May 31, 2010

Because It’s MY Database

I call this: summer stock,theatre — Posted by KP @ 5:03 pm

Still doing paperwork. Now I’m working on the weekly schedule. One of the hardest things in the first week is learning people’s names. This is like 10 times harder in preproduction because you don’t even have faces and performances to associate with who is playing what role.

So I’m going through the schedule trying to fill in who is called for what scenes, and I’ve decided in this case it’s easiest to go with actors’ last names rather than characters. Only problem is, I get to the first one and I know it’s Little Red and the Wolf, but I’m drawing a total blank on both their names. So I took 15 minutes and decided to solve this problem once and for all by adding a feature to the database.

I could have given it a very professional name, such as “Name / Role Cheat Sheet” or something like that. But this is my database, and until such time as it becomes someone else’s database, this particular feature is going to be called “ZOMG HALP!!!” because that’s what I’m thinking when I need it. Yeah, I do think like a lolcat sometimes. What of it?

I have placed a big red ZOMG HALP!!! button on the main page, which pops up this screen in a little window, that can then be tucked off in a corner where it’s always visible. It can display all the contacts associated with the show, but I’ve added a button which narrows it down to just the cast, since that’s the most common use. Here it’s showing the cast in the order I added them to the DB, which is an approximate of order-of-importance list, which I decided to leave as-is because it might be handy. It can also be sorted alphabetically by any of the fields which would be more useful at other times.

It All Seems So Simple

I call this: summer stock,theatre — Posted by KP @ 3:07 pm

Today is my last day of preproduction before beginning rehearsal for Into the Woods at The Reagle Players. I’ve settled into my apartment, and have parked with my laptop in my favorite spot on the couch next to the living room window, where I go when I want to pretend that I work in a job that lets me see windows, as I listen to the cast recording playing in the background.

I just finished entering everything into my event list, which is kind of a master table where the database tracks every rehearsal and performance. It’s from this that it knows that something is performance #6, for instance. It also allows it to fill in certain details automatically when I create a report, based on the current date. On tour it’s more interesting, because based on the date it knows the performance time(s), type of performance, what city we’re in, the name of the theatre and capacity.

Anyway, one side effect of this table is that it very concisely summarizes everything from first rehearsal to closing. And this is what it looks like for Into the Woods:

It looks so small and simple, but it feels so hard at the time. The only other show I’ve had this part of the DB for was R&J, and that had 111 records. This only has 23, so I’ve always thought of this table as something that has to be scrolled for many pages, and it’s strange to see it so short. I’m not sure if I’m depressed or encouraged by how quickly the next month of my life can be summarized, but I suspect I may be encouraged. I think it fits the attitude I always try to have towards it: you just have to give 200% for two straight weeks, and then it’s easy. There’s even a day off somewhere in there.