The show is over and it is time to strike. Despite the set being huge, we managed to take it all down in about four hours. Our builder, Mark, had suggested we use nails on the primary platform. While this made construction easy, I don't think he had considered we would use so many nail. We ended up losing a fair bit of wood because of this. Some sections were nailed so heavily nothing could be done except bust the wood off. Despite this, we saved the vast majority of the wood. This should keep the theatre work shop stocked for a long time to come. The narriator's platform came down much easier. By the time I built that, we were out of nails, so I used drywall screw construction. While this took a little more time up front, it was very easy to take down. It came down within a half hour and much of that time was spent moving latters around. The living room took a few people to disassemble. If I were to do it again, I would have constructed 12 foot flats and raised the batton rather then trying to add flats above the batton. While it worked, it wasn't easy to assemble or disassemble. We had a lot of people hammering on the set and did everything except for lights. By 6:00pm, there was just an empty stage. I had that feeling--a mix between sorrow felt after the end of a show and that feeling of a new begining as if the stage were asking me to make it an other set. Now that the show is truely over, I'm going to have to figure out what to do with my time!
Tonight was a double showing, one at 7:30pm and the second at midnight. We had maybe 5 seats left in the house for the 7:30pm showing and everything (but the fog machine) worked great. The last show of our production was upon us, and all the stops were pulled. For the midnight showing, everyone wanted to put on a show to remember--and succeeded beautifully. The house was again almost sold out with just a few open seats. And the crowd from the onset was rowdy. From our TV monitor back stage, we saw someone standing in front of the audience throwing out large bags of rice. When the director, Gene Biby, walked on stage to introduce the show, the audiance was bouncing off the walls. During the show, the energy continued to rise. When Frank N. Ferter made his inital entrence, everyone was just estatic. Back stage, we were bouncing off the walls ourselves. Everyone was dancing and going as crazy as we could without making noise. We even had the imposiable happen: when the scrim went up the first time as the characters walked toward the house, there was fog! The machine, on the last day for the last show, finially worked. It wasn't much, but it actually functioned. We were all pleased. Finially, the end drew near. The cast posed for their their well diserved applose and took a bow. Some had tears in their eyes as the walked off stage. It was hard not to have emotion after this show. The production was by far my biggest and best. The cast put on an amazing show. This is to be my last show at U-Rock. I will complete my associates at the end of the summer and it will be time to move on. I'd like to thank Amy Krebs who has put up with me for all 6 shows I've worked on at U-Rock. Also Nikki, Brad, Wes, Brian, Molly and Ashley who I've worked with at least one other time. Also thanks goes to Cheryl Schneider who was instermental in designing and building this set, and Mindy Roys who did a phenomenal on costumes. And thanks goes to all of the cast and crew for making this show one for the books. Lastly, a big thanks to Gene Biby for giving me the opertunity to work on all the shows I've done, and for letting me crown my time in the theatre stage managing Rocky Horror--thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank all of you involved--there's just no way I can express how much this all has meant to me. "Activate the sonic transducer!"
Friday evening and the show came close to selling out. We had very few seats left in the theatre. Tonight's crowd was more lively then last nights, but still not like the midnight showing on Wednesday. Tech went pretty well, except for the fog machine. Despite making an entire 75 pound CO2 tanks worth of dry ice, when it came time for the fog, nothing happened. I'm beginning to wonder if we'll ever get that machine to do anything useful. Pictured is the cast during the song Hot Patootie.
