Mar. 24th, 2015

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Well, that was quite fun! =^.^=
While it lasted, anyway...

The Mousetrap is now over, and I won't have anything directly theatre-related until June or July when the panto auditions are scheduled.
(I still have the magic wand to build, but that's not quite the same as working with theatre people on a regular basis)

Three weeks before the show began its run, the stage manager brought in another young guy and announced that he was the assistant stage manager.
Since the director had told me that she would encourage the SM to use me as the ASM, I was quite disappointed, until the SM corrected herself and said that was in addition to myself.
So, two ASMs, kinda relieved that it did happen.

Anyway, I was stationed stage-right (left side of the stage, audience-wise, for those not in the know), so I monitored almost everything backstage before and during each performance.
I was equipped with a "ClearCom" unit, which is a one-ear headset with a mic that allows most backstage staff to communicate, so I was able to let the SM know when we had all the actors ready to go, relay questions between actors and the SM, as well as the usual duty of making sure the actors had their props when they needed them.

My side of the stage also had the backstage PA mic, so I was tasked with letting the actors know how much time they had before the next Act, calling “Places”, etc.

The other ASM had a bit more work to do, which included moving to the back of the set to run the snow “machine” (really a grate full of a snow-like powder that dropped the “snow” when shaken), assist a couple of the actors with a quick-change between Day 1 and Day 2 of the play, and, I'm sure, several other tasks that I'm still unaware of.

It was a fun show, but being a drama, it was almost impossible to tell how much the audience liked it.
What little laughter there had been was related only to the very minor comedic moments, and even then not all of them, so the only person who was able to know first-hand how well the show went over with the audience is the people doing front-of-house.

The first act was where most of the behind-the-scenes action took place, making sure actors had their props and didn't have to walk the thirty or forty feet to get them before walking back onstage, but the second act was almost completely dead, owing to the fact that the first act was set-up and the second contained all the drama.
This meant that I could play around on my phone during the second act without needing to pay much if any attention to the play, aside from having one ear cocked to the dialogue to make sure I didn't miss the ending.
(it was too dark backstage to try doing any book reading or paper-based Sudoku or crosswords)

I'd definitely do something like this again should the opportunity arise.


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Carl Foxmarten

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