July 8, 2009
I recently realized that you don't understand how much you've learned until you're forced to apply it.
In the theatre world, Cue to Cue (Q2Q) day is the day the stage manager puts everything together - lights, sound, set, and scene changes. On our Q2Q for whatever reason, our stage manager was unable to make it, and I had to step up and take action.
I think I take my education for granted sometimes. At GC (my alma mater) we were worked and critiqued hard. At times I didn't think anything was ever really enough. I didn't understand it at the time. Although looking back, maybe I did. I just didn't like it.
I had to lose a lot to gain, also. I lost a lot of myself while at GC in a theatrical sense, but I think I had to lose it. I needed to be stripped bare and needed to start from scratch, because it was the only way to really make everything better. If a tiny part of the foundation isn't sound, it ruins the entire structure. This also happened on a personal level, but that's a much more personal post for a much different day.
Theatrically, I gained a knowledge of when to be strong, compassionate, empathetic, heartless, and when to fight and when to give in. I learned that beating my head into a brick wall eventually makes a spot soft enough to give. I learned the difference between someone venting and someone truly having a complaint and wanting something to change. I know when to be soft and polite, and when to be assertive and grab someone by the balls. Not that I am perfect at these things. But I understand them.
Many curve balls were thrown on Saturday. It was a holiday, so we had to let everyone go by 3:30. For whatever reason, the lighting designer never met with the director, didn't have a cue sheet, and was not invited to dry tech. The sound designer was MIA (although he has all of two cues). Set pieces still were not done. We were missing at least 3 crucial members of our 6 - 7 member running crew. Yet over the course of a day and a half, it managed to call come together. And though I'm tooting my own horn, I pulled it together using everything I learned at GC.
Granted, it's still a bit of a mess in all areas, including personal ones. It's not worth getting into here, but I know everyone is counting down the days and I'm surprised a Times Square-inspired countdown clock has not been constructed in the green room. But tonight is our Invitational Dress, which is the first time we receive an audience. We open Friday. And then I'm pretty sure we'll all share a colossal keg.