23 March 2005
Today was more like it, as things settle back into a more typical production rehearsal schedule. By this stage of the proceedings, most departments still have a lot to do but all of it tends to require being either on the stage or at least in the arena. Consequently, the schedule is arranged on a split-rota, to give each department the time it needs. The propellerheads come in around 7am to tweak the stage electronics some more until the backline and sound guys arrive around 9am and make noise till 1pm-ish. The video and lighting folk will roll in around lunchtime, then there's a kind of no-mans-land period in the afternoon where the most urgent areas of work tend to take priority. After dinner all gets turned over to lighting and video programming. Traditionally programming gets the graveyard shift, but I am happy enough with that. For a start it is vastly more productive to work when the building is empty and quiet. During the day, even when the sound guys aren't rocking the venue to its foundations, there is so much activity that it becomes very hard to concentrate on building cues and structuring the show. Cell phones, e-mail, Fed-Ex and countless questions become a continuous interruption to the creative flow, so we tend to prefer to lock ourselves in at night and get on with it.
The rest of the crew will leave after dinner and we go down to a night-crew of just enough people to allow Bruce and I to programme all the various elements that make up the show. Usually a couple of lampies (lighting crew), Smasher our touring video director, and one other video person to run the video pixel panels up and down on cue and generally make sure nothing explodes. As compulsory volunteers for the night shift, I usually pick patient guys, at least one of whom is a dab hand at tea-making.
Sometimes its hard to hit your stride when programming, but we hit a rhythm tonight so got a huge amount done. The band are due in tomorrow afternoon and for once I feel about ready for them.