Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, February 6, 2012

Working at the Opera House

Working at the Opera House. That is what I have been up to lately.  Working on the set for Nobody's Perfect.  Cast, crew, spouses and friends have come in and started working on the set.  I received an email today saying that it was 99% completed.  I worked most of the day on Friday and part of the day on Saturday painting, carrying, moving, measuring, holding, and stapling.  The set was built from the floor up.  This is a dinner theater show so that means that we take an empty hall, bring in old laminated posters and stack cement blocks on them.  Then after we get the blocks stacked up then we bring in wooden flats and stack them on top of the blocks.  From there we build panels that can be attached to each other and attached to the "stage".   The panels have windows or doors or archways.  We still have to build a couple each show, but we try and build the panels securely and then temporarily attach them together to form the set and so that they can easily be taken a part when the show is over.  The panels are memories of previous shows with yellow walls from Sex Please, gray from Curse of Nergal, pepto bismol colored from Steele Magnolia's and others from productions that we are not sure about, but once painted with the beautiful sky blue or the watermelon red/pink or gray color they become the panels from Nobody's Perfect.  The other shows disappearing back into our memories as the walls become a new set, a new home or office or bed and breakfast. 

This set is located in California.  The murder mystery set in May will take place in a bar on a space station in another quadrant, in another time.  That is one of the most amazing parts of being in a play, is being transported from this space and time to anywhere and anytime.  Our imaginations brought alive with wood and nails and paint.  A couch here, a table there round out the set.  Again, a lot of the furniture appears over and over in our shows, looking different based on the paint, the story and the accessories.  It is a lot of work, but with everyone pulling together, the play starts to take form and gives the actors a place to bring their characters alive. 

And these actors will have all of two rehearsals to practice on this stage.  That is not very long.  That is a truly a hardship on our actors to now have to pull back or stretch out to fit the stage.  We tape the floor and the furniture has been in the taped stage for a while.  But it is not the same as the actual stage.  And this cast has not worked with the light cues or the sound cues.  That is a huge deal.  Some of Ms Moon's cues are based on these, so she will have two rehearsals to learn these cues as they will sound or feel or look like the nights of the performances.  But it also means that Ms Denise and myself who will be working the lights and sound effects also with only have two days to rehearse with our work.  Yikes.  This is why I wear black when I am working sound or lights.  The black tends to make me disappear into the background.  It is not like my face is on the stage.  No I will be behind the spot light so even if the audience were to look back at me, they could not see me with the bright white light shining in their eyes. 

The Directors had first wanted to use the small spot light.  It is much easier to move down from the balcony of the upstairs theater.  Down the old wooden stairs coming down from the balcony worn and slick from age.  Across the theater to the elevator and then the ride down in the slow and unpredictable elevator (which is certified, but it still makes me nervous).  Then to carry the giant spot light across the down stairs and get it up and placed where we can use it over the heads of the audience.  But the small spot light has no on/off switch, it does not make a nice white round spot light, but instead these weird angles and a less then white light.  But mostly it gets HOT.  And I have to turn it from one direction to the other, quickly with one hand holding a folder in front of the light because I can not unplug, move and plug back in quick enough.  So I would burn myself as I attempted to move and watch my script and work the sound effects.  I am not sure I will be able to do it all as well as the Directors are going to need.  So we will work together tonight to figure out what to do. 

So that was the big part of my life from Thursday night rehearsal until Saturday afternoon.  After I had finished painting the last wall blue, I raced home and finished straightening up the house and making some vegan dishes for the monthly vegan mediation get together.  This was my first night hosting.  I was not sure what all I should make.  I was not sure what others might be bringing.  So I made some Quinoa, a mixed green salad, brownie cookies, high fiber blue berry muffins, veggie relish, and seven layer dip with chip and crackers.  Others brought sweet delicacies and as always the table groaned under the weight of the food. 

Everyone got to my house about 6:00 pm.  I had not had time to shower and change before they came, but the house was clean, the food was made and I just joined everyone in the living room where we talked and meditated and spent precious time together.  Carolyn has started coming with me to these dinners and is blending in beautifully with this small precious group of friends.  Another new lady joined us this month.  Linda who lives between Waukeenah, Lloyd, Waccissa and a couple of other small places I did not know the names.  She is a lovely person and it was nice to have another friend to meet and join us.  We ate heartily and lauhged freely.  When it was time to go, we hugged deeply and waved good bye to each other, knowing that we will get together again next month, and how sweet and precious these woman are to me.  It is not always just woman.  Sometimes we have men who attend.  We welcome everyone who would like to get together once a month, near the full moon, to meditate and breathe and think positive thoughts, and enjoy the company of people very different, and yet so very much a like. 

