or aesthetic problems, I think the primary one comes down to, “Close the door, it’s f***ing cold!!!” There are, of course doors between the dock and inside, but I’m sure the extreme temperature and wind would find its way into the building, especially through the giant freight elevator.

While the marley was being searched for, Nick and I went up to the theatre to examine the boxes that had come up, in the hopes of identifying unfamiliar ones that might be concealing rolls of marley. There we found our box, and without even opening it, saw the infamous message scrawled on it.

Backstory: when the boxes were being loaded on the truck from Spoon Group in New Jersey, where they are stored, our Associate Artistic Director, Ian, called me to check about which boxes we should bring, and so forth. Ian was the Staff Director last year, and probably the person Nick and I worked most closely with on the road, and Nick and Ian got great pleasure out of antagonizing each other for six or seven months. So before we got off the phone, Ian told me to pass word to Nick that there was a message waiting for him on our road box.

Nick and I tried to get to the box when we went out to the truck at its storage lot, but couldn’t get to it. So finally, we got to see what the fuss was about. And as I thought I heard, the message was truly on the box, not in it. And here it is, with physical commentary from Nick:

In a compromise, we have saved the tape, but it’s been moved to inside the box. And here’s a shot of some of our boxes (the other side of the stage has most of them).

All this happened before noon, and by the time rehearsal started I felt like I had so much work to do and so many questions to follow up on that the last thing I had time for was a rehearsal! But it was a big day, and a very rewarding one: we did our first full run of the show. It was a great way to take our two-day break for Christmas. After rehearsal ended, everybody stayed around for maybe a half hour, chatting, hugging, saying goodbye like it was the last day of school. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but we have a little over a week, and now have a greater grasp of the big picture. All that remains is to refine it.

I leave you with a picture of my desk as it has appeared for the last week or so. My mom sent a crazy springy Christmas tree. Last year I had a similarly-sized fiber optic tree, and kept it at my apartment. This one proved to be such a favorite in the rehearsal room on the day it arrived that I had to leave it for people to play with.

December 24, 2009

The Deadliest Catch

I call this: computers,mac,On the Road Again — Posted by KP @ 8:53 pm

“What Happened to Your Laptop?”

Entertain conjecture of a time in which I’m on the road with Henry V. We have just concluded our very successful run in New York, and have set out on the next leg of the tour. When our story begins, we’re in Nashville. We have arrived there the day before, after a layover in DC, to board our buses to go the rest of the way to our first performance at Mississippi State. No one understands how it could possibly have been cheaper or more efficient to do it this way, but nevertheless that’s why we were in Nashville.

After we spent the night for (as far as we can tell) no particular reason in a Nashville hotel, the cast departed in the afternoon and the crew was given the entire day to hang out in Nashville while our driver slept, as we would be leaving around midnight and sleeping on the ride down.

It wasn’t all that exciting, as the crew had actually been to Nashville earlier in the tour, because our bus’ water pump was broken and we had an extra day between shows, so we took a detour. While the bus was being repaired we ate ribs, listened to the live bands on Broadway, bought cowboy boots, ate way too much, and did all the things one does in Nashville. So for our second visit, we had lunch at a nice outdoor place we had visited the first time, researched potential sushi restaurants for dinner, and otherwise just kind of hung out on the bus watching TV.

Somewhere in the course of watching TV is where things get interesting.

Now I must introduce Daphne. Daphne was our props supervisor. We must have been watching the Discovery Channel, and it was at this point that Daphne realized that the season premiere of Deadliest Catch was coming up, and that we would be in the middle of our first performance in Mississippi while it was airing. My assistant Nick, who you have already met, was also disturbed when this was brought to his attention. Apparently Nick and Daphne really like Deadliest Catch.

It was something of an urban legend that the bus had a DVR. The satellite remote had buttons that referred to it, but when we tried to program the show to record, it became obvious that we were missing something that would allow that to happen, as it could be programmed, but nothing would happen. This was also one of our first experiences with our new bus, which we would later come to realize sucked in every imaginable way. Maybe the original bus had a working DVR, but this one didn’t appear to be fully equipped.

This minor setback was not going to dissuade us, however. We would just have to go a little low-tech. The bus had a VCR, we reasoned. All we have to do is find a place that sells VHS tapes and we can record it the old-fashioned way.

