Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dracula Diary: Day 1

So Day 1 is actually a total lie.  I'm not talking about the fact that I was hired to Stage Manage this show in June of 2012, or the fact that we started rehearsals in Aug of that year and then ran the show through Oct.  I'm not even talking about helping wrangle schedules for the CD recording or the smaller concert shows that we have had in the past year an a half since the show closed.  Just talking about this one production Day 1 is a lie because we've had meetings.  We picked the songs, decided costumes, talked about lighting, worked on schedules, etc... I have know I was working on this concert since May 2013 and have been actively working on it since December...so yeah, Day 1 is a lie, but it was our first day of scheduled rehearsal so we'll go with that.

I keep getting asked what I do, so here's your chance to read all about what a day is like for me when I'm working on a show, especially one where I am wearing many hats.  Technically I'm the stage manager, but with the nature of this particular production I am working on a lot of the production aspects as well like helping with sound stuff (literally just helping pull stuff, I suck at sound), I will be working on a lighting design for this show, helping with video, as well as whatever other crap pops up.  As Stage Manager I'm supposed to run the rehearsals.  Make sure we start on time and then stick to a schedule and that everyone gets all the information that they need in order to make the show happen.

Last night we had our first rehearsal.  Started with a meeting at 6pm to go over all the preproduction discussion.  Song list double check, costume discussion, how we wanted things to look, how we wanted it narrated, etc...  At 8pm everyone else began arriving.  Setting up mic stands, setting up the band, giving everyone the information they needed from all the decisions that we made in the meeting right before that one.  After all of that, all the sitting around and talking about how we're going to have fun, we actually get to have fun.

It's our first day, we haven't done this music since Monster Bash back in June, we're going to need to get reacquainted with it all.  I hand out the libretto with the lyrics for all the songs we've chosen for this show.  It's about half so we can make sure to have a good show with leaving the audience wanting more so they'll go buy the CD, there's a method to the madness.  The band starts playing, the singers share a mic because we haven't gotten all of the mice set up and ran to the snake yet.  It's like a jam session with a set list.  It's fun, it's easy going, it's getting everyone a chance to remember how much fun this is...and to also show them that it's been almost a year, we need to relearn the music.  We're laughing at the mistakes and moving on because that's what last night was about.  Seeing what we needed to work on in addition to having fun with it.  Reconnecting with something that was a part of our every day life for months and has been a back burner in our mind since the show closed, since the recording finished, since the last concert...

While all of this is happening I'm creeping around, taking notes, having snippets of conversation about what each person is individually concerned about because they want me to know because I will compile these and present them to those who make the decisions.  I just run the show, I have bosses just like everyone else.  So all these little seemingly back hall meetings are actually just how I get a consensus and a feel for where everyone is in the process.  What are they worried about, what can be fixed and how do we make everyone happy in addition to making the show happen.  At the end of the day he show has to happen and ideally everyone is happy about it.  We will close the show friends and glad we got to go on this journey together.  That's my job.


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