Tonight was opening night, and the crowd just can't get any better then what we had. There must have been well over 100 people--on a Wednesday night at midnight! The crowd was very rowdy, which really helped put the cast into their characters. After spending the last two weeks doing pretty much nothing about the set, this makes me feel like it was all worth it. The day started off in the theatre at 1:00pm and we worked on the set until about 8:00pm. But everything is finally finished. The living room is completely painted and all pictures hung. The doorway is also fully painted as well as the panel in the lab. Ian gave the finishing touches on the living room and the door, and they both look really good. If we had just a few more days to dress the set it would be amazing, but as it stands, it's not bad at all. One tech item that was setup today was TV monitors for both the band and crew. The school's AV guy, Bill Murry, set us up with a video camera in the back of the theatre, which feeds through some coax cable. The cable runs back stage, where we split the signal and feed it to two TVs, one for the band, and one for crew. This makes cues much easier. While the cast gave a steller proformance, the technical side was a little lacking. Among the issues was the fog machine. We filled it with dry ice, but when it came time to run it, nothing happened. Turns out the machine became unplugged when one of the set pieces was taken off. We've yet to ever have functional fog. I have to hand it to the cast--they did a fantastic job this evening, and the audience was eating it up. Back stage, the crew and I kept quietly saying to one an other "Yes, yes!!". Pictured is Ian in front of his finished work on the living room.
Tonight was the finial dress rehearsal and the list of things to be done still isn't complete. However, the technical bugs are getting worked out and things went alright back stage tonight. It all boils down to what happens tomorrow.
A run with full customs and makeup, and all tech. Tonight I had the remainder of my tech crew, and it went a little better. One big issue that I had a dream about was how to keep the lights from the band from interfering with the bed silhouettes. I first tried using the orange traveling (traveler is a moving curtain for you non stage types) we use in several other scenes, but the light ended up showing the orange (which is what I had expected). But I had a border (black fabric hung above stage to mask equipment in the fly loft) and I happened to be about 8 feet tall. So I flew that in and tried it instead of the orange traveler. Success. Today was the first time I (and everyone else I think) had seen customs. They are amazing. So amazing that it makes me feel bad the set doesn't look better (and I've spent a lot of time on that set!). Riff Raffs sci-fi alian custom was so fantastic, our director laughed outload for about 5 minutes. Koudos to Mindy, our amazing custom lady!
A night of failures, and it was not fun. We ran the play from the top with all the tech. elements setup--and most of them failed. Our timing was wrong, scenery transitions took too long, light cues failed to happen on time, ext., ext., ext. By the end of the night, I really just wanted to go home--and I did. There's so much to be fixed yet, and no time to do it :( Pictured is Mandy, our lead tech. Thankfully, she was present and what little did work was because of her.
I started the day programming all the lighting cues for the play. The majority of the lights are now in place so it was time for light cues. I had to go back to the manual for the light board so I could remember how to do some of the effects. When we did Hair in the spring of 06, I figured out a chase sequence and slow cross fade. This time, I found a better way of doing the effect. As a quick side note, our lighting board is made by a company in Middleton (west side of Madison) called Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC). We also have several Source Fourellipsoidal reflector spotlight (ERS) and they are the best. If I ever get a chance to work for ETC, I'm there. Pictured is a test of one of the effects we will be using--silhouettes of a bedroom. Our director has climbed onto the bed and is posing while we look to see how the shadows look. There is light leaking from outside, but it was just a test run and works great. After lighting, it was back to the set. Knocked out a lot of little things that had to be done. Left the set again around midnight.
I started on the set at 12:00pm and left around midnight. But the lights are hung, so life is good. We started the day by taking some film footage needed for the TV monitor in the lab. I quickly through a scene together in the dressing room where several people in the cast posed for a few minutes of video. Naturally, it took much longer then expected. After that, a lot of work had to be done with lights. I wanted a lot more blue, so I hung several Fresnel interments. It took a bit of experimentation to get them to work right--the set has several things that fly in and out, and I found they could end up hitting the lights if the lights were not placed correctly. Then it was on to my first special effect: cross fading tree silhouettes. Gene (the director) had just got in 4 gobos, each a different tree pattern. My plan was to shin the patterns on the walls to the left and right of the stage. There, two patterns would alternate and give the effect of movement through a wooded area. It took a fair bit of setup time to get the lights setup, but it worked and look pretty good. I would have liked to have had the lighting cues programmed--but that didn't happen. So that is first thing tomorrow.