On our way to our sushi dinner, we passed a drug store. Daphne went in, and a few minutes later happily emerged with a set of three VHS tapes.

When we got back to the bus, we naturally set about doing a test run and trying to record a show. What we found was that the VCR apparently could play tapes, but the satellite connection didn’t pass through it, so it couldn’t record anything. This was very annoying! But given that all these electronics are mounted behind panels and on opposite sides of the lounge from each other, we didn’t feel comfortable tearing the whole bus apart to get at the wiring. We accepted defeat, and the VHS tapes were stacked on the kitchen counter.

Fast-forward a few days. My laptop was having battery issues, so after using it in the front lounge after the show, I set it down on the couch where I had been sitting, and left it to charge overnight.

It’s now the middle of the night. All of the crew are asleep in their beds. We encounter some bumpy and/or hilly roads. At some point in the night, a clattering is heard from the kitchen. This isn’t really unusual. Somebody’s coffee container or soda bottle is usually falling off the counter in the night. I, having the bunk on the other side of the kitchen wall, remember hearing this and thinking that it didn’t sound like anything breakable or containing liquid, so I didn’t even really wake up.

In the morning I was alarmed to find my laptop had 3 black smudges on it. I wasn’t concerned about smudges but at first I couldn’t tell if they were smudges or dents. I frantically rubbed on them, and thankfully the black marks came off. Two of them left no sign, but the largest of them revealed a dent in the aluminum cover of the laptop! I was totally confused about how this had happened, until we started to look at the forensic evidence. On the couch, laying casually, were the three VHS tapes. They looked like they had just been tossed there from when we were trying to get the VCR to work, until someone remembered that they had been stacked on the kitchen counter, and most of us had heard the crash from the kitchen during the night. So I went back to the tapes, and sure enough, each of them had a corner bashed in, where their black plastic had been worn off.

And that solved the mystery of how Daphne and Nick’s love for The Deadliest Catch dented my laptop.

The afterword to this story is that whenever I open my laptop I am reminded of Daphne and Nick, and how badly they wanted to see The Deadliest Catch. They never did get to see that episode. I’m not sure if they’ve seen it in reruns yet. I still have never seen an episode, but I am very curious to see what’s so special to have created such a fervor on our bus. And that’s the story of what happened to my laptop.

Overdue Back-to-Tour Shopping Post

I call this: computers,mac,On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 4:56 pm

I ordered a lot of supplies before going on the road. Here’s a run-down.

Business Cards

With this tour I’m switching to using my @headsetchatter.com email address for business and personal use. Naturally I needed new cards. I was going to do new cards anyway because my old ones were designed to match the Go Button site and logo, and I wanted to use the HeadsetChatter site colors and logo as a kind of personal branding.

Once again I ordered the premium business cards from VistaPrint, which are more expensive because they have full graphic images on front and back, and these even more so because I added a foil effect, which looks really cool.

Composite-Toed Shoes

I bought a pair of Sketchers steel-toed shoes about five years ago. They’re sneaker-like, but very heavy and uncomfortable. So heavy that sometimes if I wear them too much they start to hurt my leg muscles in uncomfortable ways because I’m not used to having to work so hard to pick my feet up. I only wear them in very rare cases, where I’m working in a theatre while the set is really still under construction.

Last year on tour, our props supervisor, Daphne, was the only one of the three of us who loaded the nose of the truck who wore safety shoes, so she was the designated person who would kick the scenery into places where it didn’t want to go. On one of our long nights in the truck, I asked her how she liked her shoes, and expressed how I never wore mine because they were so heavy. She informed me that her shoes aren’t steel, and aren’t heavy. At some point, hopefully back on the bus, and not on the truck, she took one off and let me see how light they are. At that point I decided it was something to look into if I returned.

