December 8, 2009

Day Off

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 12:53 am

I’ve come to a realization about my days off. I don’t actually do things. When I do things, they’re generally work, but they feel less like work because the day off allows me time to get things done that will otherwise make my work days more difficult if I don’t.

For instance, my day:

9AM – Woke up

10AM – Went to the Guthrie for the grocery run

11:30AM – While waiting for van, answer emails on prop construction, production meeting, and travel plans of lighting designer

12PM – Return with groceries, have lunch, return 1 or 2 emails, get tired

1PM – Do laundry, take nap while laundry is going

4PM – Wake up, put laundry away

4:30PM – Return to emails. Find out tour performance date needs to be changed by the venue, check Equity rule book to make sure new date doesn’t violate any rules, report that to the GM. Brief email chat with Nick about what this means for us.

5:30PM – Respond to earlier email from costume designer, confirming that we can accomplish all his requested fittings next week, giving prospective schedule.

6:00PM – Exchange several emails with director about tomorrow’s meet and greet.

6:30PM – Realize I had intended to call my parents. Video chat with parents for 1 hr.

8:00PM – Receive email asking about the approximate run time of our partially-completed read/walk-through of Act II. Figure this is the time to fix what’s broken on the database run time summary, since the data is in there, but the report is not working. Added features to the report so that you can quickly search for specific criteria (such as an act) and see the run time just for that part. It turns out really cool, and tells me that the answer I’m looking for is 42 minutes, 17 seconds.

8:30PM – Realize I’m missing Monday Night Football, turn on TV. While watching football, check my to-do lists in OmniFocus. I notice that one of my topics for the upcoming production meeting is to decide on a schedule for the actors in tech week. And I don’t have a plan. So I make a list of the Equity rules regarding that week, and then enter a proposed schedule into my personal Google calendar (using iCal), which is where I put things about the show that I need to know, but I don’t want to clutter up the official R&J production calendar with.

Even though I think I’m relaxing by watching the game and poking around on places like Twitter, Facebook, and Fark.com, without even realizing it, I’m still kind of working. I’m cleaning up my inbox, checking off little tasks, backing up my files, cleaning up my desktop.

I’m not sure where exactly the time goes, but there are very few times when I’m not doing something in some way related to work, and I wonder if that’s a problem. I think it’s pretty much confined to sleeping, showering, going to the bathroom, and spending the occasional 10 minutes playing a couple songs on Rock Band for iPhone. And maybe blogging, except that this post reminded me that I should share my personal tour calendar with Nick, so I took a minute to do that. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m supposed to be entering all our vendors into the database so my contact sheet will be able to fully replace the old one. Good night!

March 13, 2009

Sort of Week Off in New York

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 5:16 pm

Well I ended up being sick for almost all of our time off between the New York run and the continuation of the tour. ¬†It was really sad, but on the other hand I survived two months in Minneapolis, many load-outs in freezing temperatures without a jacket, and never got sick when it mattered, so I couldn’t complain too much about losing my free time.

I had planned to do two performances of Phantom during the four days off — one to deck and one to call. ¬†Since I was sick, I was only able to do the Thursday one, which I called. ¬†It was very nice to be back. ¬†The funny thing was that I kept getting similar reactions from many people when they would be told, “Karen’s calling the show tonight.”

2nd ASM: (maniacal laughter)

1st ASM: “Are you serious?”

Conductor: “You’re kidding!”

Automation Carpenter: “They’re letting you call the show?” (this doesn’t really count because he says this in response to my check-in every single time I call)

I was fully confident that I was ready to call, but yes I did have some butterflies.  Most of all, I wanted to stretch different stage management muscles than are required on Henry.

I once asked a sound man friend if his show was difficult to mix, and his response was, “it’s three hours long, it doesn’t matter if it’s an easy show, three hours of concentrating on anything makes it a hard show.” I find the same to be true of Henry. It’s not hard to call at all, and it’s not so boring that you can lose your place entirely, it’s just hard to have the stamina to care about every cue, and stay interested and engaged. ¬†So I found it funny at Phantom when I reached intermission after a first act that clocked in at 1:13:45, and felt more exhausted than I ever have after all three hours of Henry, with almost half the show left to go. ¬†By the end I was wiped out, but it felt good, like after a hard workout. ¬† It was a good show, and thoroughly uneventful, ¬†except for a report from the cast of conspicuous picture-takers in the fourth row, which I relayed to the house manager. ¬† Then the next morning I got on a plane to continue our tour.

February 17, 2009

Day Off: Harrisburg, PA

I call this: On the Road Again — Posted by KP @ 4:37 pm

Today I spent the day in this strange place — it’s kind of like the bus, but bigger, and it doesn’t have wheels.  And it has showers and laundry machines.  I like the bus a lot, but I could get used to spending the night in one of these places every few days!

June 10, 2007

And on the 7th Day, We Went to Work at 7PM

I call this: summer stock,theatre — Posted by KP @ 10:31 pm

Tomorrow is our daylight day of rest, which means our day off is not really a day off. It’s allowed on a lot of contracts for the week of the first public performance. It means that on what would normally be the day off you can rehearse, but you have to start after 7PM. At Reagle this feels something like a regular performance day. We come in, run the show, do notes and go home. If there is extra time and problems to be fixed, selected trouble spots will be worked either before or after the run. I find it a pretty relaxing day, because I figure we’ve gotten through tech, and even if something bad happens, it’ll be over in five hours or less.

The only anxiety left is how comfortable (or not) I am about calling the show. Sometimes I feel ready to do it for an audience, sometimes I don’t want anybody to see it. On this show, aside from a few musical cues I need to learn better, I find that the cues I miss are because I can’t talk fast enough to call them. Sometimes there’s more to explain than there is time between cues. Reagle doesn’t have a cue light system, so everything is verbal, which is challenging, but it’s good exercise. Once I have a better idea of what comes next and just how much time I have, I’ll know when I need to abbreviate. Better/earlier warnings will also help me to avoid having to say too much with the actual cues. I actually don’t have the warnings written in my book yet, I’ve just been flipping ahead to the cues themselves and reading them off. I plan to bring my script to the laundromat tomorrow and work on it then. That’s all I’ve got planned for the daylight day of rest. Well I might go to the Apple Store and see if they’ve got one of those DVI-to-RCA/S-video adapters. I almost needed it today for the projector and was kicking myself for not buying it during the week.

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