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Revelling in the Process


By Dawn E.
      I volunteered to work as the SM for a new production company. I
      should've known that it was going to be bad news from the first time I met
      the director. She worked full time for this ad agency an she wanted
      everyone involved in the production to "revel in the process".
      Rehearsals were completely unorganized and for the entire first month and
      a half didn't even deal with the script at all. The cast spent most of the
      time doing exercises that looked like interpretative dance. At some point
      the director told everyone that we weren't going to use the script and
      instead we would be rewriting it as an ensemble. I was given about 15
      different copies of a script and the one I used for the show wasn't even
      the most up to dated version because things kept changing even up to the
      last day of tech rehearsal. The interesting part is that during rehearsals
      the actors would call "line" and look to me.

      Production meetings were no better. The director was also the producer and
      she didn't have any technical knowledge base but she would keep asking the
      designers to change things. She couldn't understand why we would all get
      frustrated with her at the meetings.
      To make matters worse, her sister was the star of the show and
      rehearsals usually turned into a sort of counselling session between her
      and all of the cast because there were MANY issues between them all.

      The director was hell bent on having video projections but the video guy
      gave us the run around for two months before he ducked out completely
      about three weeks before the show opened. She wouldn't give up the idea of
      having these projections so I had to pull a favor from some video guy I
      know to get stuff filmed. Our TD had also only been sporadically involved
      and so the damn video screens weren't even built. So the directo basically
      spent a week straight w/o sleeping so she could get all this footage
      editted to her liking.
      Load-in and tech week comes and I'm scared shitless because we've never
      even run the show completely through. On top of this, the video stuff
      isn't done and we haven't heard from our TD either which means no set. We
      finally tracked down our TD because he ended up violating the terms of the
      agreement we had with the rented theater space. He gets the set done but
      we didn't get it all until the day before we opened.
      We never ran through the show w/o stopping and having a complete set w/
      video, sound lights etc until the 2nd night of the show. The final kicker
      was that we didn't even use the screens that were made for the
      projections. Somehow it all pulled together and we got a lot of good
      feedback from it. But it made me never want to work with a new company

I guess that one left a mark, huh?


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