The Undercover Tech: Lists

by Anna Hodgson

Tech week is almost over here at The Theatre @ Boston Court and my, has it been hectic. The set is finished being built but paint is drying and set dressings are a go. The actors have had fun familiarizing themselves with the set and dazzling costumes.

It is hard to know what to do as an ASM on a show when the actual show is not going on. Mind you, there are many things that still need to get done- including but not limited to painting, drilling, hanging, and rehearsing- but one does not want to get in the way of everyone else running around so I wait. It is amazing how every show we fret that this time things won’t get done, and yet every show everything falls into place somehow.

As I sit in the wings awaiting my name to be called to help move a piece of furniture or find a lost prop, I make notes of all the pre-set lists and running order that I will be following during the course of tonight’s preview.

Pre Show: check all props, set hotel bill on “bed” backstage- whatever that will look like when I get it, set up the bar cart, water the plants, cut up Turkish Delight, set up a Caviar plate…and oh wait I need to go rehearse a set change.

These changes are quite tricky as I am to be completely unseen and take place in the dark. Now back to my list-  really, nothing is for certain at this point except for the fact that there will be an audience at tonight’s first full run through of the show- but here goes.

The reality is that the curtains will rise in approximately two hours and we have yet to finalize anything. The list that I have “finalized”, complete with attaching a blood cup to the back of a couch, sweeping and making wine out of apple juice,  will be changed indefinitely before 8 pm, let alone the changes that will ensue within the next week before opening night! This is what an assistant stage manager does- do what he or she is told to do until otherwise notified. We must also be quick thinkers for problem solving during the show for when “that thing we were told to do” does not work, we must fix it.

Over the next few weeks I will be documenting the Government Inspector from behind the scenes, tune in to find out what happens, but I have to go now, the show is about to start.

Till next time,

The Undercover Tech.

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