I made my PTC stage debut today in quite an unfortunate situation. We had a flying piece that snagged on one of our curtains as the curtain was moving and it broke one of the pick lines. These pick lines are made of 1/8″ steel aircraft cable, so it take a pretty goodly amount of force to break them. It seems that as our nice velvet drape was going out (up) it snagged the scenery, a lighted sign, and probably lifted it and then dropped it, breaking one of the two cables. I think that my electric cables were probably bearing some of the load of the sign.
Well, we saw this thing swing into view and immediately stopped the show. We cleared the cast off the stage and removed the piece of scenery. In all it probably took less than ten minutes to do all the work, but it felt like forever. The adrenaline was still pumping as I started to write this.
It is amazing how things slow down when you are in action mode. I also think that it is interesting that some people feel like the shows problems can be solved with the biggest hand-held cutting tool that you can find in the shop. All we had to do was disconnect the rigging hardware and unwire the electrics and the piece was free. It was probably a good thing that I was mostly calling the shots with the removal of the piece or things might have ended up getting cut.
I remember getting out on stage and helping one of the ASMs get the piece on the deck. Then there was some cheering from the audience. Then I disconnected the electrical and rigging hardware and the crew took the piece off stage. I capped the electrical and then they were about to take the lineset out when it finally occurred to me that the aircraft cable had broken and was just hanging on by tape. So, we removed that as well and got the line out and clear. The strangest thing was that I left the turnbuckle in the shop but for some reason I ended up taking the broken cable back up to the booth with me. Stranger things have happened.
That was the excitement of the evening. It wasn’t good excitement, but it excitement none the less. One more show for the books I suppose.