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Much-needed update! Pt. 1 – Fall of ’14

Hi all!

So, I’ve been meaning to update this puppy for a while, but i’ve been woefully/thankfully busy actually WORKING for the past year or so!  But here’s a little of where I’ve been and where I am.

Since my last blog post, I…

(TL;DR? Just skip the internal bullet points)

-left Dallas after a great show run of Les Mis to take an apprenticeship in Audio at Goodspeed Musicals.

  • while there, I served as a wireless mic technician on a new musical called “The Circus in Winter”.  There were about 16 channels of RF in many different flavors, everything from Sennheiser’s older SK2012s up through the 5212, so managing all the different frequency ranges and connectors was quite the challenge!
  • After my A2 gig, I actually wound up staying on at Goodspeed to take over as the mixer on their mainstage musical, “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn!”  It was a wonderful experience and opportunity, and a unique one, since it was my first time taking over for someone on a show.  I learned about the challenges of the mix, but also about how to behave and make people comfortable, in order to make the technical and personal transition 100% smooth.  I’m proud to say I think at least one person didn’t know the original person had left and I took over!  And I can’t wait for New York audiences to get to see this gem of a show when it hits Broadway next fall.  I’m proud to have earned my first professional mixing credit working on this show.

-While at Goodspeed, I picked up a great “weekend gig” working at American Repertory Theatre’s Club Oberon

  • Oberon is a fantastic amazing space where gigs can last any time from one performance to a full week.  It’s a huge lesson in being adaptable, flexible, and REALLYFREAKINGFAST.  My first week there, we put up a college theatre production of “Assassins” with 13 pieces onstage. We did two shows, STRUCK the entire thing (set included!) in order to allow their resident Saturday night show, “The Donkey Show” to happen, then RELOAD the whole thing back in for two shows the next day.  No time for confusion, inconsistency, or attitude.  Good time.

Ok, at this point in my timeline it’s January, and so far this year I have continued to build my relationships with these two theatres, where I still work regularly, as well as supplementing with work at Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, Mohegan Sun Casino, and The Dalton School in NYC.  I’ll detail that stuff in my next post and in the Portfolio section of my website! Thanks for reading!

Published: 25/11/2015

Caucasian Chalk Circle

Here is some of my work as Wireless Microphone Technician on Yale Repertory Theatre’s production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht.  As is my custom, these notes were printed on 3×5 index cards that I kept in my cargo pocket and used in order to reference what my duties were throughout the show.

 

These tasks were printed on 3x5 notecards that I used to keep track of my show duties.

In addition to being the “Mic Bunny” for a cast of 18, I was also in charge of tracking a wireless IEM receiver that served to provide spot sound effects for both a cellphone and crying baby. The receiver needed to travel both with its attached speaker and between the two speakers in order to be plugged in at the right time and achieve the effect.

CCC Track Cards p2

Fun notes: Due to some funky hats, multiple actors had to have their earpieces switched from one side to another as the play went on, since they played multiple characters and changed costume constantly. Also, one actor had to be taken completely out of mic halfway through the show so he could be given a bath onstage!

Published: 10/04/2015

The Circus in Winter

Some samples of paperwork from my time as a Wireless Microphone Technician at Goodspeed Musicals.

RFSced_141114_DEE RFSced_141114_JANINE RunSheet_141112 TrackCards_141112

A quick note and story about the 2 RF Schedules: During the run of the show, one of our actresses took ill and since there were no understudies, our stage managers and producers made the difficult decision to cancel a few performances and let her heal. She valiantly powered through after our break, but the production company wound up hiring an alternate to stand by for her.  Based on this, and the technology we were using, we had to have a quick way to get everything ready for Actress A or Actress B.  In my case, this just meant changing a few labels, getting the correct mic rig set up with her packs, and for my mixer, it meant he had to restore the correct gain and EQ settings.  For stage management, it meant helping Actress B with the cut track for this role that she had learned in A DAY. A DAY!  For wardrobe, this meant altering the entire costume back and forth between their sizes since there was only one, so I guess we had it easy! But thanks to Janine, the show went on, and everyone did their best to help make the transition smooth.

The run sheet details my pre and post show duties, the track cards are my preferred way of tracking my during show duties, printed on a set of 3×5 index cards on a binder loop (I stole this format from my wardrobe friends) that live in my cargo pocket.

Published: 25/11/2014

Les Misérables

Here is some paperwork from my time as Wireless Microphone Technician on Dallas Theater Center’s production of Les Misérables. Printed on 3×5 index cards for use in show. As you can see, I had both a lot and nothing to do at the same time! Sometimes my job was to switch a mic, sometimes just to be standing somewhere strategically to check someone’s mic placement without their really needing to know that that’s why I was there…you know the drill 🙂

Slide01 Slide02 Slide03 Slide04 Slide05 Slide06 Slide07 Slide08 Slide09 Slide10 Slide11 Slide12 Slide13 Slide14 Slide15

Published: 17/08/2014

And what have we here, little innocent sister?

C’mon Becca, let’s have all the news!
(Because it’s been a while since I’ve done this.)

Anyway, as the first few lines would suggest, I’ve been hard at work all summer as a mic technician (or “A3”) on the new production of “Les Misérables” currently playing at Dallas Theater Center. I’ve been having a great time getting to know a new city, getting good at driving (who knew this New York girl had it in her!), and learning what it takes to do this whole Deck Sound/A2/Mic Tech thing. While I’ve worked on musicals before in various capacities, it’s my first time being “on the floor” as a member of the Sound department, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it! The most important things I’ve learned, I think, are mostly reinforced lessons from past shows, but I’ll repeat them nonetheless, maybe just to ingrain them into my own head more!

1. Sometimes the most useful thing you can do is GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY.

2. (converse of 1) Only exist when you need to. Be a ninja.

3. Learn your people, ESPECIALLY if you’re new in a place where everyone already knows each other. Feel out your place, and don’t get discouraged if it takes a little while.

4. Tensions are going to be high enough without your help. So don’t help it! Get good at “microphone clinical” and people will do whatever they can to help you solve the problem at hand.

5. WARDROBE ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS AND ALLIES. Respect them and their show needs as you try to solve yours.

Most of this is average “first professional gig” stuff, but I think the more I’ve been able to take it to heart, the more I’m on my way to becoming a really good A2, and eventually earning enough stripes to become an A1!

And, speaking of becoming a really good A2, I’m going to get a chance to do just that on my next gig! I’ll be heading back up north in September to be the first ever Audio Apprentice at Goodspeed Musicals, serving primarily as the A2 on their production of The Circus in Winter. I can’t wait to get started.

As far as portfolio fodder for this show goes, I wasn’t heavily involved in paperwork or load-in, but I’ll post a PDF of the index cards I made for my “track.” Click the Portfolio section if you’d like to see!

More news soon as I attempt to catch up on posting work from other projects 🙂

Published: 08/08/2014