Yesterday I posted general thoughts about the process up to this point, and paid a lot of compliments to my cast and stage manager – most of whom are pulling double-duty.
Today we walk onto Brian Smallheer’s set and get up under his lights. Brian pretty much always pulls double-duty. He is a One Man Gang. From initial concept and design to final implementation often Brian’s hands will be the only ones that touch the scenic and lighting elements you see when you come into the theater. The size of our company being what it is and our budgets being reflective of that, we don’t often have a lot of money to put toward hiring in people to help and so most of rely on the kindness of volunteers. A lot of the time that’s a challenge. I feel his pain, generally. I too wear a ton of hats and struggle wrangling volunteers to help me out with certain tasks. It can wear you down, and a lot of it is not the “sexy stuff” that tends to get noticed, unless it’s not there or just horrible. There are a lot of other similarities in the work we do, despite how very different that work is on a day to day basis.
I left Brian out of that post yesterday by name, which was not at all intentional. His contributions to this company are numerous, and weighty. I’m excited to see what he has in store for us in a little less than 2 hours when I go into the theater to work through cues with him before the actors arrive at 2p. Brian will pretty much live in the theater for the next week, working around our rehearsals with a paint brush, a c-wrench and his iPad.
Next time you see a barrel-chested guy with an anvil beard and likely a bit of sawdust and paint hiding out on him somewhere on opening night looking exhausted but satisfied, that’d be him. Buy him a drink, why don’t you? 🙂
Or, better yet, sign up to be on our list for volunteer calls and give him a hand?