Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day Nine - "...with a little help from my FRIENDS!"

And so, we have reached the last post for this blog. The show is over, classes have started, and life has resumed for the cast and crew of Fables for Friends.

Even though it was only nine days, it felt like so much more than that. It is truly amazing how a group of people can accomplish SO MUCH in such a short period of time. Everyone was dedicated and enthusiastic and wonderful. We all worked our butts off, and it was SO worth it. I highly encourage all of you Jumbos reading this to get involved in an O-Show at some point during your time here at Tufts. You won't regret it. But, even if you can't for some reason, there is always so much more waiting to be done during the year. :)

If you have been reading this blog all along, THANK YOU! YOU ROCK!

If you have just started and this is the first thing you have read, you are in for quite the ride. Re-live our adventure starting from HERE.

Thanks again to the wonderful cast and crew of FFF. This show would have never been possible without a little help from some friends.


Day Nine - Why I love ASMing.

2011 O-Show ASMs and blogger extraordinaires!

As of right now, I have ASMed for three different shows (and SMed one). All that I can say is that I love it, and I know that in the giant grand scheme of theater things, it is where I belong. While I do enjoy acting, and have even dabbled in directing and design, nothing makes me happier than to sit backstage and listen to the laughter from the audience and the chatter from the booth.
Besides spending lots of time sitting in the dark backstage, there are other more reasonable reasons why I think ASMing (or SMing I guess) is the best.

1. You get to see and take part in both aspects of the production process. The stage management crew is present at EVERY. SINGLE. REHEARSAL. and therefore gets to know the actors and the show itself quite well. Not only that, but the SM team is also in constant contact with the designers and technical directors, and gets the chance to get to know them and understand more of what they do.

2. You have power. After the director (and sometimes even before...), the SM crew is at the top of the chain of command. Every little thing that has anything to do with the production goes through them. Therefore, it is their job to KNOW EVERYTHING ALWAYS.

3. Although you may not be onstage as an SM or an ASM, you are STILL a crucial part of the flow and success of the show. Recognizing cues and pacing on stage is essential to keeping the show running smoothly. The best shows with the best SMs and ASMs are the ones where they are not noticed.

4. You learn SO MUCH. This kind of ties into the first idea. Whether it is your first time working in stage management, or your 40th, you always learn something new about the wonderful world of theater. After working on a show, you might learn the value of being on-time, or maybe how to clean a samovar, or what acting exercises work best for young actors.

5. The headset. I can't say enough how cool it is to wear one of those things.

(Pre - Dress Rehearsal photo)
6. Did I mention it is fun, too?

Day Nine - FFF BFFs


Day Nine - Chocks Away! Geronimo!

Last night was our last performance. NINE DAYS after returning to Tufts and having our first pstaff meetings and read-throughs, we closed the show. How cool is that?

We went out with a bang too, if I do say so myself.

The Monday night order of shows was flipped from Sunday, so the TTII show went first at 8pm. The FFF cast and crew gathered in the Sculpture Court (that big echo-y space by the Art Gallery) at 9pm to talk about strike after the show. After that, the cast quietly filed into the dressing rooms to begin doing makeup and such, while the rest of the crew, myself included, sat around and waited for the musical to finish so we could help them clear out their stuff and set up ours.
Once the musical was done, we all went into superhyperfastpreset mode. Jeff and Cole and Theresa and Kyle P. all helped me set things in their proper places. (THANKS GUYS!!) It took us maybe 20 minutes to set everything, which is impressive considering the sheer number of THINGS that were used in the show.

Once we were all set, and the actors were all ready, we started the show.

Besides being a great run all around, this night was extrasuperduper special because Tufts' President Anthony Monaco was in attendance for the show. Despite having a smaller audience than Sunday night, we all had a blast, and the show was over before we knew it.

It's an Abby/ie sandwich with a Jeff bun!
(From left to right: Jeff R. - Asst. Lights, Abbie - Lights Design, Abby - ASM, Jeff - SM)

Once the audience members cleared out, all the backstage lights were turned on and we all went into STRIKE MODE!! RAAAAAAAWWR!! Every single person (from both shows) had a specific role to do. I took care of putting props away with the help of Theresa and Mayabea and Hannah. While we were all strike-ing, Lizzie played music over the sound system, so it was more like a party. My favorite prop that I put away was the leftover donuts that were not used in scene 2. I ate them. Well, one. It was yummy.

