Gone mad gone mad gone mad gone mad! Three weeks, three technical rehearsals, nine dress rehearsals, three opening nights, three plotting sessions, forty two hours spent going up and down ladders, two turnarounds, twenty seven practicals, sixty three dimmers, two lighting desk crashes, one broken DMX adaptor, one sick hazer, endless notes, gone mad gone utterly, utterly mad.
Never again! But never again, I say lord, never again will I even consider attempting doing three shows in a row like this! I mean, sure, it’s nice that all three shows are in the same venue, and that venue a very groovy one and very well staffed, and all this with the same designer (the ever-brilliant Katie Lias) – but what this means in practice is that for every single rehearsal I’ve been in except the very last one, I’ve been sat behind a lighting desk, staring up at the grid, wondering how the hell I’m going to make the next show work. Three different directors, with three different casts, have walked into the venue with three different plays and three different sets of expectations, while myself and the designer have sat with our heads in our hands trying to make all of this come together with just one lighting rig, and one stage. From the first ringing of my alarm clock in the morning to the last collapse into bed, my head has been full of numbers, patch sheets, focus points and cue structures for three whole weeks. Not counting, of course, the five weeks of prep and rehearsals that happened beforehand. When I close my eyes, I can see lighting effects playing relentlessly across the back of my retina. When I sleep I dream of cue lines off which the next set of staggered moves will run. In the venue I jump now at the sound of a scroller getting stuck in its end position; flinch whenever the haze reveals just how inadequate my general cover is to the sheer size of space it’s supposed to light.
But now… we’ve got three hours until the last dress rehearsal, seven until the last opening night, and then, Friday morning! Oh god but how I dream of Friday morning, how I yearn for Friday morning, of staying late in bed, of getting up slowly and cooking – dear god what an idea – cooking an actual hot meal with actual hot food in it. Of maybe, very slowly, shuffling off to the local library and sitting in a corner to read comic books for an hour. Of perhaps having a hot bath, or going to bed early to the sound of the radio, of doing – dear god how this thought fills me with joy – doing some laundry after three weeks of neglect, perhaps of vacuuming the living room, maybe even going so far as to change some sheets or comb my hair. Oh Friday! Most glorious day! How long have I been waiting to meet you?!