Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Rock and Roll "Big Voice" in Indio.

Halfway to Indio, Jim asked me if I had packed the keyboard stand.

"No."

"The sound cues."

"No."

"I asked you about the sound cues last week."

"Oh. I thought we had a disc in the folder."

"What folder?"

"Don't we have a show folder?"

"No, we don't have a show folder."

He pulled over into a foreign grocery store parking lot -- not foreign language, just not in our region -- and called Rick, the stage manager.

"He has a recording studio. He'll bring a keyboard stand."

We get to the theater. It's an old movie complex turned multi-stage performing arts center. Still new in its conversion, it's much changed since the last time we were here with "Zero Hour" where Jim's dressing room said STORAGE on the door.

The script was being printed out as we arrived.

Rick said, "I just take 'em in order. If I tried to read ahead, I'd never get anything done."

Shamedly, I said to him, "I don't have sound cues. But I can get them if I can get on the net."

He said, "Good omen! When everything's going bad it means you'll have a good show."

My laptop wouldn't connect because of the city firewall -- it's a city building -- so I had to download an FTP program, get the mp3s, and burn them to a disc -- thank god I'm a computer geek. The disco would not play in the CD players. At that point, I gave up. I knew he had a recording studio of his own, so he would know how to make it all work.

And he did.

But by then, it was 4pm. Too late for a tech. So we set the sound cues.

Then we met the -- I don't know his title -- general manager for the facility, a charming British fellow who told us a funny story about Princess Margaret. (Back in the 80s, he ran ran the hospital where Princess Diana kissed the man with AIDS, thus making us positoids visible and touchable in the world. He was there.)

As for lighting, we had a general wash plus two volunteer senior citizens on spotlights.

We decided that the Stage Manager, who acts as a traffic cop shows, anyway, could just wing it. And since he could only talk to one of the spotlight operators, we said to just assign each of us a spot and tell that person to follow us.

And that's what we did. Rick cued the one spotlight operator, punched the sounds cues (perfectly, I might add) , hit the lights and ran the show like a bus driver seeing the road for the first time. He was reading and seeing the show as it ran!

Totally guerilla.

And it totally worked. The audience went nutso / crazy, leaping to their feet.

I did not tape anything or take any pictures. Something told me to play this one in real life. It was like a white knuckle ride all day long and I didn't want to make it worse.

But tomorrow! Tomorrow I bring it along and we have some fun. You have to meet these fabulous people.
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