Ah tech week! Love it or hate it, tech week means that “it’s gettin’ real!” Tech week is the week before the show opens where the actors work with the stage crew and get everything put together so the show can open for a live audience. This includes inserting sound cues (being played in the actual sound system and not a rehearsal boombox), light cues and (for The WordPlayers) building our stage and working on the stage for the first time!
So we open our (fantastic and hilarious) show, Leaving Iowa, on Saturday and how has our Tech Week been? In a way, it’s been a nightmare …but not like you might be thinking! I say a nightmare because every night when I go to bed during tech week I get another scary actor’s dream!
This isn’t really a product of this particular show. On a semi-regular basis I get these on special delivery from my inner-actor’s neuroses, haha! Here’s my recap for the week, plus bonus nightmare o’ the night info:
Monday: We are upstairs on the stage for the first time and not in the rehearsal space. It feels great and there is a new energy to the show. We work out the light & sound cues for Act I (thanks to awesome work by Jeff & Danielle).
Nightmare 1: I’m in a random play and I have no idea what my lines are, trying to learn them backstage and even some onstage (awful feeling permeates throughout dream).
Tuesday: It’s Act II’s turn to be set right with all of the cues. I realize it’s been awhile since we’ve rehearsed some of these scenes, only because they were some of our stronger scenes in rehearsal. It’s cool to see how they fit in with the other scenes now.
Nightmare 2: In another random play, it’s going well but I’m in the green room with some of the other actors and I’m told that my scene has already started. I’m rushed onstage and thrown into the middle of the scene, totally lost. Ughhh.
Wednesday: We run the whole show and start the “steamlining” process, tightening up some of the scenes and cues on the fly. I really start to feel how the momentum of this show can carry us through to the end. We pray for health and energy for the rest of the week (being sick during a show is another nightmare in and of itself).
Nightmare 3: This time the “script is flipped” from Nightmare #1 and now I am the ONLY one who knows his lines and I’m scrambling backstage before going on to try and get everyone where they need to be and when (I really hope our fabulous director, Wendy, has NOT felt like this during our rehearsal time)!!
Thursday: A full dress run, costumes and everything! Everyone looks great! The family (Gabe, Terri and Jeannine) looks adorable together and I have to look away from Matthew and Carrie’s multiple character costumes because I don’t want to bust out laughing in the middle of our scenes!
The energy during the run is way up and, perhaps coincidentally, we’re hearing laughs from our special audience (photo-aficionado, Tom Minter)! Oh and at one point, Gabe (who plays my dad) points out to me that I’m off stage during the performance for about 90 seconds total (good thing the energy is up haha).
Nightmare 4: For no apparent reason, I don’t have a costume for an upcoming scene and I have to run out and try to scrap something together from my car and surrounding shops… not the kind of shopping spree you ever want to take part in.
Friday: I’m writing this on Thursday night and I’m still wide awake because I can’t wait for Friday’s final dress rehearsal and of course the opening on Saturday. Oh and I’m also pumped for our Aletheia Children’s Wing pizza party with our Oak Ridge Boys & Girls Club kids on Friday afternoon!
Nightmare 5: Now while I haven’t technically dreamt this one yet, I really don’t want to dream of a world where YOU, the amazing prospective audience member, misses this show! Please make plans now to come and see this play, we don’t want anyone to miss out on this crazy family trip to remember!!