etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
( Jun. 10th, 2013 06:17 pm)
Ballet and sense or even plot do not go together.

I run the light board for a performing arts studio's shows three times a year.  Their Nutcracker, the Spring recital, and their Spring Ballet.

This year the ballet was "Don Quixote" which bears very little relation to the story of Don Quixote.  No.  I challenge you to find the plot.

All I got was there is this guy who occasionally has fits and visions and the young lovers (who have no much to do with out title character) are continually running away from her father who sold the girl off to a rich man.

I don't know where the gypsies come into it, or why Don Quixote and his sidekick are running around threatening things and people with a sword and a spoon.

Our sound guy and I kept looking at each other and asking "huh?" and our answer was inevitable "Because Ballet!"

Anyway.  It did mean I got home late enough to have missed the Tony awards, but I did catch the opening number online today.  Gotta say this is EXACTLY why I love the Tonys and am all "meh" about the Oscars.  And since NPR's Linda Holmes put it SO MUCH BETTER than I ever could, I urge you to read the whole thing:

but I quote part of it here because I want to say, yes, THIS! RIGHT HERE:
"The next time you're tempted to give an Oscar host a pass on the basis that it's an impossible, can't-win job, and that the lazy, easy, corny, toothless humor that passes for patter is a fundamental of the awards format, and that the jokes can't be better and the numbers can't be better and the hosting can't be better and the crowd can't get excited, keep in mind that that's exactly what people who want to keep making lazy awards shows want you to think.

Sure, theater people have an advantage with musical numbers, but if you run the Oscars and can't figure out how to do for and with love of film what the Tonys are doing for and with love of theater, you are terrible at your job and should hand it off to someone else."
etakyma: (Default)
( Jun. 11th, 2012 10:37 pm)
A disjointed "status of me" kind of update:

So I lit the spring ballet all day yesterday. One of the young women who was a lead dancer was having a wonderful time and while all her movements looked correct she was the most awkward dancer I've ever seen. Sometimes, no matter how much you practice, how much fun you're having or how well you execute the individual movements, some people just are not graceful. I know I am one of them, but then I am not dancing in a ballet (where I would likely be as graceful as a pig on roller blades).

One of the leads - in fact the princess lead - just graduated HS. She IS a graceful dancer. She also comes with an engineer dad. Which is only important in that he figured out how to make a hydrolic lift growing tree for the Nutcracker last December. And he made a couple of flats (the HEAVIEST flats I've ever had the displeasure to move - but they won't ever fall over!) He is sweet - and handy! And it is so nice to see dads who are just as involved with their daughters dancing and work to make their kid's shows better. If either of my nieces (or my nephew!) were interested in dance I expect my brother would be right there. As it is both girls are more athletic and the boy is not yet four (omg he turns four at the end of the month! yikes!).

Didn't sleep much (or well) last night. Hoping tonight I will collapse and sleep soundly!

Plans for the fake fire are moving a-pace. it will end up being about three feet long and maybe one foot wide.

I've got a number of projects that are nearing fruition - which is good because their deadlines are "dead" firm!

I got my annual review - and it was favorable. Which is also very good!
etakyma: (BandB Crumbling!)
( Dec. 20th, 2009 07:39 pm)
So yesterday I spent the whole day doing Nutcracker things for Miss Michelle. She had thirty kids in the show this year, and I like the changes she'd made (and the new sleigh is awesome). The two top dancers, one a freshman at BC and one a senior in HS are still beautiful dancers - I've seen these two girls dance for *years,* Since they were pretty wee.

We all went for dinner after an extremely quick strike (I got to be the "drop folding maven" again, and lots of the teens have been part of my drop folding 101 speeches, so this drop got folded so damn well, and really damn quickly). Dinner was a lovely capper to the day, and the snow had not yet started to fall by the time I got home.

I was exhausted when I got home so I went to bed fairly early. No snow. Got up this morning and OMG SNOW. Between twelve and fourteen inches fell overnight into the morning. I went out midafternoon to shovel and it took me about two hours. It was lighter than the first snow of the season (which was rain, snow, rain, so half what I shoveled was wet slush/ice), but there was about three times as much of it. This snow was cold,snow,stilldamncold - so there has been no melt at all.

So unless there is an unseasonable warm up, we are white for Christmas. And New Years. And likely through January and February and into March (although, who knows, they are predicting highs in the fifties on Saturday, and possibly rain).