The pair I found are made by Converse, and are a little heavier than Daphne’s, but I think most of the weight is in the heavy rubber sole, not from the toe cap. I wear very lightweight Puma running shoes normally, so the contrast is especially large for me when I switch to the boots. They have an air bubble in the heel, which also helps to make them feel more supportive and sneaker-like. The site where I got them, Steel-Toe-Shoes.com, had some options that really look just like regular sneakers, but I decided to play it safe and go with black, in case I need to wear them for performances. My philosophy about that is that if I am at the stage of production where I need to wear black, and still need to wear safety shoes, something is really wrong. But it’s always good to be safe.
When I had to reduce weight and bulk from my suitcase, they were the obvious thing to cut, but I held onto them, and I’m so glad. As it turns out, I have worn them almost every day. Not because things have been getting dropped on my feet, but because of the snow. Pumas, it turns out, do not make good snow shoes. These are relatively heavy, and my feet get kind of clammy compared to the breathable sneakers I tend to wear, but in the snow the warmth is very welcome, and the thick materials and high-top design gives me a little more confidence about slipping on the ice.

Work Gloves

Last year I did load outs with my leather winter gloves. First of all, it roughed up my gloves pretty bad. And then when it was like 70 degrees, it was really lame to be wearing winter gloves. So then us ladies on the tour all bought weightlifting gloves, because they were made small enough for us and padded, but offered no finger protection. This year I vowed to find serious work gloves that fit properly.

Apparently in order to find serious work gloves for women you have to be willing to buy things marketed as “gardening gloves,” but these gloves by Youngstown Glove Co. are very comfortable, and in my limited amount of frozen-truck-work, they felt great.

Hard Drive Upgrade

Maybe surprisingly, this is the only computer upgrade. I have been planning this since I bought my Macbook Pro two and a half years ago. For various reasons of time, place and money, I’ve put it off, but this was the time.

I bought a 320GB 7,200rpm drive from Western Digital which will is my new internal drive. I haven’t noticed a significant decrease in battery life, although I do hear the fans running a lot more, and the drive itself sometimes vibrates so much at random times that when I have my phone next to the computer, I think my phone is ringing.

I also got a 500GB 5,400rpm drive from Fujitsu (my new secondary Brand I Trust since I can’t believe how well the original drive in the MBP did). This will be my external Time Machine backup drive. As is my style, it’s a 2.5″ laptop drive so that it also serves as an emergency replacement should my internal drive go kaput.


I ordered these from Newegg, which is pretty much the most reliable seller of anything on all the web, so far as I’m concerned. However, I also wanted two drive enclosures to put the outgoing 160GB drives in, and none of the ones on Newegg filled me with confidence or floated my boat. For that it was back to Other World Computing (macsales.com), who sell the enclosure I currently use and love, and will continue to use.

I was looking for one or two cheaper USB enclosures just to have around, so I wouldn’t have to swap out to use my spare drives. The one I found was so nice, small and so cheap ($20) that I bought two. I ended up bringing one of the old drives on the road with a few seasons of The West Wing and The X-Files on them for entertainment. Just a word about these: they look cool, they match the Mac product line, but they are plastic, not aluminum. They’re $20, and there’s a reason they’re $20. But for a cheap enclosure, they do the job and look good doing it.


The reasoning behind this upgrade is that I’ve always wanted a faster internal drive, and I’ve got 4 frickin gigs of RAM and rarely feel it, and I was sure that the drive speed is the bottleneck. I’m not a big one for benchmarks, but I will say that since the upgrade I have yet to stare at the spinning beachball of death and wonder what the hell is taking so long.

Also I needed a larger Time Machine drive. The reason both my drives were 160GB is because I bought the backup drive before Time Machine existed, and I was doing exact clones for backup. Naturally if you’re just cloning your drive, you don’t need a bigger drive than the one you’re backing up.

Before the upgrade my Time Machine backups went back about four months. In October I discovered a couple songs missing from my iTunes library. I know I listened to them over the summer, but my backups only went back to July and they weren’t there. I have no idea where they went or why, but they’ve been gone long enough to have outdone the mighty Time Machine. This event had nothing to do with my decision, but it’s a very good illustration of why your Time Machine drive should be as big as possible.

Winter Coat

Screen shot 2009-11-14 at 10.17.48 PMWhat I wanted for Christmas from my family was a new winter coat to get me through December and January in Minneapolis. It had to be super-warm for the weather there, and yet light and flexible enough that I could do load-outs wearing it if the weather was really bad. At my mom’s suggestion, I looked at the offerings from Eddie Bauer, and decided on this one. It’s awesome. I have yet to really be cold in any part of my body covered by the coat.

December 23, 2009


I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 1:20 am



Count ’em. Three posts today. I don’t want to hear any crap about some of them being after midnight. You know what I mean.

