Mon. Nov 2, 2015
Rush hour on the PATH train is like the hunger games, there's barely room to breathe let alone stand. However, I still managed to make it to 42nd Street by 9am from Newport.
We taped out only the basic outline of what we'd need to begin with, the wings, apron, the scrim line, where the bridge posts land and the diagonal bridge aisle. Then we marley taped down any spikes that may end up under chairs, piano or dragging furniture.
I then attended my very first Equity meeting! There was so much information, in so little time, about 401K's, Health Plans, Layoffs, etc.
We spent the rest of the day taping out, and we met our IATSE Props Head, Tommy. I was glad I packed snacks and dumbfounded to think that I'd chosen my "professional name" that very day for Equity.
Tues. Nov 3, 2015
All was going well until Danny, our Movement Coach, discovered we didn't have even half of the units he'd need to choreograph the ensemble. There was a meeting to determine what was needed and how it'd be obtained. Meanwhile, I worked with Carolyn, our PA, to unwrap our Props package, split them into groups (e.g/dishware, papers, sheets) and then a rough Stage Right/Left preset using the Broadway Preset Checklist. Afterwards, Tommy and I grabbed drinks at the Playwright Celtic Bar.
Weds. Nov 4, 2015
Wednesday was our first day of staging. This was an especially rough day for everyone because only Tyne (the Director, who was Asst.Dir. for the Broadway show) knew what the show looked like. The paperwork given to Stage Management was inconsistent, which made it a rather frustrating day because we couldn't accurately anticipate the Directors needs. Joshua and Melissa worked through lunch on a conference call to identify and confirm what had to be purchased, built or mocked up.
The biggest lesson of the day was to talk less and listen more. Mainly because my mouth ran away from me when I said "I'll be your steering wheel anytime you need" to Andrew (Robert Kincaid) with an unintentional and inappropriately flirtatious tone.
Thrs. Nov 5, 2015
Thursday was a better day. Scenic elements arrived that we had requested: Robert's truck, Francesca's bed, 4 fence mockups, Francesca's sink and the bar. We all started to get a better grasp on how to use our paperwork to anticipate props and scene shifts. Lisa, the Stage Manager for the workshops, the Williamstown performances AND Broadway, came by at lunch and I worked through my break to learn everything I could from her about what we did and didn't have in props land. Which was very good, because we discovered that we had received cut props, rehearsal props and other superfluous items. Things were still intense but getting better.
While travelling back to New Jersey with Tommy, he taught me a little how a Head of Department can fire a Local IATSE crew member and even stop a load-in or load-out. He also explained more about the various jobs that fall under his jurisdiction which includes: loading in the marley floor, setting up the orchestra pit, supervising LOCAL crews as well as unloading all the costumes and props road boxes.
Fri. Nov 6, 2015
My back really hurt Friday morning from helping to lift and twist Roberts truck pallet in and out of the elevator. I wore my "Keep Calm and Let The Stage Manager Handle It" t-shirt; having learned from Melissa quite well last Monday. Tensions ran high between Joshua and I around midday, but we both acknowledged it was really a consequence of the frustrating situation we were in and were back on the same page after lunch.
We accomplished a couple big ensemble numbers, which is always a fun experience as a Stage Manager because there are often numerous conversations going on in the room. I wrote fast, knew actors names, and listened carefully. (All those notes were later transferred to post-its at their appropriate cues.)
Costumes provided us with lots of presents: including glasses, purses, shoes and jackets and the day ended on a positive note.
Sat. Nov 7, 2015
A really long day.
We staged almost 20 pages, and I hardly sat down all day. We then ran 3 or 4 huge scene changes and it was quite overwhelming. It's so hard to actualize scene changes with accurately sized scenic pieces when you don't have the actual wing space. Ugh. But everyone survived and I didn't hurt any actors.
On the way back to New Jersey, Tommy told me he's also responsible to help coordinate the trucks. He then told me some fun war stories about the times when trucks have broken down on him, like the time that a truck took out a light pole trying to back into a loading dock on a Sunday.
Did you know that its possible to actually slide the 5th set of wheels back and forth to adjust the turn radius of a semi trailer?!