Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hot Damn

So.  It's almost 4am. I have insomnia (as I always do after tech). I finished the drawings for my opening night gifts.  What to do?  Oh right! I have a blog.

In complete and full honesty, the show is in such great shape.  In my head however?  Well, not as much.

Tonight we had mics for the first time could have gone worse? Probably?

Again, honestly, the mics weren't too bad. We have a competent sound designer and she set up a good mix pretty quickly.

It was third dress rehearsal tonight, the first two dress rehearsals went really well.  But tonight I had a mini-mental-break down about 2/3s of the way through the show.  As you so often do for tech, I was sitting in the house, not horribly far from the directors.  We had a scene change done only with actors (because the entire five rest of my run crew was doing a quick change) and it was atrocious.  Like, I completely doubted whether those actors had ever touched a piece of furniture in their entire lives (we're going to run that change tomorrow...a lot).

And so I was in the middle of trying to sort this horrible mess out and I missed a cue.  It was far from a crucial cue and the entire directing turns and snaps at me.  It wasn't yelling and it wasn't angry, but it was A) brusque, B) rude, and C) While I was in the middle of something important.  Any other day. Any other time, I would have been fine, but tonight was a disaster and so I was already on edge.  My throat got tight, my stomach knotted, my breathing got short, and my head began to buzz.  I called the rest of the show distracted, feeling like I needed to throw up.  As soon as it was over, I took a walk to clear my head.

Saying this now, it feels so silly.  It wasn't a big deal. The directors were completely within their rights.  I was just so overwhelmed and so near the edge of my breaking point.  After my walk I ran into my music director, a woman who I love and trust, and so for about a minute I sobbed into her shoulder. Then I got control of myself and went inside for acting notes.  By the end of tech notes (which I was forced to run because of an absent production manager) I was feeling normal and a little bit silly.

So.  Why on earth was tonight so bad? Firstly, the show I'm working has one lead who talks approximately 80% of the show. Tristan, who I've mentioned before, is that lead and he is, unsurprisingly, fantastic (he's also the production manager, see my note about that above).  However, since spring break, his voice has been in shreads.  He's been on partial vocal rest (marking the singing in rehearsals) for almost two weeks now and it hasn't helped.  Today he was on complete vocal rest. No speaking. No singing.  Little did I realize that this applied to the show tonight.

Tristan spoke his lines quietly (so quietly even the mics didn't really pick him up) and didn't sing his part at all.  So here I am, with about 20% of the dialogue and vocals for the entire run of the show.  I know this show backwards and forwards, inside and out, and I could just, just barely call it.  If my crew hadn't been on top of their game, I think I would have broken down a lot sooner.  About two songs in, my music director, bless her, sang Tristan's part, which gave me something to go off of at least.

Again, if I'm being my honest with myself (most of me is screaming otherwise), I did call a great show.  I only had one or two cues off, even with missing lines, missing songs, and scene changes gone awry.  But it was enough to shatter my confidence and stress me out more than I've been stressed out since college.

Tomorrow will be better.  The mic problems we had (because while mics went well, we inevitably had problems) will be fixed tomorrow. Dear GOD, hopefully Tristan's voice will be better tomorrow (at least enough so that he can speak and be heard hopefully).  We'll run the awful scene changes.  Everything will be fine.  Today was just a bad day.


In other news, all stage managers sing to their rehearsal CDs while also calling cues on the way home from techs.  That's not just me....right?  ................right?  It's strangely relaxing actually, I enjoy doing it.  Also, I have 18+ bumps (0 count light cues that happen at the end of a song) in the musical, so I can use the practice.

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