It was all over by about 1am. All the props and furniture and costumes were back in stock, the stage was swept, the lights adjusted to what they were before...almost like we were never there.
Before leaving, Thomas and Emily made sure we all signed the posters for our shows. We have a tradition in 3Ps to use signed posters as souvenirs for shows. I already have quite the collection of them. My FFF poster is now hanging lovingly on my wall above my desk, where it will stay for the rest of the year. YAY!

A little after 1am, we all departed the theater and went our separate ways...back to our dorms or houses or apartments to sleep and prepare for the first day of classes and, you know...normal college life?
Cole and Nadav STRIKE a pose! (haha, get it? GET IT?)

Day Nine - MiniPhotoTour (sort of...)

Here are some pictures from the areas of the theater that don't already have pictures...

View from Baker.

View from Able.

View from Easy.

View from Dog. The best vom.

View from Charlie.

Green Room! Yes, it is indeed actually green.

Sign on the green room door.

Hallway leading to the dressing rooms (on the right), the costume shot (at the back), and the green room or sculpture court (on the left).

Makeup labels are fun.

The costume shop has EVERYTHING.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Day Eight - HUGZ

This picture deserves its own post.

Jeff R. (light-op for Fables), Nadav (director of TTII show) and Jonny (3Ps president).


Last night we had our first performance! AHH!
Because it was performance day, we didn't hold rehearsal during the day. That meant that for a lot of people, it was the first day they could sleep-in or run errands that they had had all week. When I went to Davis in the early afternoon, I saw many O-Show people going about their business enjoying the free time. It was nice to relax a bit before the show.
At 5pm, the cast and a few pstaff members met up at Eliza's apartment, where we made awesometastic t-shirts with spray paint and stencils. On the front they say "HEY WOAH YES OUCH WOW" and on the back they say "I DON'T WANNA PAHTY ANYMORE, O-Show 2011." They are very sparkly, so if you see chairs or areas of campus that are extra glittery, chances are one of us has been there...

It is very symbolic.

At 5:30 Jeff and I had to run off to the theatre to do presets. Having done this a few times now, I didn't need my list to tell me where everything went. By 6pm, everything was set up and the actors arrived to start hair and makeup. 6pm was also the time of the 3Ps ice cream social in the lobby, so a few of us wandered up there and chatted with freshmen interested in theater. I met a lot of really nice people, and I am very excited for what the class of 2015 will bring to the 3ps and its umbrella groups this year. Woooo!

Eliza braids her hair looking scandalized as Alexa dresses behind her.


By 6:30 I was back in the theatre, doing last-minute prop checks and such. We opened house at around 6:45, and I set up shop at my post at Dog. When the house closed, I went onstage and set up the last of the set dressings for the first scene. A little after 7, the show began.
Overall, I think the show went as smoothly as it could have for a first performance. There were a few minor incidences with sound and set pieces, but they were hardly anything to cry over. It was really exciting to hear the audience engage in the show and laugh at all its wonderfully awkward or hysterically funny moments. From my post at Dog, I couldn't see the audience, so I had to rely on what the Jeffs in the booth told me. Every once in a while they would laugh at a certain person's reaction to a certain line. It was great.

What I could see from my post at Dog.

Colorful backstage lights!

My favorite part of the show was probably when I watched scenes 8 and 9 from the catwalk. I needed to be up there for the transition so I could lower the chandelier. Once I was done with that I just lay on my stomach and watched. Lemme just say that watching a show from up there is SO COOL. If you come see the show tonight and look up at that time, I will wave at you!
After we finished, there was a good 20 minutes of mild chaos. Why? Well, the Torn Ticket II show was scheduled to perform right after us, and we needed to clear our stuff out of the way while they set their stuff up. For a while there were two sets of stage managers and assistant stage managers running around and around backstage. I packed up my stuff and left Dog at exactly 9pm, just when the backstage lights went dark. I then joined the rest of the FFF crew (all decked out in their new shirts) in the seats reserved for us in section 3. And then we all sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the show. (Which was FANTASIC, btw.)

Tonight, we do it all over again. I hope to see you there!