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Having to hope for the best...

Discussion in 'Safety' started by WestlakeTech, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. WestlakeTech

    WestlakeTech Active Member

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    It's my senior year and I'm stage-managing our musical, Guys&Dolls. Wouldn't be so bad... except our PAC is undergoing rennovations, so we're having to rent out the PAC of another nearby high school. We only loaded in Tuesday, and have the space til Saturday night when our last performance ends.

    Thus far, not a lot has gone wrong, but practically nothing's gone right either. The scene changes are really complicated and taking a long time (but our grips really are doing their best) as of now, but since we have to be on a bus to leave at 10pm each night, we don't have as much time as we'd like to rehearse them. I haven't even heard the sound cues used at their appropriate times, it's taken us two days to get through a simple run through of the entire play (and we still didn't do the last scene), the choir directors are under the impression that all of our stuff should be really simple and easy (um.. we're the ones who have been rehearsing for two days, not two months), and tonight's final dress... and will be the first time I call the cues!!

    I have never, in my entire high school career, been more concerned about a show. My main concern, really, is the scene changes. If we could practice those and get them all down to 30 seconds, I'd be downright chill. For now, however, my usual optimism has taken a backseat to worry. Of course, seven hours of sleep and schoolwork to do certainly doesn't help.
     
  2. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    30 second scene changes? Wow. Usually you lose the audience after 15 seconds. Only Opera gets more than 20 seconds for a scene change.

    Oh, by the way, they are stagehands. "Grips" are stagehands who deal with the moving of video cameras and the paging of their cables.

    I am sorry to hear about your troubles, but as they say, it will all work out, it always does.

    Mike
     
  3. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    15 seconds?!?! Are you kidding? We are lucky if we can get them in under 2 minutes! More often than not something breaks at some point and we sit in BO while one of our tech goes onstage with a screwdriver or duct tape and fixes it.
     
  4. Anvilx

    Anvilx Active Member

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    What high school are you renting out?
     
  5. PeytonJr

    PeytonJr Active Member

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    oh man
    I did Guys and Dolls last year at my HS. It was ... fun.
    We simplified the scene changes by using rotating triangles with fold out sides (its a bit hard to explain, but I cango into detail of you want) for the scenes, and just rolled/carried on the furniture and random stuff in front of that. but there was aso the 16' long x 4' deep (the platforms) x 12' tall mission/mission exterior that we had to rotate a bunch. it had some serious momentum too. as did the concrete fountain.

    Post some pictures of your play! I would like to see what you did.
     
  6. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    That triangle thing is called periaktoi. The design goes all the way back to ancient Greek theatre

    [​IMG]
     
  7. WestlakeTech

    WestlakeTech Active Member

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    Well, we've got the orchestra playing some music during the scene changes, but it just usually isn't long enough. And considering the crew has only ran the show twice and our first performance is tonight, 30 seconds is good by me, especially for the efford being put into it.

    Yeah, I know they aren't really "grips", but that's just what we call them at Westlake. Maybe not the most accurate name, but it works for us...

    We've rented out Lake Travis High School. It's a really really nice facility.

    I've been trying to remember to take some pictures, but no promises, unfortunately.


    Well, I've already challenged the production. As less-than-perfect as things have been going, I'm so confident in this show that I said "Macbeth" twice last night (both times in front of at least 1 Tech Director/Teacher). It's gonna be an awesome show.
     
  8. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Are you at Westlake in Austin? I TDed at McCallum for 2 years or so.

    When we did Guys and Dolls at McCallum we used a lot of flying scenery. We used every lineset and some of them multiple times. *lol*

    Mike
     
  9. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    That's a concerning show for you? That sounds like all of our shows. Sometimes we're lucky and we get a full dress rehearsal. Once we got two! Sometimes we get none. Going up opening without having done the thing beginning-to-end (you know, with a few cues still unpracticed, fingers crossed they'll go right) is...exhilarating. I find that a good crew and a cast that knows what's going on is just as helpful as a week of tech rehearsals. Especially since we have the former in place of the latter. It sounds like you like your crew, which probably means they're doing alright, so things can't be too bad.

    Just don't let anyone bring out a palm tree when they're supposed to bring out one of the forest trees.
     
  10. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    Slight thread jack.
    This sounds like what I'm used to now.
    I work as the Lighting Supervisor, Lighting Designer, ME, and Rigger for a theater (I should put all that on a business card). All of their shows are rentals. Most (live music) shows come in at 2pm and the show starts at 6. Most shows go on with out any problems. I think its mainly because our crew has done this so much, we know what to expect. Most problems occur when we dont get along with the road crew :neutral:

    For theatrical shows, they normally load in on a Monday and open on a Friday. A few months ago I designed lights for a show that loaded in on Monday and a had a school show Thursday AM. I wasn't able to make it to a full run before load in, and didn't get a script till then. I freaked out Monday and Tuesday, I had all these great ideas of what I wanted to do, but realized I didn't have the time to do it. So I picked a few of the effects that I wanted, and finished writing cues 3AM Thursday morning, went home till 7AM then was back for the school show. The show went well. In the review in the paper they said that they enjoyed the lighting (first and only time my lighting has been reviewed in the paper.

    I remember freaking out in High School about not having enough practice before shows. Its funny looking back now and thinking about it. I felt so pressured, when there really wasnt any.
     
  11. WestlakeTech

    WestlakeTech Active Member

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    Yup. That's my Westlake. :grin:

    I'm sure it's not a rarity in the world of professional theatre. But we're used to having a few tech rehearsals the week before, and rehearsals all week with a first show on a Thursday or Friday. The show being at an off-site location didn't allow that much, and it was more hectic than we're used to.

    We did a lot with our set pieces... they were more like puzzle pieces 'cause we used them to make a lot of different scenes. And LT only had 3 available line-sets for us to use and we used all three of those. Had a NY street (in front of Radio City Music Hall), A moonlit night sky for Havana, and a sewer for the... well, sewer scene. Used New York street a lot.

    The show went really well. Despite sprinting in all 3 attempts, me and the lightboard op only made it to curtain call on the last night, but that was definitely the best show anyway, so it all works out. Sorry, but I didn't get many good pictures. Usually when there was something good to take pictures of, I was busy.
     
  12. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    Good to hear it went well. I'm always amazed how shows come together in the last min.
     
  13. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear it went well. We always had a full tech week leading up to shows as well (except the occassional dance show). The quality of their shows went way downhill after me and my staff left. I don't know if they quit trying or what, but their new TD after I left (in 2002) was a muppet from the theater BA program at UT.

    We did a lot of renovations while I was there, but we didn't quite get around to replacing the hemp with better rope. But for one show we actually tied two linesets together to fly a set piece that was too big for one lineset.

    But we did all sorts of stuff like that while I was there. We had set pieces that flew in three dimensions, we spanned 26' with no supports, all sorts of fun stuff.

    The last show I saw there after I left, they used one very crappily painted drop and that was it. *lol*

    Mike
     

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