Day 14 In The Land of Corn…Day 4 of Tech…Day 1 of Hell

Hi there.

It’s been about 24 hours since I checked in.  And damn, a lot has happened.

First, I woke up around 12:55 to get to a lunch I had planned with Erin, the costume designer.  She’s wonderful.  In fact, all the people that I work with are wonderful.  She’s one of my favorites.  Actually that’s not true.  I really like everyone a lot.  It’s one of the nice things about being here, everyone is actually quite good at their job.  If the students were not so spoiled the experience would be perfect.

So Erin and I had lunch.  And I made the mistake of asking her how she was.  She’s had the worst year ever.  Her father died last fall, and then on Easter Sunday one of her best friends and her four children were murdered by her husband.  Needless to say, she’s not well, although she seems to be dealing with it in her own way.  The conversation proceeded from there to one not so fun conversation after another.  It was still great spending time with her.   We talked for almost two hours.  She’s amazingly talented and needs to be at a school that appreciates her.

From there I went back to school and did some cuing.  I had some questions from last night, when I typed my cue sheets, and I had some notes I need to do in the light board.  I was in the middle of cuing when Kathleen showed up to run her piece.  Her piece is the one I’m most proud of and promise to post of pictures of as soon as I have them.  Unfortunately, it’s also very hard to call as a stage manager because the movements can’t be counted they have to be felt.  And many of the movements have to be time exactly to the lighting to make them work.  So we ran her piece twice and then worked on the two or three trouble spots.  We worked out signals that she can give me to let me know the movement was about to happen.  And tonight in rehearsals except for a mistake by the light board op who took a light cue when I was calling a sound cue the piece went great.

After we rehearsed Kathleen’s piece I continued doing notes.  And then I went outside into the wonderfully, sunny, 78 degree weather.  It was beautiful.  And since so many of my day here have been not so nice I said what the hell and went for a walk.  (Cue the ominous music, forshadowing things to come.)  I walked around and then decided that since it was a warm day perhaps I needed a Blizzard from Dairy Queen.  And so, off to Dairy Queen I went.  It was a nice walk, and it’s interesting here.  You will pass by three houses that are completely renovated and nice and then a house that looks like it should be condemned.  And then back to nice houses.  Of course it makes the walk interesting, so I’m not complaining.  (Did I mention that I was walking?)

And so with Blizzard in hand I headed back to school.  I got back just in time to discover that most of the cast was still not there, even though they were supposed to be there 15 minutes ago.  Ugh!!!  These are the most spoiled children I have ever seen.  Soon they began drifting in.  They were supposed to be there for a meet and greet since all the dancers from all five pieces would be there and we could all introduce ourselves.  Afterwards the dancers were supposed to attend a 45 minute warm up to get ready for the rehearsal.  So as they start to trickle in I realize that many of them are already in costume.  Ugh again.  I tell them they need to go back downstairs and change into warm up clothes since the costumes are only to be worn just before the show.  And then the attitudes started.  And there’s one thing this gay man doesn’t abide by, attitude from a 19 year old college girl who starts to toss her head around telling me how things are supposed to be done.  So I quickly quipped back and told them how it was going to be.  They didn’t like it but they knew I meant business.

And then it was time for the meet and greet.  We went around the room and everyone introduced themselves and said what their involvement in the show was.  I introduced myself as Maddog and that I was the lighting designer and the reluctant stage manager.  And then came the fun part.  It was decided that I would be the bad cop.  I had my list and l laid down the law about how it was going to be for the next five days.  I gave them all the rules and procedures and what was to be expected.  I explained how they needed to be nice to their crew, say please and thank you and be appreciative of the work that had gone into their evening.  I saw a little bit of attitude but for the most part it was fine.

And then they warmed up and we did everything we needed to get ready for the rehearsal.  And at 8:05 we started.  We ran the first piece and except for the mistake I mentioned earlier it was great.  And then the second piece and then the third piece.  And it was intermission.  I had been a nervous wreck when we started.  I hate calling shows.  I panic and think that I’ve missed a cue when really it’s three minutes from now.  I shake.  I have cold sweats.  It causes me nothing but stress.  Luckily the piece that I rehearsed earlier which is my favorite piece and the one I’m most proud of as a designer is the first one.  So once it was behind me I was great.

And now it’s intermission.  I give all my calls and head downstairs to check in with everyone.  I do that and the tech director has some notes for me.  He’s an LD also and I completely respect his opinion.  We chat and I run down to the restroom.  I get back upstairs and chat with a couple of other people and then get ready to start Act 2.  Just before I go up to the light booth where I call the show, I told my light board op to start the haze.  Haze is a water based product that creates particles in the air so that you can see the beam of light in the air.  If you have ever been to a show or concert and can see the beams that the lights create…that’s haze.  So I told him to start hazing and started for the booth.  And as I rushed to the booth, my foot caught a chair and I went tumbling face down on the carpet.  I was embarrassed more than anything.  Luckily, the only person who saw me was the son of the artistic director.  Whew!!  So I hobbled up the stairs thinking damn that hurt and got into position.

