Ok - well Sleepy Hollow opens tonight - and I think we're pretty ready. This thing has gone through more permutations than Joan Rivers face. Last week we determined that everything we FIGURED we were gonna do just wasn't gonna be cool enough... all the old timey radio effects were very hit and miss - and it just seemed goofy rather than remotely scary. And thus - we decided instead to embrace modern technology and basically score the entire thing... musically and with a crap load of sound effects... Kind of like Our Town, I guess. Although I hadn't really thought about that until just now. So it's Our Scary Town. Which i suppose can be sometimes fitting for Huntington if you're hanging out with the right people. So what did this mean... well - it meant that in a very very very short time I had to come up with a sound design. And a gigantic one at that. For the first couple days I was just hyperventilating in front of my laptop - the first day of work it took me about eight hours to get through three pages... which, considering I had a week before we opened, was not that encouraging. Because I had to work down and dirty I didn't even attempt to use the more super-complex sound editing program that I have (With my obsessive personality there just wasn't time to obsess about choosing one of eighteen different reverb settings)...so instead I kind of gave myself a crash course in Mac Garage Band which is remarkable powerful, versatile, and QUICK to use and edit with. Rich kept saying "are you done yet?....are you done yet?...are you done yet?" as the clock kept ticking and I just tried to keep on crossing stuff off the list. Thank goodness we did the Tempest, because we had the fantastic program that we used to RUN the sound still. This thing was way too complicated to try and run it from CDs... sounds layer over each other and have to interact and be triggered in an instant. So this thing is amazing.
Originally, in the first version of the show, Rich and I basically shared the storytelling and did the sound effects live. When we scrapped that, Rich thought I should tell the story, and he should run the sound. Which, to someone doesn't realize, could look like I'm doing a lot more than the Pack Leader... but Rich is operating 273 sound cues in the process of 55 minutes... And sometimes he's triggering like fourteen cues on one page. And if he screws up it's kind of like a snowball - everything can go wrong and keep going wrong for like 10 minutes until the stuff catches up with itself... so it takes a lot of skill.
So I was gonna tell the story. Which is all well and good. Except that two days ago, after FINALLY feeling like I was getting about 90% better... I lost my voice. Fun. I mean I could talk - but it sure wasn't easy...and the real problem was that my throat kept drying out while I was talking - and I can't get water every five seconds. So - that's been fun... But we're managing. And I have Po studying the script in case she has to take my place.
Normally having to have Rich rehearse a show would be crazy enough - because he's always so busy doing audience prep stuff - tablecloths, and seating arrangments, and tickets, and food choices, and bar stuff etc etc. that he hardly has time to breath - never mind do rehearsals. But this time it's been mega nutty because we're going through so many changes. Tonight is the very first night that we are doing the food in-house... so that has all of us a little nervous. Jean Anne did a great job on everthing - but she felt like the bump from 50 to 70 people had been a huge adjustment and was an awful lot for her. Plus she's running Nicks in the evening now.
So we got the kitchen fully approved as a space for cooking. We bought two huge refrigerators and a freezer... a new double oven (so there are now three in the kitchen) and Rich, on top of everything ELSE, had to study for the food prep test thing that one of the owners has to take in order to cook food on location. It was like a twelve hour online course - some of which was really complicated (diseases and diseases and diseases) and others were like... "Carol has just dropped a container of rat poison on the salad. Should she: a) throw it out b) rinse it off c) take a few bites to see if it's still ok.
They are also very very big on TEMPERATURES. Rich can now tell you the exact temperature that anything from pork to monkey's brains needs to be in order to serve. Then he had to schedule TAKING the actual test BEFORE the shows opened.. And it turned out the only place where he could get a slot was four hours away! So, that had him out of commision for a whole rehearsal day as well.
We looked at about twenty candidates for our new in-house Supper Club cook and met some really great people. We went with a fantastic gal named Sarah Gooley (which we found very suitable for the Halloween show!)... she's from Orlando, and went to culinary school and is a whole heap of Queen Latifah-like fun. And if it's one thing this theatre needs... it's another Queen. So, as I type this she is down there chopping and simmering away for the first show. The pork loin, I have to say, is pretty freakin' awesome and I'm excited to get to have it every night after the show.
Another big hiccup in the middle of Sleepy Hollow prep was that I had committed to being a judge for the Miss Three Rivers pageant in Fort Wayne before we even knew we were DOING the show. And that was two days before we had our dress rehearsal (which had an audience...so it basically was opening night). When I said yes to this, I figured - Oh - judging a pageant - ok.. I'll show up at like 6:00pm the show will be at 7:00, home by 9:45. Hahahahahahahahaah. Nope. I had to be there at 9:00 am. AM. Yes, AM. And you all know how efficient I am in the mornings. At nine am I would have given this gal a 10 for evening gown.
The school where the pageant was being held ALSO was on a road whose name is not unique. There are TWO of the same named roads in Fort Wayne and GPS systems only know the WRONG one. We only discovered this when about four of the judges ended up driving to an area very populated by barns, goats, and probably the occasional banjo.