Another Opening, Another Show — Day 38

Show #3 opened tonight.

The cow was white as milk.

The cape was red as blood.

The hair was yellow as corn.

The slippers were pure as gold.

And the show was good.  Not great.  But in the end it came together and I think it’s an above average production.  The audience tonight really seemed to like it.  They laughed in all the right places and were blown away by a couple of moments in the show.

The lighting is okay.  I watched from the house tonight.  Which means that I sat in the audience just like everyone else and experienced the show.  And nothing makes you realize what needs to be fixed in the show than having an audience with you.  Suddenly all the flaws are there for the world to see and for the first time you see them.  That’s how I felt tonight.  The lighting is pretty.  But some of the timings are off.  And there are a couple of scenes that the actors faces are in shadow so much that you can’t see them.  And there are several songs that need to have cues added to them because musically/emotionally the songs change and need changes.

I don’t feel bad about the lighting.  I doubt very seriously if the best NYC Broadway designer could have done a better job.  I was given three seconds to do my job.  In those three seconds I wrote 300 light cues for a three hour musical.  And sure I got some things wrong.  But I did a lot right.  And at the end of the day I think the only people who would realize that there’s a problem is another lighting designer.  Everyone I’ve spoken to, thinks the lighting is what saved the show.  I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know it’s okay.

We had our opening night party tonight.  You know, the one where the crew gets shunned to the back table, if there’s even a table provided for them.  Well tonight, I left the theatre as soon as the show was over and I got to the restaurant and I commandeered the one table everyone else likes.  I reserved ten chairs and ordered a beer and waited.  And as people came in and tried to sit at my table I told them sorry, these chairs are reserved.  No I’m not kidding.  These chairs are reserved.  Yes, I’m being serious.  A couple of people got snippy about it, but I was all prepared with my speech if someone really gave me a hard time.  I think the person who was the most annoyed was “The Director”, because it just  so happens that it’s the table that he usually sits at.  But he got over it.  One of the actors that I love, made some snarky comment, jokingly about it, and I told her that if anyone really had a problem with the crew sitting up front and center then I would recommend to the crew that they stay home tomorrow for the matinee and see just how important the actors are with out sets, costumes or lights.  I think I made my point.

All of the crew tonight before the show opened, got cards from “The Director” thanking them and promising to buy their first beer tonight at the bar.  It was a small gesture but it went a long way with the crew.  And so we had a good time and laughed and teased each other and eventually the evening ended.  And the crew got their checks to pay for their food.  And none of their drinks were paid for.  And there were no excuses made.  And the crew paid, and tipped and we all came home.  And I think they’ve all decided to give their cards back to him tomorrow, to make a point.

I hope they do.  He didn’t have to promise to buy their drinks.  But once he did he should have been bound to do so.  At least in my opinion.  But what do I know?  I’m just the lighting designer.

7 thoughts on “Another Opening, Another Show — Day 38

  1. Peter June 29, 2008 / 03:38

    The Director is a Turd, he’s full of shit!

    How long do you have to play along in this circus again Maddog??

  2. rick June 29, 2008 / 07:20

    When are you heading back to NY?

  3. Lemuel June 29, 2008 / 07:25

    Hurray for you for commandeering the table and making the point! ON another friends blog he was seeing a similar dynamic as what you typically see – only this was in business with the sales staff being treated like kings and everyone else eating shit. I guess it is always that way, but somehow I love it when the “high and mighty” come to understand that they are nowhere and no one without those beneath them doing their work. Yes, actors, how would it all go if the crew did not do its job!

    I also hope that all the crew gives their little notes back to the Director. I think that is absolutely on the money!! (no pun intended). As you said, he did not need to do it, but once he did, he should have honored his promise.

  4. Bill June 29, 2008 / 10:59

    I’m thrilled that you got the crew seated front and center! Good job, mister.
    The Director is either forgetful or passive/aggressive – or both. He should be told that the cards of thanks went a long way toward mending hurt feelings, but they were damaged anew when he didn’t follow through on his promise. That guy sure is a piece of work!

  5. urspo June 29, 2008 / 19:15

    i am glad your show finally came together without too much nervous breakdowns.
    it does sound a lot of work/drama to put on a show.

  6. Aaron June 30, 2008 / 16:52

    Good on you for commandeering the table. People get so caught up in their own frippery and bullshit that they forget how interconnected we all are. I have no idea what the unhappy face is for on Day #39, but if it’s show-related, I’m going to renew my curse on the “legitimate” theatre. (I always wondered, if the theatre is so “legitimate,” why are so many bastards running it?)

  7. Sarah July 1, 2008 / 07:59


    I think I’ve finally figured out your “director.” He’s one of those guys who wants to make friends at work instead of money. Since the only people who seem to enjoy his company are the actors (younger, less experienced people who aren’t aware of the fuckups he’s responsible for), he’s favoring them. The crew intimidates him because you are all on to what a fuck up he is. He resents that you need his time and look to him for decisions. He’s a socially inept headcase and doesn’t realize that he is part of the fucking crew, too (like any good director is). The actor who was snarky about the crew has probably picked up on “the director’s” attitude that the crew is not particularly important to the production. It’s like when waiters think they are the reason for a restaurant’s success. Hello! Without cooks there ain’t nothing to serve to the public.

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