Today begins the first day of tech rehearsal for my current production, and of course the mantra “Tech is fun” went flying through the cast. For those of you not in theatre, Tech rehearsal is when, after days of hard work, the actors forget everything they have ever been told as set pieces come flying at them, headdresses cover their eyes, choreography changes, and their playing space is reduced by half. None of those things are fun.
I understand that the purpose of saying “tech is fun” is to try and make it seem less like a twelve-hour death slog with stage lights. But until they let me carry a glass of wine and a box of cookies on stage, I will never think tech is fun. It’s a necessary evil. It’s a part of my job, but it’s never ever fun.
The worst tech I have ever experienced was when I was an intern at a theatre company. We had giant sliders to hang, and when we went to put them up, we found out they were almost two hundred pounds heavier than they were supposed to be! They were already half-hung, so the interns and tech staff had to hold the sliders in the air for almost an hour while someone drove to Wal-Mart at midnight to buy rigging schmackle that was made in china that shouldn’t hold a tea bag over your head let alone a heavy slider! Then at 2 am when we were just about to pack it in for a few hours sleep, the light board (put in the right word) blew! So we couldn’t do anything with lights until the morning of opening.
Tech is NOT fun! Tech is NEVER fun! It is sometimes less painful than it could have been. But it will never be fun!
And in honor of this inarguable truth, I dedicate this week’s blog posts to tales of tech week horror!