Kristin and Nick preparing their makeup for the opening night of the Drama Club's four one-act plays.
Tonight was the night—all the practice and preparation was about to be put to test. Talon and I were prepared. We had gone over the light queue, done our sound checks and were ready for the performance. The audience trickled in and before too long the director came over the head-set radio "queue houselights"—and we began.
The first two plays are pretty easy. I had 4 sound queues and had to hit "mute" on the soundboard twice. Talon waited for the director to give him light queues and hit a the queue button on the light control conical. But most of the time, we simply enjoyed the production. Then, intermission. So far, so good.
Then came the hardest part of our night: Samuel Beckett
. Twenty minutes of rapid fire dialog between three characters with the spotlight dictating when actors spoke and when they fell silent. Talon and I had drilled for a couple weeks with the cast to get this play down, and after dropping the ball on last night's dress rehearsal, there was question as to whether or not we could pull this off.
"Queue houselights" came over the radio. As the house faded to 50%, I switched on the spotlight with the blackout boomerang pulled. Talon was at the light counsel. My laptop was directly in front of, displaying the active stage under blackout conditions with the instruction "curtain". A second screen, positioned in front of Talon had the same picture. "House at 50 present" I announced over the radio. The audience went silent. A few second latter the call "Queue houselights". Talon hit the queue and the house went black. "Ready for curtain" I whispered over the radio. I herd the curtain opening, but was unable to see anything. "Queue lights" I herd announced and Talon lite the stage, starting dialog. Thus began the crazy-fast spotting. Talon listened to the cast on stage, following the script and hitting the space-bar when it was time to change lighting. I moved the spot accordingly. During blackouts, we counted out-loud in a whisper to keep our timing synchronised. The story was told—twice—just as the script demanded. As rapidly as it had begun, it was over. Flawless. "Curtain" I whispered over the radio. "We did it!" I whispered to Talon, who got up for a high-five. Roni, who had been observing commented "That was amazing!". The cast did their curtain call, receiving their well earned applause from the audience. Just one play left...
The last act, very sober and rather sad was about to begin. Last night I missed the sound queue completely and I wasn't going to do that tonight. With Talon's laptop setup, I adjusted the volume and awaited my queue. "Queue sound". I hit play and the sound began. The act went on until the recording finished. "Queue lights" was announced and a slow 10 second fade-out began. Curtain, applause, houselights, end-game. Perfect. You can't do better then that :)