Too Much to do, Too Little Time

This is the post where I am going to tell about the secret project I mentioned a few times, but that is going to be towards the end of the post…. (just to keep you reading)

Some of you may have drifted by the blog in the last couple weeks and wondered where I have been.  Some of you probably couldn’t care less, and those of you who actually know me probably spent the last two weeks in the same building as me for the duration of said two weeks.  Such is the life of theatre people, when we get into full swing on a show, well, there is nothing else in the rest of the world.  Heck, i didn’t even participate in this past month’s Bloggerstock event because I didn’t have time.  Speaking of which, we really need to come up with a topic for this month and I don’t want it to be something cliche about the holidays.

Right, holidays.  Today is the seventh day of Hanukkah, that means that tonight is the last night.  So for those of you who don’t actually know what that means, tonight we light eight candles (unless you follow the traditions of Shamai instead of Hillel) in celebration of the eighth day.  I have been keeping my menorah in the booth at the theatre.  I thought that it was appropriate as we are working on the nice Christmas musical written by a good Jewish boy, Irving Berlin.  The man was smart, he knew what would sell and he capitalized on it!  White Christmas was bound to sell way more tickets than White Hanukkah would, though you probably could write a similar story about either.  The show is far from dominated by Christmas related songs.

The show.  Well, this production is certainly one of the biggest of the season, it might be the second largest.  I have a feeling that Sunset Boulevard will be bigger in many respects.  However, as I wrote before, this show is so big, it doesn’t really fit in the space.  I can’t remember working on a show here at PTC that had so many issues as we were going through tech and into opening.  I mean even during Les Mis when things just started to fall apart, we made it pretty well into the run first.  Most of the early issues we had with that show were due to operator error or oversight.  This show on the other hand, well it never really worked right until last night.

From day one of tech, after three weeks in the shop and $350 of repairs my moving light that died during Hamlet was returned to us and we promptly discovered that it was not fixed.  At this point I went to the other repair shop in town, and while it took four trips down there and ordering a part that we didn’t actually need, they fixed it.  Turned out to be something so simple that I am kicking myself for not noticing.  One of the fans that cools off the lamp housing was broken and a bunch of the wiring had begun to melt together.  All things considered this is something that should have been noticed by the first shop tech when they had the fixture for three weeks.  Whatever, it seems to be fixed now and we are happy.  During the fiasco while we were in tech, all it did was serve to stress me out.

Then we had Thanksgiving.  Once again, the holiday fell right in the middle of our tech schedule which is a mixed blessing.  We only get one day off, so there would be no visiting my family, but luckily I have a girlfriend with a wonderful family who was happy to add me to their festivities.  There was one stipulation by one of her cousins though and that was that I make my chocolate-butterscotch pudding pie.  Well, not only did I make that pie, I made a gluten free pie for one of the aunts (the host of the festivities), I made a chocolate free pie for Ruth’s mother, and one other pie for a total of four pudding pies.  Needless to say, between Ruth’s father’s deep fried turkey and my pies, Thanksgiving was quite a hit.  Ruth also made some home-made hummus that went very well (I am not a big hummus person, but everyone else like it) and her brother made a blue velvet pomegranate cake that has become a family favorite.  Lots of good food, as it should be.

The next day we were back to work bright and early to try and keep up with the demands of our eccentric and stubborn lighting designer.  This was a day that I won’t forget for a while as somehow I managed to injure my left knee while, of all things, I was walking up the stairs to the stage.  I can’t remember what actually happened, or if I tripped, I just remember getting to the top of the stairs and being in pain.  My knee felt like it was popping when i tried to extend it fully and it really hurt.  I was literally floored by it.  My crew managed to get me off the stage and into the house where I spent most of the rest of the day on the floor, icing my knee.

“Why didn’t you go to the ER?” I hear you ask.  Well, it turns out that one of my crewtons is good friends with an Orthopedic Surgeon who also happens to be the head doctor at Snowbird.  We had been introduced last year and skied together, but I didn’t know at the time that he was a doctor.  In any case, we called him and I described the injury and he said that it wasn’t worth the ER trip.  Do what I was doing and follow the principles of RICE and then see him on Monday.  Of course after seeing him, he wants to get an MRI because he can’t make a definitive diagnosis based on the exam he did.  This is fine with me save for now trying to get workman’s comp to OK the scan.  Yeah, exciting.  The good news is that he thinks it is just a torn meniscus, and this could probably be fixed and healed in time for me not to miss the entire ski season.

So, now I am hobbling around the theatre not able to climb ladders and barely able to do my job.  Then we run into yet more snafus.  The network node that is our main control output for the lighting system seems to have died.  I spent a day trying to cobble the system back together into a workable state.  We did it, but it sure isn’t pretty.  I tried getting in touch with the manufacturer but they have yet to respond.  I did get int touch with the competition, who happen to have some of these nodes stashed under a desk in the factory, so they are sending me one at no charge.  I don’t know how to thank them for that.  We will hopefully be back in operation at full capacity by the end of this week.

To cap off things with the show, my grandparents came in for a visit on opening weekend.  They got to see the show on opening night, which was one of the better performances of the weekend and I got to visit with them before they head to Israel for the better part of the winter.  It was nice to get to seem them as I was not able to join my family for Thanksgiving.  In some ways, not being able to ski on account of my knee made it a lot less of a dilemma on spending time with them or skiing!  We had a good weekend together.

So, the last major thing.  This probably could deserve it’s own post and may get one in the next couple days.  I applied for a position at CalArts, they are looking for an Electrics Department Supervisor.  I didn’t want to talk about it here before I told my boss at the theatre.  I wasn’t really looking for jobs, this one just happened across my desk and it seemed like an opportunity that should not be passed up.  At the time, things were moving slow with their process, but now they actually are flying me out there for an in-person interview.  It is both exciting and nerve racking at the same time.  I think that I job like this could be a step in the right direction for me, I will certainly know more after I go there to visit.  Working in the educational arena is something that I have thought of for a while and this would probably be a great way in to that.  So, as things move along with this I will keep you all updated.

Yup, that is where I have been, stressed out, tired, injured, baking, and going to California.  By the way, what day is it?






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