We Go Together

Monday, 10 November 2014

I apologise for my absence this past week. It has been one hectic week with not enough hours in the day. In addition to working my usual hours, I had the added responsibility of being the lighting desk operator for my local choral society's youth production of 'Grease'. I was fortunate to perform in their previous production of 'Grease' nine years ago as Jan. All of the memories of that production came back when I read this new production's script. This time around however, I took on the technical role of lighting desk operator, working closely with the assistant director on what lighting she wanted for each scene and each musical number. Here are some pictures that I took on my mobile phone from that week. 

'Grease' was my third production with the choral society as the lighting desk operator and my second production programming the entire show from beginning the end. I had worked as the spot-light operator for two shows prior to my first as the lighting desk operator. But I do operator the lighting desk and spot-light together. That is no mean feat. Trust me. Especially when cues for the stage go hand-in-hand with the spot-light. 

My favourite scene to execute was 'Greased Lightning'. There were six quick-fire cues on the lead up to the song to punctuate the iconic words, 'Why this car can be...'. Additionally, in the background we had a star cloth lit by LED lights that I could program to any colour that I desired. Initially at the start of the scene they were light blue to simulate stars but throughout the song I was able to push a button on the 'submaster' and turn them instantly to another colour. Throughout Greased Lightning, I manually made those change colour to the beat of the song and punctuate the music again. Then at a crucial moment of the song, we had strip LED lights on the 'bleachers' so that they would light up and quickly change random pre-programmed colours in 0.1 seconds. It was a truly exhausting number with 10 programmed cues and who knows how many 'star' changes. But it was definitely my favourite number and one that I was extremely proud of. *pats self on the back* 

Ultimately, my most treasured experience from this production, and any production, is seeing my friend, Danny. He is the sound technician and he taught me how to program the lighting board. He programmed everything previously With this show, he had a new sound mixing desk that required a steep learning curve. He was stressed beyond belief because of it. We're an amateur society and we don't have the luxury of time when it comes to technical rehearsals. We have two days to set up and perfect it and even then, we only have a handful of hours with the cast to get sound levels perfected and that is on the fly as they run through the show. Danny was able to leave the light programming in my hands and concentrate on the microphones. We've always made a great team.

Plus, we drank too much coffee (as evidenced by my mug and Nescafe sachet) and munched on far too  many custard creams. But I regret nothing.

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