There are times when you just fall into bed and wonder exactly how you have managed to survive all of the tasks appointed for you.
I’m one of those people who gets better under pressure. If there is no deadline looming large I tend to waste time, worry too much, and not get anything done. But if things need to be done WELL and need to be done NOW, I’m there. It’s a legacy of my time in theater, I think. With all due respect to Samuel Johnson, you don’t need to be executed in two weeks’ time in order to concentrate your mind wonderfully. Opening night curtain will do just fine.
Yesterday we had a performer come to Home Campus. As the person in charge of the nuts and bolts of such things, it was my job to make sure that this happened without a hitch, or at least with as few hitches as possible, and those manageable. Nothing in theater happens without a hitch.
So I spent much of Sunday afternoon crawling around the theater hanging lights, just as I used to do way back in the day. Many of the best moments of my life were spent dangling from a catwalk with a crescent wrench in one hand, trying to get the hot spot of the light pointed where I wanted it to go. This probably explains a lot about me, when you think about it.
Of course it’s a lot easier to do that sort of thing when you have company, since stage, catwalk and lighting board are generally nowhere near each other. Doing lighting alone bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the old “two ducks and a giraffe” joke, which I will not repeat here as my children do sometimes read this. If you don’t know it, it starts with a duck and a giraffe on a date, relies on a basic knowledge of the difference in scale between those two animals, and ends with the duck complaining to his buddy, “I must have run a hundred miles last night.”
Yesterday, once my class was over, I spent mostly with the performer – picking him up at the airport, going over tech stuff, running errands and so forth. It was an awful lot of fun, really. One of the perks of this position is that I get to meet some great people.
And remember that post a little while ago about my theory that there are only 700 people on the planet? This performer lives in New York. He and I had met in St. Paul at a conference in 2009 and had been working for nearly a year to get this night set up here in Wisconsin, and only last week did we discover that he’s good friends with the brother of the girl I took to my senior prom in Philadelphia in 1984.
The show was excellent. The audience had a wonderful time, from the comments I heard. And I’m hoping we can get this guy back here again soon.
But it was really, really good to fall into bed last night.