I'm very thankful that my physiology has never been wired for panic attacks, because I'm operating on stratospheric levels of stress this week. I have never felt so unprepared for a show to open. Part of this is my own problem, because this show is much larger and more complex than any I've previously worked on, but it's also massively disorganized on both the production management and directorial ends, which leaves me running around trying to clean up everyone else's messes with no time left over to deal with my own fucking job. For example, it's impossible for me to spend the hour I'd given myself to set up backstage space for props when I come in to find the entire theater covered in sawdust from scenic work, and have to spend the next ninety minutes frantically cleaning up the space before actors arrive. Whining about how that really isn't my job accomplishes nothing; it needs to get done
, and if I'm the only one there, then I'm the one who's doing it. This is just one small example of the many over the past week. Or, hell, over the entirety of this fucking rehearsal process. And let me tell you, there are few things worse for a production than a director who is incapable of time management. We've been rehearsing for two months
from first rehearsal to opening night. That's quite a long time by most production standards. It's completely fucking unacceptable how slow and indecisive this director has been about every last moment and detail; he's incapable of giving a single note or direction without spending at least five minutes talking
about it, which is creative death for actors and a gross waste of time. (There are times for long discussions in rehearsal. It's called tablework. NOT WHEN YOU'RE BLOCKING THE SHOW.)
Tonight is final dress. I have never run a single sound cue. The booth is a floor up from the theater and can only be accessed by a slow-moving elevator, and there is no God Mic for me to address the cast/house or any real way for the cast to communicate with me once the show starts. We have many complex projection cues that have been placed and rehearsed, but never with the dowser (which is being installed today, maybe?) or with the actual fucking program that we're supposed to be running them out of. The director yanked my ASM to use as projections op from the day he joined rehearsals, which means I've been doing 75% of his
job in addition to my own because, again, if I don't do it, it won't get done
. The production manager is incompetent (as previously mentioned) and now that she's actually around, likes to ask me lots of questions about minutiae that I do not have the fucking time to deal with and she should have the fucking initiative to deal with on her own. And I'm not even going to start
addressing any of the issues I have had with some of the actors.
And, yes, I'm well aware that like 90% of my stress is a direct result of my having to do several other people's jobs in addition to my own, and that I should delegate responsibility. But since delegating just results in the work not getting done, I'm kind of at a loss for options right now.
And my day job has not exactly been a walk in the park lately either, mostly because my boss is a good person but a terrible manager, and the rest of our team is on the verge of open revolt. But that's another story entirely.
To end on a different note, two things that are keeping me from running into traffic today: James McAvoy's face
and Joss Whedon's secret adaptation of my favorite Shakespeare play with a ridiculously awesome Whedonverse cast
. (I have ALL THE FEELINGS about Much Ado About Nothing. ALL THE FEELINGS. ♥)