Friday, 27 September 2013

Pre-FEAT crazy dreams

It's happening already. Yeah, my annual pre-FEAT crazy dreams (this is what I wrote the week before FEAT last year).

I woke up at the ungodly hour of 6am following a terrifying pre-FEAT dream. Here's how it went down.

So, I'm there at the theatre. I have a feeling I only got there at like 6pm. I haven't been through my usual system where my technical people setup first and then speakers come in to get briefed at a certain time, and then we have drinks and snacks... what I remember starts backstage not long before the start.

There are a number of trestle tables and I see Alistair (my sound guy) has put the body mics on the table. But there's a whole lot of other stuff too - not my stuff. Just stuff. I also hadn't seen Alistair in person so we hadn't even spoken; he'd just left the mics backstage. We had no comms either.

There are random people coming and going - like sport tour groups - walking through backstage.

The clock is ticking towards 7pm (start time) and I'm trying to brief my microphone lady on how to rig up the mics - she's just arrived (Alistair does this, not me). I don't know where Simon is (MC). And then I hear he's out on the front of the stage.

The curtains keep opening and closing. It's Alistair trying to lower the huge screen for the projected slides to be displayed. He can't find the right button to lower the screen. I find a theatre guy standing on a big ladder far at the back of the stage. He lowers the screen.

I'm then trying to find a runner order sheet and Simon's script. Not one printed copy anywhere! I have a sinking feeling that I forgot to print them. So we don't know in which order the speakers are speaking or in what order the slides are for the speakers. My microphone lady doesn't know who to rig up first. And in any case not one speaker is back stage. I don't know where they are.

And then I get the feeling that it is going to start raining. I go to the front of the stage. There must be a kilometre or two between the stage and where the audience is sitting. Open air and lots of trees in between. I can just see a halo of light. It looks like a cement amphitheatre (covered, thank goodness) in the distance. Simon is speaking (about the weather) and we're hoping that they can hear him but I seem to think they can because Simon seems to have comms with Alistair, who is in the sound booth at the back of the distant amphitheatre.

And then I'm trying to get my laptop started so that we can see who the first speaker is... and there are more people wandering around backstage, passing through, and piles of stuff on the tables - but no printed sheets of my schedules...

Fortunately, I started to wake up just as I'm scratching around for my laptop and I actually roused myself fully awake instead of dozing on, just to get out of this nightmare. And so I'm up early, my computer is on and I'm working on the production schedule, running order and Simon's script. Hahahahaha.

There are interesting correlations to reality.

  • I was at the theatre on Wednesday evening and the big screen was up, not down.
  • My printer cartridge for my laser printer died this week - amidst much shaking to get it printing stuff I needed for my course. I'd ordered a new one last week but when I checked on Tuesday it wasn't here. I did get it yesterday though - in the nick of time!
  • Simon is a weatherman too - and last night, before I went to bed, there were a couple of drops of rain.
  • I usually have all the speakers and helpers and people together from 3 to 2 hours before the start so everyone knows what is happening and I have everyone in one place.
  • All my technical people (sound, lighting, video, photography) have a running order so that they know what is happening when.
  • I sorted out running order yesterday and started on Simon's script last night. In fact, I spoke to him yesterday afternoon saying, "I'll email to you in advance but you don't have to print because I'll have a copy for you at the theatre".

If history is anything to go by, as we count down to FEAT, which is sold out, this isn't going to be the first such crazy pre-FEAT dream. Keeps me on my toes ;)

1 comment:

seanverret said...

Ahh yes the preFEAT dreams. I get them too in Canada, so it obviously isn't girl thing or a south african thing. Perhaps it's actually a "this is so damn exciting and fun, so I sure as hell everything goes smooth, thing". Great work Lisa, looking forward to watching "virtually" the show!