The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

My Summer Just Got a Lot Busier! May 22, 2014

Hello all!  I have a surprise.  I will get to it in a moment, but first the backstory.  Sorry, I’m an “expositionist.”  I’m a Veeery involved member of a community theatre.  I haven’t been there long, just barely a year.  But I got involved at this time last year and have just fallen in love with it.  I’ve made new friends, learned a LOT of stuff, and found something I enjoy to expand and colorize my world.  I’ve been involved in one aspect or another with every production they have done there since I started.  Last summer I was cast in the chorus of Les Mis, followed by set construction on August: Osage County, followed by set construction and co-lead in Secrets of the Buttermilk Hotel, followed by set construction and backstage crew on Young Frankenstein, followed by set construction and backstage crew on Smokey Joe’s Café, followed by set construction on The 39 Steps.  I have gone from knowing virtually nothing about theater to hoping for a major production team position.

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Every summer at ALT they do a big musical.  This year, it’s ‘Grease.’  They had a bit of a hard time finding a director because people’s schedules just didn’t fit, or things came up, or things fell through, but finally they found a director.  Earlier in the search though, they asked one of my best friends from the theater if she would direct.  After thinking about it for a while, she decided she wasn’t able to make it fit her schedule.  BUT.  During the time she was considering it, we had decided that if she directed, I would get to shadow whomever she picked as her stage manager.  The very day the board representative asked her if she would direct, I went out and bought a couple of binders, page dividers, and page protectors.  I procured a copy of the script and set it up in the binder.  I researched online and printed out some things on stage managing:  Stage Manager’s 10 Commandments, Stage Manager duties and checklist, survival guide, all the good stuff.  I even decorated the cover of my “book” with Grease stuff.  “Preparation, thy name is Klingon Woman!”  In the dictionary under Gung Ho there is a big old picture of me.  (Probably with Sharpie-drawn horns and a villain mustache because my eager-beaver enthusiasm irritated someone who hadn’t had their coffee yet.)

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So anyway.  Then my friend turned down the director job, and I thought, “Oh well.  Maybe another time, no big deal.”  I lost out on the opportunity to shadow the Stage Manager on 39 Steps, but I wasn’t worried, because I knew another opportunity would come up.  So yesterday I was in WalMart shopping for some things for my office, and I got a Facebook message from the executive producer for this show… are you ready for this?…. asking me if I wanted to stage manage Grease.  Not shadow.  Not assist.  DO it!  Wooohoooo!  So of course I immediately said, “Yes! with supervision.”  We talked a little and she assured me that several theater vets have said they would be available for questions and needs, so I am well-supported.

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I talked with the director last night, (who, incidentally, I went to school with and who my little sister and my father both know well) and I think we are going to work very well together.  I have begun to get a good idea of what he expects and how he wants things done, and I am ready to deliver! I’ve got my prompt book set up and ready to go, to-do lists, calendars, lists of things to bring to auditions and rehearsals, lists of things to buy for putting together my Stage Manager Kit… in short- I’m ready to learn and ready to work!

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So that’s my surprise.  In less than a year from my first time ever onstage, I am now a stage manager!  I’m looking forward to the process, even the hard parts.  The part I’m most scared of is the big part:  calling the show. (You know, “Standby Lights 1… Lights 1 Go!” I’ll be responsible for all the light cues, sound cues, fly loft cues, curtain cues, and set changes.  Except I don’t think  I can supervise set change AND call the show.  Maybe.  I’ll have to see how it goes as the process develops through rehearsal.  Ah well.  I’ll figure it out.  Bring it on!

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Stay with me throughout this journey and I’ll talk your ear off about all things Grease!

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Until next time,

D.

 

 

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