Front of House Diary, first entry

So as mentioned, if you’ve been diligently reading along (and I forgive you if not…New season of DOCTOR WHO and all), I’ve recently come into the position of Front of House Manager for the good folks at Evolution Theatre, and their killer new show THE LAVENDER RAILROAD.  Which, considering that in my preview post for said show I got one of the names of the two plays-within-a-play COMPLETELY wrong (Not to mention misspelling the playwright’s name…but shit, I just mentioned it), is pretty fucking near miraculous.

But who am I to argue with the poor judgment of others?  I eagerly accepted the gig and signed on, getting my name in the Program…and yes, I’ve lovingly and dopily stared at said inclusion with wide-eyed amazement for ENTIRELY too long already…I am easily impressed at this stage of my life, folks.  My first half-shift has already been recorded in my review of the show, which I’ll let you just scroll back to if you wish to peruse it.  I hate linking to my own posts here.  WordPress TELLS you you have a new comment, but you SO don’t, it’s just your own link.  A ‘Pingback’, they call it.  What the fuck is that?  ‘Pingback’.  I hate that shit.

…Sorry, I blacked out there for a minute.  Where was I..?  Oh yea, second shift!   My classmate Catherine met me outside of Studio Leonard-Beaulne for the Friday night performance, along with Evolution Queenpin and show publicist Nancy Kenny.  I showed Cath the ropes, Nancy reminded me of MY ropes, and we waited together for the screaming hordes to arrive.  I got a little flustered that first time behind the big table, and may have forgotten to write everything down as neatly as I should have, but who could blame me?  With the likes of Smooth Tim Oberholzer, Teri Loretto and Ivo Valentik,  and *rrowr* Catriona Leger showing up, who wouldn’t get a bit distracted?  But all the cash was accounted for (the important thing, I’m told) and once showtime was upon us, I let Catherine in, closed the door behind her and then…

…then, the experience really BEGINS, folks.  Oh, Nancy stuck around a few minutes with me, mostly on account of her adorable inability to relinquish control at any time, ever.  But once she finally left, that was it…I was alone.  In the, let’s call it ‘lobby’, of Studio Leonard-Beaulne, for the first of six solitudes during the run of the show.  For an hour and forty minutes.  For a show without an intermission, she’s frickin’ LONG, folks.  Especially when you’re the sod on the wrong wide of that door come showtime. But then, that’s the glamour of Theatre that I signed up for, innit?

I was a little awkward with my solitude that first night…didn’t get as much reading done as I’d planned, though I did finish up Paul Pope’s HEAVY LIQUID trade, so that was pretty good.

Now I've gotta track down BATMAN YEAR 100, goddammit...

The thing is, when you’re out there in that emptiness, hearing the faint echoes of the louder bits of the play going on through the doors, you feel just a little bit uncomfortable, like you’re listening to your best friends having sex or something.  You’re really glad they’re having fun, but you wish their were something YOU could do in the meantime, without distracting them.  And you gotta be quiet.  There’s some sort of class that gets out from upstairs about 15 minutes before the end of the show, and those kids are SO FUCKING LOUD on the stairs I want to murder them.  It’s all fine, of course, and they probably can’t hear so much as a whisper inside the theatre, but still.  Fuckin’ students.

After aforementioned comix, a stashed sub, and a brief almost-nap, the show  let out, and Catherine graciously gave me a ride home once we’d settled the house.  OK, I forgot to relock the ladies washroom, but what can I say?  I’m a bad man.  There’s always tomorrow night.

…And here we are at tomorrow night!  And This night I was a little worried about, not only because Nancy would not be there to hold my hand this time (though she WOULD make me call her, the dear), but because tonight was my first night working with a volunteer that I didn’t actually know.  And being the anti-social butterfly that I am, this caused me some palpitation.  Happily, the delightful Jess Preece was a gracious and easygoing gal, and an accomplished stage manager to boot (she has a show going up at Youth Infringement later this month, which I assume you’ll all be seeing..?).  She took to her duties with ease, whilst I got a chewing out from Stage Manager Sariana…okay, okay, she just reminded me to do something, but when a beautiful pregnant French woman tells you you did something wrong, you just feel TERRIBLE about it afterwards.  It’s genetic, I think.

It was a sadly small house that evening , because some people have no taste at all, but we still had the lovely likes of Celine Fillion and Chantal Plante in for the show, and after a brief wait for a last-minute VIP who never showed, we closed the doors and got underway.  THIS time I had shit to do.  In my begrudging day job I’m a cook, and occasionally set the specials for the week.  This was the task I’d assigned myself for the evening.  After some brainstorming, I came up with a beef and broccoli curry on couscous, herbed veg pizza, ravioli with shrimp, bangers and mash, and lemon chicken alfredo.  Fuck yeah.  Clocktower bank street, next week, good eats (plug).

Read a little of the Daily Show’s EARTH: THE BOOK (fun), when it was already time to open back up.   Got things squared away, hugged my volunteer goodbye, and skulked away into the nite.  Was pretty exhausted the next morning at work…as heavy-lifting free as this work is, doing the two jobs does take it out of you, and I was looking forward to an evening off with Winston the Cat tonight.  Although, as I arrived at home, I oddly found myself MISSING the experience of being locked in a small, cold room for an hour and forty minutes.  More miles on the path, I suppose..?

Next week, I’m hoping to get some first-drafting finished on at least one of the plays I’m working on while down there.  But who knows?  The mind, it starts to wander in those depths.  Maybe I’ll just dance like a monkey instead.  I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again.

So, I hope to see some of you out at the show next week…Prairie Scene is over, Hamlet 2011 is over, and your excuses are running out.  Let me see your beautiful face and sell  it a ticket!  And hey, if you want to volunteer Wednesday night, I’m TOTALLY stuck so…

..But no, I’ll leave the soliciting for another venue.  And I’ll be back with an update in a few shows, and maybe I’ll actually have something to talk about then.  Peace, love and soul,

the Visitor (and Winston)

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