I had three shows on Saturday: A TV shoot and 2 stage shows. I left the house at 8 AM that morning for the TV shoot of Bright Flames TV. And after 2 stage shows for One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest, I made it back home around 11 PM.
One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest – 10 down, 5 to go
But let’s backup a bit. The weekend actually started on Thursday evening with an 8 PM showing of Cookoo’s Nest. And as I write this, I cannot remember how many people were in the audience; less than 10, I believe. Friday saw a very responsive crowd of about 30 or so. For Saturday’s matinee, I had arrived in time for cast call having just left the Bright Flames TV shoot. Really had no time to spare between those two. Saturday saw our largest crowd of over 50 people. That was a great night.
Sunday Slush and Calamine
I had been hearing for about 5 days or so, that there would be snow on Sunday, but as Sunday drew closer with no significant drop in temperature, I figured whatever snow we did have would not stick. So as I am driving towards the theater it turns from rain to very heavy snow. Still, I was thinking that nothing was going to stick to the roads. I can admit it; I was wrong. Some of the streets were starting to be covered in slush. Even the parking lot was covered in wet snow.
Once I get to the theatre, which is in Duluth, I am thinking I am not going to drive to the Alliance Theatre after the show. I had an appointment with Pat Hurley for practicing my monologues. From the Alliance to my house in Buford is 37 miles (74 miles round trip). And from Duluth to the Alliance is 12 miles less. Rescheduled with Pat for Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile in the dressing room, the cast is going over who is going to do what if 2 of our cast members do not show up. Who is going to say this line? Do we need that line? What lines are important? So we kinda work this out, but thank goodness they show up.
Meanwhile, again in the dressing room, I was saying I was not going to get dressed until we have an audience. “There are 20 people on the books.” OK, nevermind, I will get dressed. We didn’t quite have 20 but still a larger crowd than we had for Saturday’s matinee even with the snow.
Later on stage: There is a point in act ii when McMURPHY and HARDING are mixing a drink concoction from the medicine cabinet. Greg (McMURPHY) grabs a wrong bottle and puts it into the hot water bottle that is being used to hold the drink. When he poured it out into small cups it was this white-ish looking liquid. Only one or two people drank it. I had a sip thinking maybe it was a treat from the stage hands. Turns out it was Calamine lotion. Vant (TURKLE) and I have to take all the cups and bottles off the stage at the end of the scene. And usually I will drink anything that is still left in the small cups, but I was not drinking this stuff. I sit at the table near the end of that scene and so in character, I emptied all the small cups of Calamine laced liquid back into the hot water bottle. Had too. Could not get it all off otherwise.
At the end of the show, the snow had lessened and even was beginning to melt off. By 6 or 7 PM, it was nearly all gone, at my house anyway. I could have gone to the Alliance.
Bright Flames TV
Finally, after about 5 months for me (longer for the rest of the cast), we were able to get in the studio and actually shoot. And we didn’t get done. We had until noon and really only got 1 hour of shooting done. Tech took a long time, but they needed it. Focusing lights, sounds, etc.
On Friday, I received a frantic phone call from Teresa. The group providing the costumes lost the measurements for everybody. And the phone number for Teresa was on that sheet of paper. So I gave here some measurements and they grabbed some costumes, but did not have time to alter them. So Saturday morning, I pull up the paints and I look like I have just done a commercial for losing 100 pounds. What was worse was there was no belt loops or suspenders. I borrowed a belt from Doug and sort of just put the belt around my waist to hold up the paints. Once the vest and jacket were on, you could not see the belt.
So with an hour studio time left, we actually begin to shoot. I had never used teleprompters before, but I knew the concept. What was unfortunate was that the teleprompters were on 2 of the cameras. So for large swaths of dialog, people are actually looking straight into the camera. The early thought was to have 3 cameras: Straight on for all five people and one on each side for the 2 people on each side. The teleprompters were supposed to be just off camera.
And we did not finish, damn it! I believe we need another 3 hours of shooting, to get various camera angles, hopefully without looking directly into a camera. Robert wants to do some close ups, etc. I hope this turns out to be an OK production.
Eventful weekend to say the least.