Monday, March 09, 2009

Rhythm is a dancer, it's a source of madness

I badly need to post a blog to move that dodgy-looking video downwards a bit. so here goes.

This weekend has been mostly given over to theatre activities. The challenge with these things (and live events in general) isn't normally how things work but how do you cope with things when they don't work in the way in which they are supposed to, and you have to suddenly embark on fault-finding with an audience in the room and a show almost ready to start. Or during a show.

I spent a lot of Saturday trying to figure out what going through the mind of the person who had wired up the equipment that I'd been using. The majority of the equipment used for this show is borrowed either from the school or a professional hire company (and I can only say great things about the professional hire company - I'll be going back to them in the future). The school's equipment set-up made no sense and I suspect it was wired up by someone who knew what they were doing and the knowledge of what-goes-where was passed on through senior pupils at the school without any idea about why things are set up that way. Technically it's bad practice (speakers connected to the power amplifiers by cables that are more than double the length that they ought to be, wireless receivers at the FOH mix position at the bottom of a metal rack) but with a small footprint so that the technology takes up minimal space and is quite portable.

I'll have to remember to put it back that way when we're done.

The choice of microphones might not have been the ones I would have made if I'd been left to my own devices (literally) but I think that I'm making them work and the actors are being heard. Haven't yet had a rehearsal in which the full band have been present though so we'll see how that goes.

The main hindrance is that, as the hall is used for school activities during the week, all equipment has to be put away after each performance/rehearsal in the school and set up again before the next performance/ rehearsal. There's actually a lot of equipment required so this is a bit of a challenge and leaves quite a lot of scope for things to go seriously wrong.

Touring professionals might load in to a venue at 7am and put on a world class show, and not get back to their berth on the tourbus until 3am the next day to catch 4 hours sleep before the next show, but most of our cast and crew have day-jobs/ school.

Anyway, for now I am thoroughly knackered and am going to go to bed in the hope that I'll get some proper work done tomorrow.

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