Day Ten: Oklahoma

Can I tell you how much I like wrapping up my day on my blog?  I’m sure a lot of people don’t like the long posts and may not even be reading them.  But it’s been wonderful to end my day by discussing my life in Oklahoma.

Tonight I’m exhausted.  I only got about 3 hours sleep last night, by the time I made it to my room, posted my entry and got to bed.  I had to be up and ready to go at 7:30 this morning.  I finally dragged my ass out of bed at 7:27 and literally ran to the shower.  I was showered,with teeth brushed and dressed by 7:35.  It’s amazing how fast you can move when you need to.

The day started with the costume coordinator driving me and my crew to the theatre.  It was discussed last night and since she had to be up at 8:30 it made sense that she get up a little earlier to drive us there.  I don’t know if I have mentioned it, but no one on my crew has a car.  The artistic director told me I would have a car while I was here but he hasn’t delivered yet.  So we met this girl downstairs and we were on our way.  To put it politely she scared the shit out of me.  She ran two stop signs before we ever left campus.  Then she drove the whole way going 75 miles an hour in a 35 mile an hour speed zones.  She wouldn’t brake until the absolute last minute.  At one intersection she was almost broad-sided because she turned in front of an oncoming car.  I was wide awake by the time I got to the theatre.

We did manage to get her to stop at Quick Trip.  A couple of days ago I referred to it as Quick Mart, but it’s actually Quick Trip.  The have the best soda (pop) selection of any convenience store I’ve ever seen.  I think there are 24 selections in the fountain soda area.  Of course I’m only interested in Diet Coke, but it’s nice to know there are choices.  The nice thing about stopping is David, the cute boy who works there.  He’s absolutely beautiful and beefy with a short military hair cut.  Of course he’s got the worst disposition of all the employees.  He just scowls and never says thank you and barely looks at you when he’s waiting on you.  But at least he’s pretty to look at.

Life at the theatre sucked today.  My crew and I started loading in the lighting equipment in the big performing arts center here in town.  It’s a union house which means that all the crew helping us was union.  As someone who has been in a couple of unions in his life, I appreciate the value that can be added by it.  I also know that the stage hand union has done a lot to help with safety in the theatre and keep the working hours reasonable.  I’ve worked as a union stage hand and I’ve led crews that were union.  Every time has been wonderful.  The guys were helpful, worked hard, knew their stuff and made the load in a breeze.

That is until today.  Hands down it was the worst IATSE crew that I’ve ever worked with in my life.  They were old.  The youngest had to be 60.  They were lazy.  They were condescending.  They complained about having to do the work.  And then to top it all off the guy in charge on their end, said no when we asked to borrow an extension cord and a drill.  He told us we should have come prepared and that it wasn’t his job to provide us these things.  Truth be told he was being a prick.  This was after I changed my design a number of times to help make the hang manageable and go quickly.  It was almost as if he decided to make the job go slower so we’d have to use the crew a second day.  They also went out of their way to tell me I had too many lights in the design.  As a designer, it’s really none of their business.  They are hired to hang the show and make it happen.  It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 lights or 450 lights.  If every designer only hung 10 lights there wouldn’t be a need for the five of them and they’d be out of work.  Hmmm.   I think the worst part of the day was that they all went out of there way to tell me and my crew that we didn’t know what we were doing.  In fact at one point I was told just that.  Unfortunately since I’m going to be working there for the next three weeks I had to bite my tongue and ignore it.  But there were a couple of times, it was all I could do not to tell the one guy to FUCK OFF!!!  Ugh!!!  The best part is that at 9:30 tomorrow it all starts again.  Yippee!

The out of town show opened tonight.  It went well.  There were about 500 people in the audience with an average age of about 93.  I kept expecting one of them to keel over dead any minute.  Of course there were a couple of young audience members.  One was about 18 months old and cried through the entire  first act of the play.  For some reason the father decided that if he sat in the back row that was empty with the kid it would be okay.  Just for the record.  The back row is still in the theatre.  We can still hear it crying.  Take it home.  Get a sitter.  Put it to bed.  Do something with it, just don’t make us deal with the crying.

So at about 7:45 I entered the theatre and took my seat.  I looked down at my program.  Seems they went the cheap route for the out of town tryout.  It was a photocopied paper with the information on both sides of the page.  I then started looking for my name.  It took a while but I finally found it.  I was buried 10 people down on the artistic staff list.  After Production Stage Manager, Stage Manager, Chorus Master, Wardrobe Coordinator, Wardrobe Designer, and several other people.  In fact I was last on the list.  I’m not usually picky about these things,  but there is a hierarchy that is followed in the theatre.  Lighting designers are listed after scenery and costumes, but before sound.   All though stage management is absolutely vital, and they can make or break the show, they are not artistic staff.  I’ll have to see how I’m listed next week when we “really” open the show.  I may have to get bitchy if it’s the same.

Tomorrow we close out of town.  (Did I mention that we were reviewed in the local paper and we received wonderful notices).  That means tomorrow night after the show everything we’ve spent the last week doing is undone.  The set is taken apart piece by piece.  The lights are all taken down.  The costumes are all packed up.  Then every thing is loaded onto a truck.  This will take several hours and we probably won’t start for home until 2 a.m. or so tomorrow night.  Then on Sunday morning, we arrive at the theatre at 8 a.m. so the set can be loaded into the new space.  Thank GOD Monday is our day off.  If I make it till then, I’m not getting out of bed all day.

I hope all you normal folks out there have a good weekend.


5 thoughts on “Day Ten: Oklahoma

  1. sortedlives June 9, 2007 / 04:22

    I am enjoying your story of OK! take care of yourself and don’t get sick. Remember, you can always visit the Sorted and Wenchy house when you are done! Take care!

  2. KipEsquire June 9, 2007 / 04:26

    I’m readin g the posts. Or at least skimming them. 😉

    Have a great weekend!

  3. danny June 9, 2007 / 04:52

    my partner and i used to own a restaurant and night club so i can so feel your pain regarding your schedule. i’m sure you can imagine what a friday and saturday night was like for us having to transition within half an hour from full-service dining establishment to full on party bar and disco. anyway, as long as you enjoy it, keep doing it!
    p.s. i’ve been reading all your posts as of late so don’t worry. you have at least one in your audience. can hear hear me applauding? LOL

  4. Cincy Diva June 9, 2007 / 07:50

    we read them! you ave a loely weeked and a great show!

  5. Tom June 9, 2007 / 08:56

    You know I read you every day!!! My plate is full these days and I don’t always comment…

    Enjoy your time in OK, gawd I’m glad I’m not there!!! hehehehe

    Off to the beach tomorrow for a week… I’ll think of you in landlocked country!


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