July 9, 2011

The Calling Case

I call this: theatre — Posted by KP @ 11:35 pm

This is a little something I like to call The Calling Case. It’s a handy little box that sits with me when I’m calling a show. The need for a convenient, easily-transported box comes mostly from touring, where I might spend four hours or less at a given calling desk before packing it all in again. Especially on the road, I found it very handy because I could take off for the desk with nothing but this, my script, and my computer and know I have everything I will need during the show.

Find Your Own

As you can see from the ArtBin label on it, this is presumably supposed to be a case for artists to carry their tools. I think it’s probable that I found it at a Hobby Lobby, but I’m not 100% sure. It could also have been a Walmart. The exact case doesn’t really matter, although this size is sufficient, just barely, for what I need to carry. If it could fit a LittleLite, it would be even better. But the key is, it’s sturdy, closes securely, has a slim profile, and a nice big handle.

The Contents

  • My headset – that’s a Telex PH-88 with some modifications I’ve made. The most important function the calling case serves is to protect my headset. Everything else that happens to fit in the case is just a bonus.
  • Pen/pencil case – that’s a Mont Blanc case, but they’re not Mont Blanc writing implements. My primary pen and pencil are made by Sensa. I generally call every performance with a pencil in my hand, or very close by. The pen just kind of tags along because it’s in the case with the pencil.
  • Snackage – I try to have a Nutri-grain bar or similar healthy and filling snack on hand in case I get hungry during the show, or end up missing a meal if things get crazy approaching curtain time.
  • Binoculars – this is my little luxury inclusion because my calling case travels in a road box that weighs hundreds of pounds, so the weight of the binoculars is negligible. If I had to cart it everywhere myself I might think the weight was unnecesary. I’d estimate maybe once a week something will happen onstage where a pair of binoculars comes in handy — maybe to check what a foreign object is on the floor, or to see if an actor is bleeding. My actors don’t bleed once a week, I swear. I used it on Comedy of Errors a lot to see if things were on spike, because we performed in a lot of different-shaped venues where proportions sometimes looked weird, and often I had the best perspective to see if it was just a trick of the venue, or if the actors/crew missed their marks.
  • Flags – I throw a miscellaneous packet of post-it flags in, which can be used to very quickly mark a page of the script for later examination. This is mostly useful in tech or early in a run, when changes are happening and errors are still being discovered.
  • Occasional inclusion: LED USB keyboard light (not shown) – sometimes I include a USB keyboard light, which I can use as a script light powered by my computer. On the Acting Company tour I always have a LittleLite, but on shows where I have to be more self-sufficient sometimes it ends up being my keyboard light, and when that’s the case, it goes in the box.