Monday, March 07, 2005

I'm Baaaaack!

Well, my stint as Stage Manager/Prop Mistress for Hedda Gabler is finally over--pretty much, anyway. We opened this past weekend and have more shows to do. I'll be there during all six as well as during the big strike after the last performance. It's also my job to take care of the little things that happen during the run of the show:

  • I want to sew back on the cute tassels that one of the actors cut off (I don't know why) the purse I made for her so that it will once again look Victorian.
  • The trousers we rented for our male lead has one leg about 2" shorter than the other. None of us involved in the show had noticed it until this weekend when several audience members asked why he was leaning so much to the left.
  • I need to do some magic with Olde English Scratch Remover on the chairs the actors bump into when taking their place on a completely dark stage. (Reminder to self: put glow-tape on furniture edges)
  • The beautifully painted floor (see, we perform in a 4-H barn and use upside-down vinyl flooring so we can paint whatever we want on it) has several spots where the paint is rubbing off the shiny silver duct tape that I forgot to cover with masking tape. Under stage lighting, it makes our little Victorian living room look like a basketball court.
  • I'd like to do some research on Victorian Rum Punch. Seriously. I mean, what is it and what can we use to fake it onstage? I'm sure nobody cares but me, but I guess I've got to obsess about something...
  • I haven't been at the theatre since about midnight Saturday, and I'd bet my disability check that somebody (you know who you are!) left her costume lying on the floor in a heap. More ironing for me, dammit.
  • I need to carefully write out exactly what to do during scene changes, since I invariably forget to place some prop or leave the curtains open when they should be closed. It causes my actors to become pissed off at me when they should instead revere me with fear and awe.
  • I've got to figure out how to communicate to our lights person that the final line SHOULD NOT be delivered in the dark, nor should our actors have to freeze like deer in headlights at the end of the play.

So, you see, an SM's job is never done, but it does ease up eventually. Now I have time and energy to do other things. I used to Stage Manage (and even direct) shows while working full time. That's probably one of the things that made me so sick. Although Hedda did have some crazy moments, I didn't feel as stressed out as I used to because I was able to spend extra time on it and get rested up when I needed to. These days, my shrink, my therapist, and even my family doc have suggested that I do some volunteer work to get me out of the house once in a while. I wonder if they realize the Pandora's Box they've opened!!

Before I close this post, I'd like to toot my own horn a bit. Yeah, I know we're taught that modesty is the best policy and all that crap, but I'm discovering that most of us could do with a little self-appreciation once in a while. All my life I've been plagued with low self-esteem, but when I look at the set of Hedda Gabler it all goes away. I painted it and decorated it almost all by myself and it looks fucking fantastic. When you add the hot-shit lighting design and the beautiful cast with their gorgeous Victorian costumes (made/assembled by Theresa), you forget you're in the 4-H barn of a county fairground. No wonder, I think to myself, that during the run of the show I was asked by no fewer than three directors if I'd consider working on their upcoming shows. Hmmm...I'll have to get back to them after I finish drinking my martini and patting myself on the back!

Another cool thing I've got to mention... I am not what one would consider vain. I rarely wear makeup any more, have little or no sense of fashion, and choose shoes that are more utilitarian than sexy. People have pretty much gotten used to seeing me very "frumped out," especially when I'm out at the theatre painting, hanging lights, or doing something questionable with power tools.

What's cool about this is that on opening night, I did my hair (well, washed and brushed it anyway), made up my face, put on my best black (I still have backstage work to do, remember) outfit, and slipped into my painful but oh-so-sexy FMPs. I think I was complemented by nearly everyone who saw me at the reception after the show--and it felt great! One man in particular whom I'd formerly only known by name and had not met until he helped us on the set, hugged me several times and introduced me in glowing terms to everyone he spoke with. I know we're both married, but I secretly find him extremely attractive and the attention made me, um, uh, would quiver be an appropriate verb here?

Well, I guess that about does it with the Hedda talk. I'm back on track and have a lot of reading and posting to do. I'll try to focus my creativity on 2 Hot Chiks for a while at least. I miss you, dear readers, and I'm glad to be back!


At 11:13 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Bravo to Lu! The set was in fact amazing. We should get a photo next weekend to post on the blog.

She also looked totally HOT Friday night. I saw her after the show and couldn't keep my grubby little paws off her. As for the married guy fussing over her, YummmmmmY!

At 12:12 PM, Blogger cricket said...

that sounds like a lot of work and a lot of fun, all rolled together...go you!! :)

and 'quiver' is *always* an appropriate verb... :D

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Me said...

The set is awesome, awesome, awesome.

My costumes, anyway were hung up or put on the throw bar. I don't recall seeing anyone's on the floor when I left, and I was the last one in there. . .

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the tassels came off because she was playing with them too much on stage. She came back after her first scene and had them in her hand.

I always try to make sure everyones costumes are off the floor and hung up ,one way or other. Especially after scene changes. I am more than willing to help with that. Hey, it's COMMUNITY THEATRE.

Thanks for all your help with my make-up on Saturday. Your critical eye really helped me get it right this time. I came home and took a bunch of pictures of my face so I could remember. Boy, do I look old!
Love Ya Baby!! BTW I know who the guy was!!

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Larry Jones said...

Lu: Honesty. Honesty is the best policy, never modesty. And congratulations on your achievement.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Lu, the set was great. Chuck and I both commented on it before the show began. Also, I gotta say it's so great to see you out there doing your thing again. :-)

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Lu said...

Comments on the comments:
Thanks, T: if we do indeed take a photo next weekend, it's going to have to be sans FMPs--my feet are still recovering!
cricket & Larry Jones: Thanks for your support--I wish you were close enough to come see the show (I have extra comps...)
Kris: You're even more awesome than the set! And I have to admit that I took a bit of creative license with the wrinkled costume bit--sorry, didn't mean to offend.
Ellen: Isn't it strange what stage lights can do to makeup? We just had to do the trial and error thing until you got it perfect. Thanks to you, too, for all YOUR help. You're a peach!
Matt: What Sweeties you and Chuck are! But what's with the pic? It doesn't do you justice--you should take one that shows how g'lookin' you are!

Sure is good to be back!



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