05 September 2014

Behr Update: Opening Night

Tonight is opening night of the local community theatre's production of "The Pajama Game." It's been one weird Hell Week...I think a lot of it has to do with despite the exertion required on my part for the show (working backstage - more on that in a moment), I'm not that tired because I'm not having to get up and go to work each morning. I've been sleeping in until 6:30 or 7. I'm also able to take a short nap in the afternoon, which helps too.

So I'm on the rails for this show. Our theatre is old fashioned, with a pulley system for the various curtains, backdrops, set pieces, etc that are "flown in." We had one particular piece - dubbed the shop/office wall. It's a heavy framed window, to be honest. Attached to it were two doors that swung out on hinges once on the stage floor. This thing weighed a ton! We had at least 240 pounds of counterweight which, if you know about how this all works, must be moved by the use of the pulley system to fly in the piece. We had difficulty with the shop/office wall because it kept getting hung up on the third legs (black curtains that run floor to ceiling). We finally convinced the director that this wasn't working well - I actually said I wasn't comfortable with it. So we removed the doors and lightened the counterweights and voila! It works much better. There's still some "guiding" required and I wish my "spotter" would not take it upon herself to move the damn thing but I'm tired of having to correct her all the time.

Overall the show is cute. I think the male lead could be a little stronger vocally but for community theater it's a nice production. My responsibilities, as I mentioned, is to raise and lower all of the curtains, flats, etc. It's physically demanding because in some instances I bring down one curtain, raise another flat, then lower a third one. All within the space of a couple minutes. It doesn't sound bad but when one has to wait for other set pieces to be moved and people to get out of the way, it becomes a bit hectic. I'm having a good time though.

One of the reasons I'm doing this is because I'm friends with the director and producer. Also - since I'm still not working, it gives me something to do. The first time I went to watch a run through of the show, several people hugged me and told me how good it was to see me. I really needed that lift.

So tonight is Opening Night. Wish us luck!


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