Home > Uncategorized > So Very High School

So Very High School

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

My first theater was a converted chapel hidden near the freshman lockers and activities director’s office. A small speck of a building with more potential and energy than it deserved. A fixed grid above a slight rack above the upstage with the apron being well over double the depth and width of the rest of the stage, there was some circuits at the grid, we’d put booms on the apron and we had a FOH pipe. All of this was controlled by 24 dimmers and an ancient lepercon board.

To this day I look fondly on this space and assembling the scaffolding to work on lights FOH, the odd ladder work on the grid and just how the space wasn’t really useful for the shows. A few people influenced me enough to try it professionally. Had that small push not happened… well my life would be quite different.

My High School dreams of sets like this.

Today I had the fortune of working for a friend at a privileged high school on the Eastside. The place is ‘Three Penny Opera’ and the director is strange but the facilities were so much better than what I had over 10 years ago. The high school me looked at this space with shock and awe. A 500 something house, half fly with more lights than the board can handle, a decent looking sound system, spot lights and a person in charge of the whole thing.

Down side is the cynical bastard that has been working in the trade started finding the problems. Poorly maintained equipment, strange positions, odd design features and a whole mess of things that show time and skills were lacking perhaps not both but each in its own way. I sat in the cats and watched part of the ‘run through’, though it was a start and stop rehearsal, and wondered if these kids knew this would be fleeting. There were a few of talent who might go somewhere but by and large they were there for fun.

There was also a high schooler helping us and he seemed interested and took it more seriously than I did. He had reason to be invested this was his school, his play and people would talk about his work. I am just some guy that was brought in a for a day and it’s hard when I’m not getting paid and it’s a favor. He was good if I was lacking and if he wants he might find a life in this business and some might not curse the kid but it’s his choice not mine.

Still it was a hard day. Things didn’t work, plans changed, we lost 5 hours because of the rehearsal where ‘tech talk’ was restricted. Didn’t help we were understaffed and by the end of the day all of us were tired, one guy was rather sick and another had to leave for dinner. It was harder and harder to keep going but at least we got it hung, colored and I got a picture in a Sergeant Pepper style coat.

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