Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring One-Acts at UNC

Hello, to all of you!

I'm writing to you just off of a rather hellish week, one which I plan to describe in detail. But first, some enjoyable stuff!

I'll be traveling with family to the UK early this summer. We've made plans to visit the West End, basically England's Broadway, and catch a performance of Wicked. No biggie, right?

No, but, like, seriously, I'm immensely excited for that.

I'm also nearly finished with school! Just one more week of classes and another of finals, and then I can take a break! (And by break, I mean working full-time and taking online classes. No rest for the wicked, eh?)

Now, for the hell which I've dealt with for the past week.

As you know from my earlier posts, I was given the task of being the Production Manager for the Spring One-Acts, something I was both looking forward to and scared of. For the past couple months, I've played a rather small role, simply communicating with the Stage Managers to make sure all was well on their end and gathering information such as floor plans and rehearsal reports. It wasn't until this past Monday that I took on a dominant role. Or... would have.

You see, the instructor for the directing class that directs the One-Acts has what he calls a "Type A" personality, but what most would consider an "unparalleled control freak" personality. During the first night that I was supposed to be in charge, he sat in at the rehearsals, which wasn't that big of a deal to me. However, from the start of the day, he was asking me questions that I couldn't have the answers to, wanting things I never had, expecting all this stuff from me that couldn't be expected. He nearly flipped out when he realized I didn't have a master key for the building; I ended up running around campus to borrow one for the day.

Come Tuesday, I had a master key for the building, but the teacher still barraged me with questions and expectations. However, it wasn't until Wednesday, our dress rehearsal, that I truly came to loathe him.

Just as directors need to trust the Stage Managers to run the shows once it comes to performances, I needed him to hand the productions over to me and let me run them. And he wouldn't. He questioned everything, had to know that every exact detail was being performed to his liking. And he treated me, and the stage managers, and the light and sound board operators, as if we were children. He felt it necessary to show me how you can tell if a door is locked or unlocked (for those curious, the pull bar is pushed in when locked, and out when unlocked), just because the button to operate the lock is finicky.

And I had to deal with this same controlling behavior for every, single, performance. Constantly running every aspect of the performances, reducing me to nothing more than a stagehand.

I have gone months with absolutely no friendly human contact. I've dealt with heartbreak, agony, and loss. But that was the longest week of my life. If I never have to work with that man again, it will still be too soon.

That being said, I am glad to have worked with so many wonderful stage managers. And it was an overall worthwhile experience, if only for the camaraderie it built between us.

Hopefully, my next post won't be so depressing. We can always hope, right?

Until next time!

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