Thursday, October 18, 2012

Theatrical Sleep Cycle

Compared to actors (poor sleep-deprived wretches) set designers have it easy.  But there are days when your bed can feel a looong waaay off...

Yesterday I was up at 6:30 a.m. - normal around here.  I was busy all morning, but my theatrical day didn't start until 3:00 p.m. when I wedged my faithful car ("The Scenic Ride," I call her) chock-o-block full of kitchen cabinets, borrowed from another theater, and drove them to the theater at the Mckinney Avenue Contemporary.  Time off for lunch/dinner; rehearsal with a run-thru starting at 6:30, ending at 11:30pm; drive home; read to wind-down; bed at 12:30 a.m.

Not bad if I hadn't needed to be up this morning at 5:30 a.m.


Luckily, this was just a one-off schedule, but this can go on for weeks, especially if you're overlapping a few shows.  When you get kinda sleepy.

The tricky part for set designers is that builders - carpenters and painters - are Day People, needing to work day-hours when they have actor-free access to the set, but directors are Night People, needing to work evenings with access to actors (who have day jobs), and it's most convenient for directors and stage managers and even other designers (usually with day jobs too) to meet right after rehearsal when production issues are freshest.

Set Designers are the sleepy interface between these Day and Night groups.

Public domain images by Van Gogh, messed with

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