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February 09, 2007

Grand Finally

Seven Menus

Seven Menus

    The second and finial night of the Drama Club's production.  I wanted an other perfect night, and our practice paid off.  The cast preformed beautifully, and with the exception of one small lag during Play, we were as good as the night before.  Afterwards there was congratulations and Kirstin, the director of Play, gave Talon and I each cards and a gift.  It read "Do.  Or do not.  There is no try", a quote by Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back; and signed by the entire cast.  The gift was a mug, rather urn like in shape (fitting for the play). 
    It's a good feeling to have been a part of this production.  I've wanted to run lights in a production since Middle School, and I can finally say I've done that.  A big thanks to the cast, directors and Talon for allowing me to fulfill this dream :)

2 comments have been made.

From Zen

February 12, 2007 at 11:02 AM

Que, glad to see the production went well! Congratulations on finally being able to do something I've heard you talking about since high school :)

From Talon

February 12, 2007 at 9:37 PM

no prob man. any time

February 08, 2007

Opening Night

    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's Play.  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 :)
A whole bunch of U-Rock kids!

A whole bunch of U-Rock kids!

    This evening was the dress rehearsal of the four one-act plays.  The lighting and sound didn't go as planned.  Talon had the light queue for Play a little out of sequence, and I messed up moving my laptop, missing the sound queue for Rockabye.  A little irritating to say the least. 
    To mend the problem, I decided to use Talon's laptop for sound, and my laptop for lighting queues.  This eliminated the need to move the computer around.  That was important since there wasn't a good way to test the sound once the theater was open and full of people.  For the lighting queue, Talon and I went over the script queue by queue, making sure the light queues on the light board matched.  We quickly found the problem, fixed it and repeated the script at least 3 times before I was satisfied the lighting had been corrected.
    Amy playing the part of the old women in Samuel Beckett's Rockaby at rehearsal this evening.  For this play, I helped Amy record the voice of the old women recounting her life in a poetic, rhythmic and repetitive manner.  The recording is almost all the duologue of the play, and I was asked to make it seem distant and a little eerie.  To accomplish this in the recording, I added a 5 millisecond delay to the right channel, which has the effect of making the sound come from the sides as opposed to from the center.  Then, I added some reverberation which reflected mostly high frequencies in the center channel.  Amy's reading of the dialog was done in a sober, dry, rhythmic fashion that seemed to follow the motion of the rocking chair.  With the reverberation and dark theater, the sound was all encompassing.
    Tonight was the first time the play was rehearsed; sound and lighting included.  I think it went over pretty well.


    In the 10+ years I've lived in Beloit, I don't think it's ever been this cold.  This morning I woke up around 8:00am and discovered the temperature was mere -14.8 F (-26 C).  It's so cold that the other day Dencker tried to drive to work, but ice in his fuel line stalled the car out just a few miles away form the house.  The Garage bathroom only has hot water because the cold water froze-- and the only reason the hot water didn't freeze was because I left on a leaky faucet to drip.  The furnace has been on almost non-stop, pausing for only about 5 minutes at a time.  After an extremely mild December and January, seems Wisconsin has remembered it's winter after all.