And then Act 2 started, and it went equally well.  And so I stood up to go back downstairs and almost fell down.  The pain the was created was excrutiating when I stood up.  Uh, oh.  So I hobbled back downstairs assuming that I had pulled something when I fell.  I took a seat in the house and we discussed everything that needed to be discussed when you are having tech rehearsal.  The whole time I’m sitting there I realize that my foot is throbbing.  So finally I take a look at it and my ankle is three times the size it’s supposed to be.  By this time other people have realized that something is wrong so they get me ibuprofen and a cold compress.  And we continue talking.  And then it’s decided that we need to run a section over and so they bring me a wireless headset so I don’t have to climb the stairs.  By the time we finish that, my ankle is now four times it’s normal size.  FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So we finish up and it’s decided that maybe I should go the emergency room to have it checked out.  So I hobble to the car and I’m taken to the emergency room.  Luckily it’s a VERY small town and I’m the only one there.  It took exactly 72 minutes to get in and out.

And well.

Anybody want to guess what they said.

They said this is not normal:

You know what else is not normal:


That’s not actually my x-ray.  I didn’t know how to get my x-ray on here.

But here’s what my foot looks like at the moment

That’s a splint.  Because I broke my fucking ankle tonight when I fell down.

And it hurts like hell.

And the beer isn’t helping.

And I have to be up in just a few hours because I have to be at the podiatrists office at 8:00 so they can put a real cast on my ankle.

So here are some questions for you:

1.  How do I get around here and up the stairs 12 times a day to call the show?

2.  How do I get through LaGuardia Airport when I fly home?

3.  How do I get around NYC?  A city that’s all about walking.

And the big question:

How do I pay my rent next month because I make my living waiting tables…just a few questions I would like answered.

But on a good note.  I’ve had insurance for exactly 24 days.  So at least it’s not costing me 20,000 dollars out of my own pocket.  So at least I’m happy about that.


P.S.  I’m not proof reading or checking for spelling.  I’m taking my Tylenol 3 with Codeine and going to bed.



8 thoughts on “Day 14 In The Land of Corn…Day 4 of Tech…Day 1 of Hell

  1. rashmi April 24, 2008 / 04:49

    Seems Bad though…!!

    Keep that Foot Alive!

  2. Rick April 24, 2008 / 04:57

    Oh dear Lord. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Take it easy. You need to slow down.

  3. Mike April 24, 2008 / 05:23

    Maddog, you know that whole “break a leg” expression that people say before a show?

    They don’t actually mean it.

    (someone had to say it. )

  4. Lemuel April 24, 2008 / 06:47

    Maddog, as soon as you mentioned the swelling in the post, my alarms went off. All of your questions are “valid” and I do not have any easy solutions. My mind went almost immediately to “the work and the money”. Is it possible for you to do something like tend bar or “host” for a couple of weeks – some position in which you do not have to move around too much.

    Mabe you could hustle “Kum & Go” t-shirts on a street corner or from your apt. 😉

    Best wishes, my friend, for speedy relief from the pain and a speedy process of healing! HUGS!

  5. Sarah April 24, 2008 / 09:06

    O. M. G. Why couldn’t that have happened to a snotty kid in the production?

    Well, in superstious theatre terms you are pre-disastered so the show should go okay. Knock wood.

    At the airport you’ll get to be one of those people who boards first, gets off last and rides around in the cart that moves slower than most people are walking.

    1. Make snotty students carry you up and down stairs? : )

    2. No idea how you will navigate NYC. That’s sure to be a challenge.

    3. You should check and see if your insurance coverage has short term or long term disability. I fit does, that should help you with the $$.

    4. Since you are the “model employee” I’m sure no one wants to lose you so you might be able to pick up some less taxing jobs (the only one I can remember is receipt collection and cash counting).

    Enjoy those Tylenol 3s.


    I was really hoping you were going to write that instead of purchasing a blizzard there was a blizzard and that would have been the day’s disaster.

  6. Sarah April 24, 2008 / 09:08

    Wow could I have misnumbered that any more than I did? Oh well, I’m sure with your codeine/beer buzz you didn’t even notice.

  7. urspo April 24, 2008 / 10:18

    dreadful news
    to cheer you up some;
    my advise about the stairs; get some of these spoiled kids to carry you around. it will be good exercise and bonding too.
    back in NYC, obtain sunglasses and a bit of cardboard; write “I am blind and my dog is dead”

    if all else fails, cut it off; you have another one after all

    Meanwhile I am thinking strong thoughts your way to heal the bones….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s