Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a genuine Yes Man. Ask me anything and unless someone beat you to it, there’s a very good chance I’ll do it for you- From bar duty over building your house to finding a cure for cancer overnight; Sure, why not. The only condition is me enjoying it, and I happen to have a very broad interest.
I do so because I like doing so. I like to work and I like the challenges it brings. It creates opportunity and makes everybody fucking thrilled to have me around- what more could I ask for?
Among these things lately, I’ve learned to support bands and performing artists technically, and of course soon requests came leaking in.
I like doing this kind of thing, so it saddens me to be reaching that stage where I have to start asking money. I think I can deliver enough quality (as I’ve proven repeatedly) and I need to start getting into the habit of making a living off of this. Direct result of course, will be that my biggest fans won’t think twice about losing me like a bad habit.
I hope their appreciation will last through this, but I’m not counting on it much. Chances are, I’ll be looking for a completely different target audience soon- the kind that doesn’t take mistakes lightly. I’m slowly entering the snake pit, and any mistake now will last me through the rest of my career, whatever it might be.
What’s more awesome than inventing systems and learning electronics from scratch and proceed to build an epic theater set? Doing it twice.
We’re doing re-runs of our last performance with the usual theater group, which means that our three-headed stage team has to go through the exhausting process of building the whole damn thing, all over again. For those who might remember: This is the gig I built an electro-magnet system from scratch for, and for which I installed a wireless 450 LED circuit under a table. Both things I had never done, before.
Tonight was the first show, tomorrow the second and last, unless we get selected for a “best of the best” festival in November? Did I mention our shit was epic? It looks like we’re in but we’ll know in 3-4 weeks.
Our crew consists of a retired carpenter (They don’t make ‘em any better than him), a rather dashing fashion designer, and a stage builder/technician, which is me. Without pride or bias, I can say we are as good as it gets. The three of us made the impossible happen, routinely. We rock and there’s no other way to see it.
Officially there are five of us, so I should mention the other two: There’s the “manager” who hasn’t shown his face at work for more than four hours (although his help is appreciated), and the local light technician providing us with the light design and installation. Design of the set, building of it, development of mechanic systems, making drapes, designing costumes, making costumes, designing flyer and poster and controlling light schemes, is left to the rest of us. Among other things.
Part of what makes this production such a challenge is because organization is non-existing. My friend who was sound tech last time, wasn’t even included in the mailing list when details were sent around, and as a result he couldn’t make it. Stagehands are promised but never show up- they later claim to have been contacted only the previous day. A choir was supposed to be booked; never happened. It’s a disaster.
An actress, who hasn’t spoken more than four words to me since I joined the group 4 years ago, came up to me today and said out of the blue, “I’m really sorry for what you have to go through to do all this for us. I don’t know what we will do without you.”
You see, my colleagues don’t have the stage builder’s nihilistic resilience to organizational fuck-ups, and have to vent this to others. I don’t mind- at least my opinion is represented without me having to make a fuss. But, it has come so far that one of us is quitting, and the other two, me included, will have other things to do the next production. The situation, thus, is as following:
As of the end of this production, the theater group will have zero technicians, and zero stage builders. Rehearsals are already underway for the next play, which will be premiering 1st of April. Yes, that’s in 4 weeks. Where we were halfway done with the design last time, they don’t even have any volunteers, yet.
I give them two weeks before I expect an email.
We’re a little short on hands here because of our incompetence. We have a few stagehands, none in fact, but we still need someone for a few details which is, fucking everything. Would you know anyone? Like, yourself?
Thanks for nothing,
I promised myself I actively wouldn’t give a damn about the next production because I have my own festival to build for school, not to mention classes and internships in between. If I start caring one rat’s ass, I just know I’ll be sucked in, wanting to get things done right and thus doing them myself. I’m not going to do that to myself. I need to concentrate or I’ll end up doing everything half-assed, giving me frustration instead of any kind of satisfaction.
Yes, satisfaction, because don’t get me wrong, I love this job. I love creating things from loose parts, learning as I go, and being an essential part of something so effective and creative as our team. I literally never thought myself capable of the things I pulled off recently. I’ll miss it terribly, but I have other priorities now. The overlooking management will have to do the very thing they suck most at: