Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Only the most iconic sound cue in all of theatre.

Suddenly a distant sound is heard, as if from the sky, the sound of a breaking string...

That is how I have been feeling lately. I keep returning to that sound. Not because I'm about to experience the fall of the Russian empire but because this has been one of the most challenging semesters yet. I feel stretched thin. My first year students have asked me to do a lecture on self-care and how there are only so many hours in a day, and you can't do everything, and I keep thinking I am so not the person for this. Sleep is not a thing right now. Or human relationships for that matter.

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But I'm sitting in the production meeting for The Cherry Orchard right now and just heard that sound cue, or the version of it that currently exists. I also just now heard the music that signals the dreams/fugues that I am creating with projections and lighting. I love working with Mike Croswell, the sound designer, and hearing his work has made me want to run home and create. Forget eating forget sleeping forget grading papers and teaching drafting and the ATHE pre-conference and the article/ARG that is on a deadline and the grant I need to apply for to get to Ireland in April and fun shit like my birthday or going to LA soon or The Lust Experience or SLUT or getting together with the junior faculty I started at Macalester with...

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In lighting design today we did "Image of the Week," where I have the students bring in (on Tuesdays) an image (printed out on paper because I'm old) that has interesting lighting in it. Since the class is small this semester I try to join in with them, also to try to shift them away from images of skies or lights and towards images of people being lit. Today instead of showing photos, I showed the color palettes for the lighting design for The Cherry Orchard. I get unreasonably excited by color mixing and wanted to show them how I had selected the colors for sunsets and sunrises in the play. And, hopefully, it all works out on stage the way it does in my head. Lighting continually kicks my ass, reminding me that I don't know everything, and I love it.

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This will be our last show in the proscenium theatre at Macalester before they tear it down and build us a whole new theatre building, with a new (flex) theatre. Opening night is November 2, which has never been my favorite day to begin with to be around people, especially this year, and there will be a reception and alumni will be coming to say goodbye to the space. And after that, hopefully, I can relax and breathe a little.

Notes from Dublin: Rambling, Emotional, Barely Coherent.

This has been a strange two weeks to be in another country, especially one that isn't a major world power. Ireland doesn't have the ...