I was *going* to have lunch with my parents today. I was also going to continue my holiday shopping. Neither happened. Instead I shoveled out my driveway, cleaned off my car, and not much else.

But I have food, water, power and the internet, so I am better off than many up and down the east coast (especially in those states that don't know what to do with (or just don't have the machines available to take care of) snow/snow removal... like the DC area).

Hope everyone is okay! How was *your* blizzard?
etakyma: (Abby Style)
( May. 3rd, 2009 09:06 pm)
So today I spent the day at the new dance studio watching a rehearsal of their spring recital. Last year, the owner of the dance studio I *used* to do lights for let a whole bunch of teachers go. One of those teachers opened her own studio in the fall and this is her first year of shows.

Oddly, I know many of the people involved, because they jumped ship with this teacher. I was one of them. So on Saturday, I will light a dance studio's spring recital. This school only has about ninety kids, but it looks to be picking up steam (as more and more kids drop the other school, it looks like they are following the sane teachers to this one). All the backstage folk are the same - my spot light operators are the same two parents who have been doing this for years.

The show is "Cinderella" and the young woman playing Cinderella is a senior in high school. Her prince is a HS freshman. A lot of these dancers have never been on stage before, but they are doing quite well.

I only saw the show with the leads, as most of the kids did not have to come to this rehearsal. But one of the "leads" is this tiny blonde girl - she is a footman/coachman - but she must take six or eight classes, because I swear she was all over the stage all the time. Even for the numbers she was the only kid from the class present, she never missed a step. Her older sister is the fairy godmother - also a rather good dancer, also in quite a few numbers.

I would say there are two standouts among the cast. Cinderella and the Wicked Step Mother. The step sisters are merely okay. The mice are neither mice-like or particularly interesting to watch. The King and Queen are merely very young - with not much experience, but I am sure the Queen at least will get better - she seems to handle taking direction well. The fairy Godmother is also good. And her sister, the little blonde, who can't be more than nine and seems very bendy.

So that is my Saturday next week. And it will all be done in one day - one day to tech/rehearse, and two shows.
etakyma: (Default)
( May. 3rd, 2008 03:50 pm)
Blogging from the high school... which has open wifi - who knew? So the dance studio show of the Little Mermaid is kind of a mess - we are not surprised. Hopefully this wll be the last damn time I do this.

So two shows down and three left to go. This weekend is LOOOONNNNGGGG... (and audiences as a whole are fairly stupid...)

Anyway - off to set up for show three.

I hope y'all are having a way more fun than I am this weekend!

ETA: Third show over! Two more to do. I gotta say third show Sebastian rocked! An the Ariel was the best yet. The rest of the show was so-so. Who knows what tomorrow will bring...
So five shows in two days... and I only wanted to deafen myself with a spork because of the (horrible, technopop) music by today's second of three shows. The last show was *long* and *painful.* But it is over for another year. And they do pay me a little bit, so I will have *some* compensation. Show Four was the best acting ensemble, and the girls who played the leads were very good. Show Five was the clueless leads show.

And I did as much strike to get the backdrop down and folded - but I had to leave before the taking down of the mirror ball because I had a Portus meeting that I got home *just* in time for.

Other news... I had about fourteen inches of hair lopped off Saturday evening. My hair is now very short and *very* curly. Yay something different! I was joking with a friend that I needed a change of *something* so badly it was cut my hair, or quit my job. And as Gwen keeps pointing out to me, really, only one of us should be out of a job at a time.

Ah well. Tomorrow starts another week... Bedtime for me.

♥ all!
It means that, once again, I am designing lights for the Dance Studio spring recital. Those who have paid attention in the last few years of me doing this (or if you're, y'know, GWEN to whom I bitch on a regular basis), know that the dance studio picks some movie and uses the DVD soundtrack (with dialogue and everything) as the FRAME upon which the dance show is designed around. The teachers at the studio are given a packet of material that includes the music they are choreographing to, and whether their class will be "walking on" or "set in place."

