I’m Late, I’m Late…

I was in tech all day today, for a musical that opened tonight.  It’s a small show that’s playing here and it’s been the biggest pain in my ass ever.  I have a lot of complaints about the director and the actors of which incompetence is a large one.   But the thing that has driven me the most crazy over the past two days is their inability to show up on time.

Yesterday’s rehearsal was supposed to start at 10:00.  The director didn’t show up until almost 10:30 and at 11:00 there were still several actors missing.  We ended up not starting tech until almost noon which is two hours late.  Two hours is big in the world of theatre.  A lot can be accomplished and unfortunately the show opens when it opens and there’s no way to make up the time which is what I was asked to do today.

And so rehearsal started today at 9:00 and I had made it clear to everyone involved that if we were actually going to get through the show and have a dress rehearsal before we opened everyone had to not only be on time, but they had to be completely focused.   And were they?   Hell no!  The director arrived at 9:15.  There were still actors arriving at 9:30.  The sound guy arrived around that time, and discovered much to his dismay that there were problems with the sound board.  So once everyone was there they were still trying to fix the problems.  It was almost 10:30 before I was able to start to work.

And this translates into not having the time to create art.  Not having the time to finesse.  Not having the time to make subtle changes in the lighting that makes the difference between a good design and a bad design.  Nope.  I spent my entire day just making sure that you could see the actors.  And with lighting design, illumination is important, but it’s not the only thing.  If were only about seeing people, anyone could do it.  So tonight I opened a show with pretty mediocre lighting if I do say so myself.

And why?

Because I was working with people who didn’t respect my talent and time enough to show up when they were expected.  And this just reinforces my disdain for anyone and anything that is late.  It drives me crazy.  If you say 6:00 p.m.  That doesn’t mean 6:15.  It doesn’t mean 6:30.  It means 6:00 p.m.  And yes I know there are those people who just can’t arrive on time.  But I find that for the most part I stop socializing with them.  My time is valuable to me.  My talents are valuable to me.  If you can’t respect that, then I can’t spend time with you.

And so I’m realizing that although there is a possibility that the show I’ve been working on for the past few days might get picked up and produced in the spring.  Under no circumstances will I sign up to play if it’s the same team.  I just can’t do that to myself.


5 thoughts on “I’m Late, I’m Late…

  1. Cincy Diva October 2, 2007 / 23:31

    You have hit my biggest pet peeve right smack on the head! I grew up with a mom who felt it was just fine to get to church just as the choir was marching down the aisle. Trouble was, I was in the choir! and always had to make a mad dash to catch up with them before they made it to the loft! Tardiness! GRRRR!

  2. Condoblogger October 3, 2007 / 02:34

    There’s NO people like SHOW people like NO people I KNOW!

    I have a feeling… (just a feeling… but I am very Deanna Troi when it comes to feelings) that when all is said and done someone will come up and say to you (cast, crew, audience), “Maddog. I’ve never seen someone do so much with so little… I mean the lighting really MADE this show!”

    Which would be a good thing unless his or her next statement is, “Once this is done I would love to have you work with me on “Knight Rider: A Musical” starring Val Kilmer as Michael Knight and James Woods as KITT the Singing Car!”

    Actually, I would love to work on that show. Forget I said anything.

  3. sorted October 3, 2007 / 04:58

    I agree, being on time is very important to me. Parties are one thing, but work is another. I don’t understand how people don’t take responsibilities seriously — drives me crazy!

  4. Lemuel October 3, 2007 / 06:34

    You are right on! My wife has always been “fashionably late”. It drives me crazy. I see it as a sign of crass egotism and selfishness. The late one assumes that no one else is important but himself/herself.

    As for what you do, any director worth his/her salt understands the importance of good sound and lighting to the success of the show. No matter how good the play or the actors, it can all bomb without good tech.

  5. Donnie October 4, 2007 / 08:41

    Growing up with a US Marine dad forced me into being chronically punctual (if not too early). Lateness is my biggest pet peeve of all!

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