Beating a Dead Horse — Day 8

I’m beginning to think the artistic director is a few fries short of a Happy Meal.  Or at least stupid.  Take your pick.

For the past week we’ve been holding evening meetings to decide what the scenery is going to look like after we fired the set designer.  Kelly, the stage manager, and I show up with solid ideas about what each scene should look like.  We then explain all of this to the director.  He asks questions and does his best to figure out what we are talking about.  When we think he’s grasped the idea we move on to the next scene.  This continues as we move moment by moment through the show.

And we think we are  getting somewhere.

And then today, we have a production meeting.  A production meeting is a time for all the production staff to discuss concerns and issues.  And so in the midst of this production meeting the director starts talking about things we have decided on.  And these have nothing to do with the meetings that we’ve had.  There are a few ladders in one show.  We decided that they would be wood.  Today he says, “We decided those should be aluminum, right?”  There is a beanstalk at the end of Act 1.  We had decided that to stay consistent with the other ladders this too would be a ladder.  Nope, wrong.  This is something the idiot set designer that was fired is now making, just like we didn’t talk about at the meeting.  And this continued and continued.

By the end of the meeting I was trying to figure out exactly why we were even spending time trying to help him.  He listens to our ideas and then goes in an entirely different direction.  I think the one that clinched it for me though, was dealing with this huge platform designed by the idiot set designer.  It’s a large raked disc that is 17 feet wide.  This is huge.  It takes up more than half the stage side to side and almost all of the stage up to downstage.  It was a very bad idea but unfortunately by the time she’d been relieved of her duties it was almost built so what can you do?  The original idea for the platform was for it to break apart into three pieces that could be used separately.  This would be great if the director could visualize anything, but he can’t.  So for show number 3 he’s completely at a loss as to what to do with them.  So at our meeting several days ago, we decided that the platform would stay as one piece and would move around to different places that help define the ideas of the scene.  This was settled on and a approved.  So much so that we’d told the tech director not to worry about letting it break apart.

And then Mister Director comes into the production meeting.  And he has little sketches.  And the platform is broken into multiple pieces.  We were all annoyed more than anything.  He doesn’t seem to understand that he can’t continue to change his mind.

And then he wanted to meet again tonight to look at Act 2 of show 3. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why.  It’s not like anything we are going to say is going to make a difference.  He’s so wishy washy that at the bar tonight where we were meeting, he actually called the waiter over and asked if we could PLEASE order.  The waiter looked at him like he was stupid.  And why you might ask, because we had ordered 15 minutes before hand.  This is what we are dealing with.

So we discussed Act 2.  And we asked again what the deal was with the ginormous platform.  And we asked again about the beanstalk.  And we tried to make sense of it all.  And as we left the bar, we all looked at each other and said, “You know he won’t remember a word of this tomorrow.

But the most fun moment of the evening.  He looked at Kelly and me and asked when he was going to get sketches, or renderings or a model.   A model would be great.

Without missing a beat, I said, “You’ll get those when you hire a set designer.”

He thought I was being snarky (my new favorite word) but I think he got the point.

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4 thoughts on “Beating a Dead Horse — Day 8

  1. Lemuel May 28, 2008 / 05:14

    Are you/Is someone taking notes at these meetings (a.k.a. a secretary) and “publishing” them? If not I might suggest it. Leading up to your description of what happened at the bar, I was ready to say that this clown is just in his own world and has decided he will do what he wants and to hell with you all. But the bar scene seems to indicate that he has serious (and I do mean serious) memory/mental issues. I am wondering if he may have a brain tumor. (seriously)

    Maddog! Alert! Do **NOT** drink the water there!! Drink only Diet Coke (or other – a-hem – “beverages”) that have been bottled elsewhere. Again, do NOT drink the water there. (This has been a public service announcement.)

  2. Sarah May 28, 2008 / 09:28

    Maybe he’s still working with the set designer behind your backs and this is why all his information is jumbled.

  3. Bill May 28, 2008 / 20:31

    Um…is this guy on serious mind-fucking drugs?

  4. urspo May 28, 2008 / 23:14

    such drama
    it reminds me that not all the best drama is on the one side of the footlights.
    I am surprised how anything on stage actually gets done.

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