Tuesday, May 22, 2012

That Perfect Moment

Super excited for my summer show now, but first I have to get through my current show.

Also I should probably be sleeping, but I had a random thought.

One thing I've been complemented on by just about every director I've worked with is this: I call an excellent show.

Calling a show isn't actually my favorite.  I would consider myself good at it.  Just like I would consider myself good at running tech.  But it's not my favorite part of the process.  I like seeing the actors learn and change throughout the rehearsal process too much for anything besides that to be my favorite (how many times can I use that word in a paragraph?)

And I think, possibly (and of course I could be wrong), the thing that sets my calling a part from some other stage manager is that I see that for every cue there is that one perfect moment for it to be called.  The moment where the actor steps from one area of the stage to another and the light comes up on them just as the other area goes out.  Or the lights complete right as the vocals for a song begin.

I try to find that exact moment for every cue.  It really is an art to me.  I was never a great designer and I could never be a director.  I honestly don't think I'm creative enough for it.  However, with calling a show there is something so elegant.  When called in that perfect moment you somehow don't even notice the lights change because that's just how it's supposed to be.  It's so seamless and part of the story.  I think I would be taken aback if someone who hadn't worked the show or wasn't a stage manager came up and complemented the timing, because it shouldn't be noticed.

I truly believe that a well called show should not be noticed by anyone not on the above list.  It needs to help draw in and keep the audience in the story.  Conversely, a poorly called show can so easily pull an audience member out of the show.  If you miss a bump (which is a 0 second light cue which goes on the final beat of a song) then it's jarring (and goddamn obvious).  If you miss bringing up another area of the stage, then the actors aren't lit.  It's a very subtle, very fine art.  And it is one that I love because it's almost always a challenge.

PS. To me it seems like my last posts have been really boastful....that's not how I'm trying to come off, I swear.

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