Well I figured it out. See, most of us here have been feeling a little under the weather. I keep going to bed early because I don’t feel so great. When I get up early, I get back in bed because I feel like my body just needs a little more time to rest.

Well I have unlocked the secret of how some people can blog so much. See I go grocery shopping with some people. And I know some people buy Mountain Dew by the case. I buy a once-daily supply of Monster drinks, but I try to limit myself to one right when I get up, and some coffee when necessary at work, but other than that I try to drink water. As a result, by bedtime, I’m ready for bed. I have been a caffeine addict of varying proportions, and have done my share of blogging, gaming and web coding sessions that last until 6AM. So tonight I thought about how I keep trying to blog and get sleepy, and then realized that getting sleepy at 10:30 is perfectly normal, and that if I drank caffeine at night it would be easy to stay up a few extra hours. So, having enough energy drinks in the fridge to last me till the next grocery run with a few spares, I cracked one open tonight.

Three posts. Fear my blogging stamina!

I could keep going, I just don’t want to tire you guys out with reading. Goodnight.

A Lesson in Taking Blocking

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 1:07 am

OK stage management students. I know you googled something like “stage manager blocking” or “professional stage manager blocking,” so before you click on that link from SMnetwork.org or something like that, I’m glad you’ve landed here.

Here’s what it’s all about.

Here’s a photo. You’ll have to click on it to see it in full size to get the full education from this.

This is an excerpt from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Act III Sc. 3.
The notation on the page reads:

(FL) treats (R) like a little bitch DL

In the key I’m using for blocking, FL is Friar Laurence, R is Romeo, naturally.
(For more about what Friar Laurence has to do with stage management, you really should read my post on the subject.)

To cover all my bases, I have also included one of my much-beloved groundplan stickers, upon which I have indicated an area of the stage marked “region of holy pwnage.”

Now under this page is another one which contains all sorts of details like who crosses where and whatnot (which is why there are corresponding numbers on the text page), but the page you see pretty well sums up the action of the scene.

I hope you had a good chuckle, you can carry on being all serious now. Someday I swear I will do a good page on the website about how I take blocking, as well as how I do my calling script. I even have scanned a couple of pages of previous scripts, but I really want to take the time to do it right. Until then, I will take 10 minutes to be a wisegal.

Week 3… or Something

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 12:41 am

I have no idea what today is. I have given up trying to describe our process in weeks. I know today is “the day before the day off,” that is, we have one more rehearsal (tomorrow) before the day off — which, conveniently, is an almost unheard-of TWO days off, namely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

In order to amass this wealth of days off at one time, we’ve been working approximately forever since our last day off, in accordance with the Equity rule that allows you to rehearse more than six consecutive days in order to provide a day off for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, one of which is required to be a day off. By getting both, we screw up our schedule for a couple weeks (continuing the confusion because we took New Years’ Day off as well). The nice thing is that at the end of all this we end up with two days off in close succession right before tech, which will be welcome.

So it’s starting to feel a bit like the last day of school. We finished staging the show today, and then did a run of Act II. Tomorrow we’re doing just a few little pieces and then running the show for the first time. If all goes well we then plan to do notes and will be let out of class early to romp in the snow!

The last few days have been interesting. We’ve been trying various methods to gather up some more accurate rehearsal props — actual wicker baskets instead of backpacks, period rapiers instead of modern fencing swords, cloth handkerchiefs instead of tissues, that kind of thing. With our props having to be built or shopped in New York, we’ve had some setbacks in getting everything, and a few days ago I began what if I were a politician I might term a “surge” to try to get some extreme action taken to help us.

One of the solutions involved our swords. When all is said and done, our dueling families will confront each other with sword canes. We’ve had some delays getting the canes from the supplier, so in order to start fight choreography we had been using some borrowed fencing rapiers. As a halfway point between the modern rapiers and the sword canes, it was suggested that we use the 18th-century rapiers from last year’s The Spy, which were kept in the props box when the road boxes were loaded in New York. Not-so-conveniently, the truck is waiting in a lot about 20 miles from Minneapolis until load-in day. So early Monday morning, Team Stage Management got up and drove out to the trucking facility and climbed a snowbank into the back of the truck to retrieve the swords, and another cardboard box of props that we found. It actually probably took us less than 15 minutes once we got to the truck. We came prepared for the lock, doors and everything else to be frozen shut. We had flashlights, hammers, multitools, and a travel mug filled with hot water. We had permission from the office to break the lock if needed. As it turns out, the only tool we used was the key, which had been overnighted from the office the day before.

