Sunday, January 21, 2007

Week One

At last! Some time to sit and write.

Load Out: Keyword - cold. Very cold, all day. We began at 9:00 with some scenery work, finishing painting crates, I had some different kinds of work to do; measuring relationships of set pieces to the center line for places where we don't have our own floor (which has convenient spike marks). Things like that. Load out took a painfully long time being as it was our first time cramming everything into our two Budget trucks. And I do mean cramming. Every last inch is packed with set walls and crates.

Road Day 1, show #1: Plains, Montana
Weather: Freezing cold.
Scenery: Beautiful Montana mountains!
Mood: Optimistic and energetic.
Plains is one of the Rep's favorite stops because the town loves us and treats us like kings and queens. They serve us a home-made lunch and snacks during load-in, and a dinner after the show. We perform in their highschool gym. That is what traveling theatre is all about, if you ask me! The show went well and we got a wonderful, warm audience response.
Load out was long, cold and tedious. Only the second time to pack it into the truck and some adjustments had to be made near the end (using a pry-bar and a hammer) to cram everything into the truck. But it went it.
We were all frozen to the core by the time we got back to the Dew Duck Inn, a marvelous little establishment with hot showers and warm quilts and good heaters. So we slept well, and woke up entirely too early to head off to...

Day 2, Show #2: Helena, Montana
Weather: Freezing cold, dark, entirely too early in the morning.
Scenery: Gorgeous! Driving out during the sunrise gave us an inspiring view of golden mist and snow white covered mountains, frozen rivers and valleys.
Mood: Refreshed and ready to take on another day.
I woke up far too early, but got to use my new French-press travel coffee mug. The inn owner was at the front desk and he very cheerfully brought me some hot water, and some hot chocolate to add to my coffee. His wife trotted out in her bathrobe and pinke Croc shoes and said "I don't usually greet people in my robe but I just had to tell you how wonderful the show was and how much we enjoyed it." And they gave me hot chocolate to take on the road. Very very sweet people.
Helena was a pretty good day over all. The Myrna Loy theatre is a beautiful little space, also a movie theatre so we had to be quiet going up and down the stairs. We had a small local crew but there's a lot of waiting around anyway during a load-in so that wasn't too much of a setback.
Greg Johnson came to this performance to schmooz with the big-wigs who attend the show in Helena. We also had quite a bit of family in the audience, including Katie's grandmother, who suffered a fainting spell near intermission. Of course it threw Katie for a loop but the latest word is that the attack was something to do with Grandma's medication, and she's doing much better now. Whew.
Greg's main point and concern of the evening: Make sure the show stays tight. We cannot run over 2:15 because it just makes things tedious for the audience and indulgent on our part. Especially for a Neil Simon comedy, crisp, clean, quick acting is key.
Load out was less painful and we were out in time to get a decent night's sleep...

Day 3 & Show #3 coming soon....

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