I was still wound up after the ladies had left and it took quite a while for me to fall asleep.  Sunday I woke tired from the previous few days, fed the animals, picked up a few things and then sat down considering a nap.  Mid afternoon Other Bob called and said he was on his way over to watch the football game with me.  I did a little more pick up.  Leave the dogs alone for an hour, and I have to sweep and mop the kitchen and vacuum the living room.  I jumped in the shower and by the time he had made the drive over I was tired, but ready to visit with friends again.  I had put together some guacamole with salsa and chips; I still had some of the brownie cookies left from the night before.  I had fruit and chocolates and shrimp.  Other Bob brought fish to cook, I had a piece of steak for him.  He also brought wine with cheese and crackers and we settled down and watched golf flipping back and forth between the Superbowl pre-game show and the golf tornament. 

We picked at the food and never cooked the fish or steak or any real food, just game food.  We watched the game and then the half time show.  It was okay.  I don't know maybe the teams were too closely matched.  It just did not seem to have the excitement several of the play off games seemed to generate.  Madonna was good, she looked beautiful.  She is one of those woman who has gotten more beautiful as she ages.  And I appreciate that her show was more family oriented, but it was a little boring.  Well, compared to past superbowl half times.  But the hoo rah is done, over, the giants won, just in case you hadn't heard. 

Today we worked on my cars. I appreciate the help. Here are a couple of photos that Other Bob took the day we went for a ride on his soft tail:

Me and Other Bob's Harley

In my Red high top Converse Allstars
Then I worked on setting up the sound effects.  I have done this numerous times.......but it has been a while and it took me hours to set up 4 sound effects.   But I eventually got it done, opened and closed it a dozen times so I could remember where I put it, so when I got to rehearsal tonight I could open it up quickly and easily.  I got to rehearsal a little early so I could get set, and shoot, I could not remember where I put it.  sigh.  But I eventually found it.  It is in a logical and eay spot to find.  Well, if I can remember, that is. 

Rehearsal went amazing.  With the set mostly completed and having taken a few days off, the cast came in loaded for elephants.  They were funny.  They were amazing.  We have a show!!!  I mean a good show.  Funny how that happens sometimes.  Tomorrow we will finish polishing and punching things up.  Another rehearsal with sound and lights and I have to say the people who will get to see this show for the dress rehearsal that we Altrusia uses as a fund raiser, they are going to see a wonderful, funny, precious show.  And Mary is just wonderful.  Jon, well he always amazes me.  And he slips in and out of Leonard and Lullabelle, from men's clothing into women's clothing (and I am not giving away any secrets here) with the ease of a seasoned actor, which he is.  George is really honing in on Grampy and I have no doubt that by Thursday he will come close to steeling the show.  And Tila, she will steal the show.  She is young, but she is just perfect in this part.  And so precious opposite of Mary.  You can see the maid and the crone, the mature and the young, the seasoned actor and the ingenue.  And it works.  Mary is beautiful, and this new young lady adorable.  These two woman have built a friendship and it shows in the characters.  There is a true warmth and, well, they just look like they like each other.  And it is real.  How fortunate for this new young actor to get to work with these other three.  And to get to work with the best prop/costume Manager Denise.  And I am not forgetting the best stage manager I have ever worked with, Judy.  And of course, it is always fun to work with Jack and Jan.  So we are a small, tough, but very happy little group of community theater "artist" tonight.  I am so amazed at how this show just pulled together and is already shining.  Tell your neighbors and your friends.  This is dinner theater that is fun, good food and the benefit of a small town.  What more could you want? 

And to all of my friends, like Jan in Wakulla, Bob at work, and well, the rest of you know who you are.  I miss you, and I am sorry I am not being a better friend and calling and coming over to visit.  You know how I fall in this hole of time sucking fake believe worlds at the Opera House.  And how much I love it there.  But I do love you all dearly, and miss you.  Call me!  Tomorrow I will get to see Phyllis for lunch.  After they took out that giant tumor she has lost like 18 pounds.  Yep, that thing was growing and growing for years and now it is gone.  She will go to Moffitt again in a week or so, and they will let her know what comes next.  She sounds great.  I will then also go over to Sprint and see if I can get my cell phone fixed.  I can not get my email on my phone.  And I can not answer my phone.  It goes directly to messages.  And the worst part is it tells me it is going to message, and I can not answer the calls.  Isn't it frustating when our electronic world does not work the way we desire?!!  I will get to see Rich on Saturday nights as he is helping to wait tables with me and the rest of the volunteers.  But I really need to find a way to fit into Bob at work's schedule.  I miss him. 

Life is busy.  It is late.  I just got done talking to dad, and now it is midnight and I have to go to bed.  I am tired.  But I am excited for the show.  It is going to be a lot of fun.  Just wait until these actors have an audience sitting in the dark, faces turned up to the stage, a smile on their lips a laugh on their tongue, a sparkle in their eyes.  And yes, the actors, directors and crew will be smiling and sparkling and sharing and fake believe will transport us all to Love is all Around.  Hope to see you there.


  1. love the red shoes! when i wear my red shoes to work i feel like i could go from 0 to asskickin' in 60 seconds


  2. Gosh, what a lot of work involved - love don't come easy! I just watched Mary Moon on youtube and yes, I think your audience (and players) are in for a treat!
    Thank you for sharing 'behind the scenes'!
    pamela x