The snowbank even helped. My biggest concern about the trip was that I have never successfully climbed into the back of the truck from the ground. I would guess the floor of the truck is about shoulder-height on me. The first step is probably about waist-high, and there’s not really anything to grab onto to hoist myself up with the proper leverage. So when I saw the snowbank, I was relieved. It gave me the few extra inches I needed to get on the step, and from there I found a few little metal protrusions to grab, as well as the handle on the hamper strapped to the wall. Getting down was another ordeal. As I complained about how there aren’t grab irons, and how anyone was expected to do this, Nick was telling me to stop being a wuss and trying to explain what I was supposed to be grabbing, and then as he watched me actually try to do it that way, he says, “Oh, I get it — your arms are just too short!” I was like, “No shit my arms are too short! That’s what I’m talking about!” Anyway, I got in and out without hurting myself, so I was happy about that.

The truck had only arrived the night before, and the lock opened easily. The #2 road box — the weapons case — was the very last box in the truck, as promised. It was strapped with the doors facing the wrong way, which required moving a bunch of blankets and removing a couple load bars that were on the floor in order to pull it out, but after a brief struggle with two load straps, only one of which was ornery, I squeezed between the rows of boxes and pulled out all the weapons that were in any way useful. Then we pushed the box back, strapped it up again, closed the doors without too much fail, put the lock back on, and headed to rehearsal.

The one disappointment of our trip is that we couldn’t get to our stage management road box. We have been given a vague hint that there was a snarky note for Nick put in the box when the truck was loaded. Despite our frustration at having to make this early-morning journey, the bright spot was potentially getting an early look in the box. Unfortunately, behind the weapons box, the wall of road boxes was formed by three wardrobe gondolas and the TD’s box. Without a dock to unload on, and with limited open space in the back of the truck, there was no way to even locate our box, much less play Tetris and try to get to it. And we also couldn’t get a glimpse of any of the set either, which would have been the other item of interest.

Despite the not-wanting-to-go-anywhere-at-eight-AM and not-our-job reactions to this event, it was really fun to see our truck again. Despite the early mornings, late nights, inclement weather and hard physical work that always come along with it, I really enjoyed touring last year. I’ll be honest, I load the truck out of guilt that I’m the only person on the bus who doesn’t have to load the truck. Can I sit in my bunk and watch TV, sleep, or play on the internet while everyone else I live with is working their ass off until 3AM? But despite the obligation of my conscience, I took pride in being part of the crew. I am perfectly capable of getting my hands dirty, though I don’t have to do it anymore. I was a carpenter. I was a (very short) electrician. I can help. So I enjoyed knowing every inch of the truck pack, I even kind of enjoyed the day we all had to build the set ourselves because the venue didn’t hire enough crew. I learned exactly how the set was assembled, bolt by bolt, and for the rest of the tour I was able to use that knowledge to have a better understanding of situations. So of all the people in the employ of The Acting Company or the Guthrie in Minneapolis at the time, Nick and I were uniquely suited to going into the truck, getting what we need, and securing it without any trouble.

I’ve been eagerly looking forward to the truck’s arrival at the Guthrie — the day we walk up to the theatre and see it in profile next to the street, proclaiming our arrival to all passing cars. To me the truck represents our movement, the excitement and anticipation of a new place. It heralds our arrival and our departure. So just to see it sitting in a lot, here in Minnesota, is a step in the right direction. I’ve learned it’s actually going to make an appearance at the Guthrie tomorrow, so they can unload the marley floor — I guess the cold isn’t good for it and they want to give it time to thaw before laying it. I’m not sure if the trailer is staying on the premises or going back to the yard again.

I meant to more heavily document our adventures on the truck, but the whole thing happened so fast (once we got through the 5 or 6 people at the storage yard who had never heard of The Acting Company or a truck arriving the night before from New York, and found the one guy who knew where it was) that I forgot to take pictures until we were pulling away. Take a look at the next Pulitzer for photojournalism here:

So here’s a brief glimpse of our set, our equipment and our tools, like an embryo in the petri dish of a frozen truck lot.

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