I’ve tried to think of a great place to say I visited today. The most obvious choices are Myanmar or New Orleans. And why you ask. Because what better way to kick off the 2008 Hurricane Season than by having hurricane force winds. And god knows I can’t go anywhere without some natural disaster occurring. And with all the theatre drama, why not finish it off by having the mother of all Severe Thunderstorms.
I was lying in bed this morning trying to go back to sleep. It was about 9:45 or so and I didn’t have to be awade till 10:30. Around 10:00 or so I could hear thunder and I knew that it had started to rain. And then all hell broke loose. The rain was pounding the window. It was raining so hard that when I looked out I couldn’t see the tree in the yard that’s about 40 feet away. And then there was the wind. The wind was blowing so hard that the blinds in my room were moving and the window was closed. As I peeked out to see what was going on, I could feel drops of water being blown into my face.
And then I heard shouting. Thinking that perhaps we needed to take run to the basement (and there isn’t one) I quickly threw on my shirt and opened the door. It was worse than having to take cover. There was water everywhere. (I should have grabbed my camera.) Down the hall to the left at the back door, the water was pouring in like someone had just turned on the faucet. To the right the water was pouring out of the ceiling. The inner hallway that connects both sides of the first floor was a swimming pool. With my cast, which I can’t get wet, I was stuck where I was, but I was told later that the hallway on the other side of the building was just as bad.
At this point, people were scurrying to get trashcans under the water falling out of the ceiling and using the piles of towels the building provides to keep water out of our rooms. People were running everywhere. I just kind of stood there for a second. Then I thought maybe I should check the TV. There were warnings all over the TV. Luckily nothing more than severe thunderstorms.
But then they started talking about the storms. Seems we were having straight line winds at 60 m.p.h. with gusts up to more than 80 m.p.h. The storm was directly over where I am and moving very slowly off to the east. During all this time the thunder is still erupting, the wind is still blowing, and I still can’t see the street because its raining so hard. There are also reports of many trees down. It is unsure if the trees were damaged from last winter’s ice storms and just losing their limbs or if it’s just trees that are being downed by the hurricane force winds. There are also a lot of areas without power. (As of right now there are still about 44,000 people without power and it will be Wednesday before some of them will have it restored).
Around 11:00 or so it just ended. As quickly as it started. One minute it was there and the next minute it was gone. Kelly and I had been waiting to leave to go meet “The Director” for a meeting that was scheduled this morning to help him figure out what the set did for Show #3. I had called around 10:45 to tell him that I thought we should wait till the storm was over to do anything. But in all his wisdom he tells me, “The powers off here, so I’m not going to sit here and waste my time. I’ll be there in 15 minutes.” Sometime I just want to slap him. I tell him that it’s being advised not to travel unless you need to and that he should be careful of falling trees and flooded streets. He just sort of grunts at me.
This unfortunately means that Kelly and I have to leave to meet him. We also wanted to get breakfast before we go because with rehearsal etc. there won’t be time later. So even though it’s still raining we get ready and head to the car. Because I still have my cast on, I had to wear my foot condom to the car. We then began the difficult task of finding food. None of the restaurants near us had electricity. Every thing was dark. We drove up a couple of blocks. It was all dark. We decided to turn right and head in another direction. We drive about 6 or 7 blocks and then head down a small hill to find the road flooded by several feet of water. We do a U-Turn and decide to bag it and head on to the theatre. Half way there we find an Arby’s that’s open so we grab a roast beef sandwich and we are on our way.
Of course about two seconds after we leave to get food, “The Director” calls to tell us he can’t get out of his garage because the security gate for the parking garage won’t go up because it’s electric. We tell him to meet us at the theatre when he can. Did I mention that he’s stupid.
The rest of the day was fine. I came back after the meeting and took a three hour nap. Then I got up and did the unthinkable. I started work on the actual lighting design for the three shows. It was due last Monday, and I started it today. What can you do. It’s now 5:09 a.m. and I finished the rough about an hour ago. It’s finished enough to send the theatre an instrument count so they know what to expect. And just because I want to be able to say I told you so. I emailed the instrument count about 30 minutes ago. It is about 100 instruments over what they normally have in the space and about 15 over what I used last year. They are going to freak and tell me that I can’t do this and I have to change my plot. At that point I’m going to tell them very politely to fuck themselves. This is the only theatre that I know that won’t supply it’s designer’s with a list of the inventory that’s available to them. I’m told…”come up with a design and we’ll discuss it then.” It’s not the way to work. I can work within restrictions as long as I know what the restrictions are.
And the rest of the day was sunny and beautiful.
Don’t be surprised if tomorrow a volcano erupts or a blizzard drops a foot of snow.
Of course I could always break my arm to round it all out.