So, I now have rehearsals for "Fight Girl, Battle World", I need to start learning the parts from "Infectious Opportunity" and try to keep on top of the OSM award with the NY IT Awards. I begin scheduling my time like a surgeon. When exactly can I hop online, when can I look over my lines, when I can say my lines out loud, when can I look over all my old sound cues from "Fight Girl...", when can I clean or tidy my apartment so I can find things in a hurry, when can I do costumes for my characters for "Infectious", when can I schedule a meet up with my OSM team.
I don't know how I did it, but I did. The days of getting my Master's was coming back to me and I just needed to push on through.
I began juggling everything. Exactly when could I find time to look over lines that was not on the subway. I began running my lines in my head at Fight Girl Rehearsals. I had to eventually stop that as I needed to listen to Abby call the cues. Why is that you might ask? Abby was pregnant and coming to term, so there was a very small chance that I could be running the show once we got into performances. Abby always told me, don't worry, it is a long shot. Don't worry. But, I like to be a little prepared, so I stopped running lines during rehearsals and just did them during the 10 minute breaks from time to time.
It was a rough couple of weeks. 9 to 5 job then going to 6:30 to 10:30 rehearsal, then coming home and working on lines, working on the show, going to bed, get up the next day and repeat.
I had my first rehearsal with Infectious. I was really nervous. I mean, here was this great, talented cast of actors and then there was me. I haven't been on stage in a year. These guys are pros. And, I was taking over for a very talented actor and roles that people had really come to love. The rehearsal started off and I was terrified. What would they think of me? Pete told me to hold my script, would they think I hadn't been looking at my lines? What if I decided to go off book and call line? What if I just couldn't act my way out of a paper bag? By the by, it went fine. After we really started cooking, I felt like I found my footing again and all was well with the world. And, it was really fun.
Then we went into Tech for Fight Girl and did the first show. I got to paint the texture on the set - the orange burn blasts. I felt pretty darn good about that. The show itself was great, it was fun, I only messed up a couple of sound cues, but for the most part, I felt grand. Abby was back in the captain's chair and I was riding co-pilot. I now could just go and do my job for that show and start concentrating on Infectious. However, I was exhausted by this point so the first night I attempted to discuss costumes with Pete, I just found myself pulling half of my closet out onto my bed and began painstakingly describing all of my options via phone. Didn't really work. I told him maybe this would work better with him there seeing the costumes - duh. I then proceeded to go to bed.
The next day, work as usual, me extremely tired and then I got a phone call from Abby around 4pm. I get emails from Abby. I get text messages from Abby. I seldom get a phone call from Abby unless it is something semi-urgent. Gulp.
Abby tells me that she is going to the hospital due to high blood pressure and that she hopes she can make it to the show to run it, but wants me to be prepared if she can't. Now, on one hand, I hope that it is nothing and she can make to the show, cause by the by-I've never actually "called" a show. I have run lights and sound simultaneously, I have run lights with a co-pilot running their own sound a time or two. But, never, have I been in charge of making sure everything, even things I don't physically run, runs perfectly - this is including cue lights for different things. A minor panic runs through me. However, Abby is going to the hospital. Of course, my worry and concern for my friend and of course, her baby she is carrying and her husband all come to the fore front and I realize what I have to do.
I'll be damned if this women carrying a precious being in her is going to run a show after a trip to the hospital. So, I guess it's time for me to learn a new skill-calling a show.
I find out by the time I get to the space that Abby has been admitted to the hospital. Now my worry for her cranks up. My worry for the cast and crew of how they are going to accept this news. Their worry for their friend and for their show. The whole cast rides the waves like pros. And, give me their full faith that I was going to do a great job.
Abby had also told me I would do great and that I had nothing to worry about. But, of course, I was worried. I loved this show and the cast and the whole sha-bang. Oh, and did I mention - it was sold out for the run, so there's that whole full house thing too.
My worries subsided some when I found out that Patrick, who designed the sound for the show (and got nominated for a NY IT Award for it) was coming to take my place in running the sound as I called the show. A very trusty co-pilot. Life was looking up.
My first time through, my pulse was pumping like a sub-woofer through my whole body. I am sure if you looked closely, you could see every vein pulsating. I also had not been on a computerized lighting board since college - usually I work on a 2 scene pre-set. But, 2 seconds of overview and everything was easy peasy, lemon squeezy. It was just the calling that scared me to death. After the opening, the hairy craziness of the the first scene, my pulse began to slow down and I began to find the rhythm. The rest of the run was great - a few miss calls, a couple of times of darkness on stage, but all in all, everything was OK. And, I came to find out that calling a show was really fun.
Also, in case you have been in a cave, Abby had her baby. He's adorable. Mommy, daddy and baby are all well. It's a wonderful thing.
So, we closed Fight Girl, and I went in the next day for my first performance with "Infectious Opportunity". I had to tell all the Vampire Cowboys I couldn't be at strike. First strike I have missed....um...I think ever. But, I believe it was a good enough excuse.
We did a run through prior to the performance and then I had to go on. In front of my peers. In front of people who knew and loved this show. Again, the pulse started to raise, except this time, I knew I had to keep it under control - people would be watching. And, would also see my whole body vibrating. A few slow breaths, lights went out and "show time." I felt I did a really decent job. Of course, I am going to be my own worse critic, so I am going to try and focus on the positives. Of course, as I write this, about 10 negative things come with every positive, but I will self edit. Here goes:
I definitely got all the lines out. I felt I met the challenges and moved on through. I also felt I brought differences - nothing better than Ronica did - but differences to the roles, that were fun and I hope enjoyed by the audience.
During this time, I also got a call from Shay Gines of the NY Innovative Theatre Awards asking if I would like to announce some nominees at the IT Awards nomination party on Monday night. I said sure. The candle had been burning at both ends with another candle attached across the top, also burning at both ends. I could add one more flame - sure.
The night of the nominations came and by now, my pulse no longer beat like a thousand drums, it just sort of went about at it's normal pace. I announced, I chatted, I had a great time. And, again, got to be around an incredible group of amazing talent.
On the Outstanding Stage Manager Award, flights of emails went back and forth during this busy time. We have a great group of professionals that are ready to get together and vote. We are still working out the details as I speak.
That's it folks. I guess this really was a "what did I do with my summer vacation"? I have come to realize how lucky I am for one, every instance I was given, I was able to hang out, talk with and work with amazing talented people who are also just some of the best people around. And of course the ever pursuit of Independent Theatre, people, Independent Theatre.