Years past have been "Lilo and Stitch," "Emperor's New Groove," and "Robots." This year? Wizard of Oz. Good gods! I can't get AWAY from the freaking thing! It proves to me once more that the Wizard of Oz is the backbone of American culture. And they have not just *one* "Over the Rainbow" but TWO (one the Judy Garland version with the babies dancing (2.5 to 4 year olds), and one a more jazzy version with a bunch of young women in pink labelled the "Dreamers" - after the cyclone, before munchkinland)!!! And they've added in the music from The Wiz just to make it all that much more surreal.

Yesterday was our one real "tech" rehearsal - I spent all day struggling with lights. And then I'll go and do the five shows this weekend. Yup. Five shows, five *different* casts of leads. So far, only the "oil cans" dance and the senior's dance have the same people in them. And I've only seen three of the shows. The others will "tech" this week while I am at work (although show five techs an Thursday night at 6pm - I may go and play with the lights some more).

And this year we are in the High School again. Which has sucky equipment. The board is tecnically programmable, but it is still a piece of crap. In two scene mode it has 24 channels, in multi scene mode it has 48. I use the multi-scene capability, and will reprogram the 24 Sub-masters - really only 23, because the last one is reserved for the House Lights - to get the few different "looks" I want. The strip lights are in red, blue and a particularly noxious orange the theatre manager had the temerity to call "amber." And then he winced, and said, yeah, it is more like orange, but since these were glass light covers and not gels he couldn't change it.

The system is about 20 YEARS out of date - but then I am spoiled with the state of the art in my home theatre - and even in the other theatre I've lit which has the same state of the art system as my home theatre, just a bit smaller (48 channel vs. 144 channel). But I am used to being able to record cues, and do follow-alongs, and set times for ups and downs and crossfades, and just a whole lot I can actually PROGRAM so all I have to do during the show is push the "go" button when cued to do so.

This show I am not even on a headset. I'm just kind of going along with the music. I suppose as long as the parents can see their little darling's faces while they dance it will be considered a rousing success. And as long as the videographer can record we're good. But it is damn galling to know that this *could* be better, more subtle, more colors, more fun...

Ah, well. They do pay me for it, even though it is relatively little. A couple hundred dollars twice a year, that's all. Once for the spring show, and once for the December Nutcracker.

Ahh, must be Monday. That was a lovely frustrated rant. I hope you day is going better than mine!
Its is that time of year! The dance studio's annual Nutcracker show. There are only eighty children (ages 6-18) in this year's Nutcracker. The lights were very easy - I played during the dress rehearsal this morning, programmed all the cues in at lunch. First show went fairly smoothly. Tomorrow we just have two more and that is it! The three girls sharing the sugarplum fairy role are very good. They are some of the students I can pick out in whatever number they do because they are so good. These are the kids taking four to seven dance classes a week.

Shopping returns... suck this time of year. My brother got me a really nice sweater for my birthday, but it is too large. I need the next size down (both my brother and sister in law are twigs, so they tend to over estimate clothing for those of us who are real-sized people - which makes me say, but I can estimate *your* size correctly, why can't you see I am not as fat as you think I am?!?).

Anyway, I took the sweater back, to get the right size, and the sweater comes in black and red. I like the red. No one, no where has the red in my size. I mean, WTF? I can get it in any size but mine. I *like* the red. I have too many black clothes as it is, and it is a lovely shade of red (on the blue side of the red-scale, so it makes me look pink-cheeked and not sallow). I hate having a birthday this time of the year. It gets lost during Thanksgiving (I was told I couldn't have a party for my tenth birthday because the holiday season was too stressful. I still bring that up to horrify my mother. I was also a brat as a teenager making everyone celebrate *on* my birthday, *for* my birthday even if it *was* Thanksgiving day. Yeah, I can remember my brother's birthday parties as a kid far easier than mine. He was born in May, and beautiful May days a lot of the games were outside. Mine were held in the basement due to cold/rain/snow. Our basement is not finished. Yeah, unresolved bitterness...). Anyway, I ended up not exchanging it for the black in my size, because I am thinking I might be able to find one in red after christmas.

Which brings up a whole other "thing." Christmas and my lack of funds this year. I am likely to scale way back. I've got one joint gift for my parents, and I am making gifts for the girls (I just need buckets of time to finish). My brother and sister in law are gonna be a problem... I have no earthly clue.

Okay, I am done whining. I think it is this headache, and I am fighting a cold so I am more likely to whinge on. Anyone seen "Happy Feet"? Any reviews? Liked it, hated it? Tell me, please!


etakyma: (Default)


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