« 219 > 212 | Main | Bee Eff Dee »

Lord, I'm so tired. How long can this go on?

Tech week is upon us, the time when everybody in the show, not just the actors and the director but the sound and lights and tech and costume and props and front-of-house and publicity people all think to themselves, wouldn’t it be nice to have a hobby that involved less work? Like building those ships inside bottles? Or maybe butter sculpture?

Call last night was for 6:30; YHB left at 11:30, and I am told that the remaining crew left around midnight. We were painting the last bits of the set, hoping it dries before 6 this evening, when we start assembling again. I am not much of a hand with a paintbrush, but I did a little bit before realizing that I really was tired enough to be problematic for the short drive home in the rain. Which, since this morning my Best Reader found the bottle of port in the fridge, seems to have been a more or less correct assessment of my mental state. Safety, as our fight choreographer says, is reallyreallyfirst.

I do feel bad that I have managed now to show up at three work calls and do almost no actual work. For those of y’all that haven’t done community theater, one of the sources of tension is that many of the actors simply never show up on a Saturday to paint or build or shift furniture. I generally am an offender in that, which I justify to myself by the importance of spending time with my children, when I can manage it. Probably the same is true of the other people in the cast; we do spend many, many hours at the theater, and volunteering to spend more is not really high on our whatsit. For myself, there is another issue, which is that I am not good at that set-building stuff, and I dislike feeling that incompetent. And, since I am incompetent, I am able to tell myself that the crew are not losing much by my absence.

In actual fact, I can wield a paintbrush without doing damage, and am perfectly good at, for instance, holding a bit of wood while somebody sinks a screw in it. Not to mention, my broom skills are actually quite tolerable, and when it comes to hauling a sack of trash to the dumpster, I admit to no better. There is always a large amount of unskilled labor involved, and if I don’t do it, somebody else will have to.

So, out of the eight or ten work calls for R3, I have made it out to three. For the first, logistics prevented me being there at the beginning, so when I arrived a couple of hours in, it was just in time to some ten minutes of sweeping up sawdust and flinging screws in the bucket, and then we broke up for the day. I joked about how brilliant my timing was, and posed with the broom. The second time, I arrived at the beginning, helped to tidy the green room, moved some bits of wood around, held a strip of wood while the set guy measured it, and then toddled off. I did not, this time, joke about getting credit for showing up without having to do any work. Last night was the third, staying around after the technical to help out with the painting, or rather “help out” with the painting, since I did a lot of very little. And then toddled off. Perhaps the other fellows made the jokes this time.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,