Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Another Op’nin, Another [120 Something] Show[s]

The Box Office opened today!!

So we’re less than 48 hours from the opening party, and all hands are on deck tomorrow. This is the part that can get very exciting but also very frustrating for people. It’s like tech-week, but on a much bigger scale.

I actually have this great t-shirt, which I can’t find right now, and I really, REALLY wanted to wear tomorrow.

oh well…

But it’s the time when everything you might’ve expected to be responsible for has less to do with what needs to be done. Although my official title is Marketing/Press Intern, that didn’t keep me from coming in on that afternoon on the Fourth of July to hang some drops, move lumber, or drill holes in a steel base.

Tomorrow there’ll probably be much more of that. Part of it’s just the nature of the festival; part of it’s unique to the new spaces that are apart of this year’s venues. All of it requires clear and effective communication, because anything else is a waste of time and energy. It also necessitates the ability not to take things personally. Someone might be short just because they’re tired and in a rush, not because they don’t care. Another might respond forcefully when you try to talk to them, but that probably has more to do with the conversation they’re having on the phone than with you.

It’s not a time to get defensive; it’s not a time to vent. Like with any work on stage, it’s just one of those times when, more than ever, you need to leave your baggage at the proverbial “door”. Now I know it probably sounds like I’m preaching to the choir, for all you other theatre folk out there. This is more for those who haven’t been a part of that world. It’s just not the kind of time, as the festival gets ready to open, where “regular working hours” has any meaning.

Which is why tomorrow, I don’t even know how late I’m going to be there, but it’ll be something like a 10 out of 12…maybe more like an 11.5 out of 12, or maybe a 15 out of 12. Whatever it takes until I’ve done whatever I can, which will not be marketing or press related And, again more for those who don’t know, in most of the tech weeks for productions I’ve worked on and/or been in, the weekend before opening night which kicks-off tech week is usually comprised of two 10 out of 12 days; that means on Sat & Sun, 10 out of 12 hours are spent working, with performers usually given an hour for lunch and an hour for dinner…or sometimes no lunch and two hours for dinner.

I’ve gotta say, though…I like doing tech work. My freshman year, I actually never wanted to step foot on stage. Until our spring musical, my involvement in our theatre productions was comprised of hanging lights, building sets, and operating boards. It’s something that I think more performers could, and should, endeavor to do more often than usual. Which is another great thing about Fringe Festivals, and Capital Fringe in particular. In training artists and companies to be self-producing, it forces people to take themselves out of whatever “box” they might’ve put themselves in, and refocuses them on simply doing what needs to be done to get the show on its feet. Hopefully, by the end of it, everyone’s learned something new in addition to growing in their primary craft(s), whether it be on stage or off.

Anyway, I digress…

I suppose I should talk about the Meetup thang. So far, no measureable outcomes, i.e. no one came up to me at the Press/Preview night and said hi. But that doesn’t mean they weren’t there. Oh well, we’ll see what happens with the opening night party.

Until next week,


Next Week: The Opening Night Party, the first weekend, and the Training Factory