Monday, January 31, 2011

Producing Theater

I'm sick today. So sick that I'm thinking about the process of producing theater. I'm not so sick as to do it myself, but I'm sick enough to think about it. Stomach virus or food poisoning. Considering the bug that's been going around I suspect stomach virus.

Watch me segue into the next part:

Say you and a few friends come to New York. You want to build a theater company but you don't have very much money.

Firstwise, try to get some people together who get along. People who respect one another's talents. People who have positive attitude, who actually want to see their theater get done and not people who just talk a game but really don't want to do anything and who secretly get jealous of you when you get something done.

Next you need to figure out your "mission". Let me take a moment out here to ask you not to do something. Remember that idea you had for "The Cherry Orchard" back in college? Or that other play you read and always wanted to play the lead in? Or any other play that's already been done? Don't do them. Please. They've already been done. And, quite frankly, they've been done better. Over the last several hundred years some bozo has thought they could do that play better than someone else. And one of those bozos did. The other bozos? Not so much. Guess which category you're in? Heck, no, go ahead and produce another 12th Night. No really. I'm kidding. Don't.

So what is your mission? It's to develop new works. Go ahead, say it with me: "Our mission is to develop new works."

Now as far as actually producing new works, here's where producing at Theatresource pays off for you. As a producer you need to get a show up on its feet in front of an audience. You just have to. You can't tell how a show is working 'till it's up and running. You can start with a reading, but eventually you have to have actors in costumes and maybe some light and sound cues to actually see the dang show. And the biggest expense in doing that is renting a theater. You can get Theatresource for free if you're able to sell 30 $18 tickets.

So make a year-long plan where you produce between 1 and 3 works. Workshop the show using Theatresource's "development series" so that you're not renting and instead you're working on the stage of whatever other show is there. Your total budget can be as low as a few hundred dollars and you get to see a show on its feet so that you can make needed changes and develop it.

In a year you're going to have your show in good shape.

You're not going to make money hand over fist in theater. The only people who can do that are a half-dozen Broadway shows. But you can be a theatrical producer without spending thousands of dollars.

In the meantime, Pedialite tastes terrible.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Legend of Bellware

My sister, searching out the few Bellwares of the world, stumbled upon the blog The Legend of Bellware, written by a young lady in Venezuela.
Her name is Isabella, and she adopted the nickname of "Bellware" in what I presume is an English-sounding name to her.

The irony is that "Bellware" doesn't mean anything in any language. If it were really an English name it would mean something like "the products made from bells" which doesn't really make any sense.

The Italians tend to want to spell it "Bellaware". Or at least in the part of the country I come from people want to make it rhyme with "Delaware".

The French (and there are some French Canadians with the name) want to spell it "Belleware".

The strange thing is that Bellware comes from "Belouin", which is in turn a corruption of "Blouin"*. I have no idea why, but when my great-grandfather joined the Union Army in the American Civil War at the age of 14 he adopted the name "Bellware" (as in, no kidding, "Francis Napoleon Bellware) and seemingly never looked back.

So we think The Legend of Bellware is simply awesome. It's like having relatives in Venezuela!

*Further research has revealed this to be technically incorrect. "Bellware" comes from "Blouin". "Belouin" also comes from "Blouin".

Questioning Islam

So I've been trying to get a question about the practice of Islam by using the Internet. The Internet has been very irritable with me about answering the question.

Actually, I had two questions. What I wanted to know was:
  1. Which direction does one pray in?
  2. Do practicing Muslims who are traveling carry compasses?

Now the first question is a tad more complicated than most non-Muslims might think. We tend to say "Muslims pray toward Mecca". Er, technically that's not entirely accurate. The idea is to pray toward the Qibla which is in Mecca. Luckily there is the handy QiblaLocator online which points you to the right direction.

But here comes the very counter-intuitive part. If you live in North America and wanted to go the shortest way to Mecca/Qibla you want to go northeast. Which seems at first to be absurd. Mecca is clearly south of North America. But for the same reason that an airplane trip from Chicago to Singapore doesn't take you over the Pacific Ocean (you go over the North Pole and down Asia), the actual direction from practically anywhere in North America to Mecca is northeast.

Now we are talking religion here, so of course there are Muslims who insist the "right" direction to pray in is southeast. And I'm sure there are arguments on Muslim message boards up the wazoo on the subject. Shockingly, even in English I haven't managed to avoid them.

For the second question, regarding traveling with compasses, as far as I can tell the answer is "yes". Many Muslims carry compasses.

The third, unasked question, is "Which way do you pray if you're in space?" I believe the answer is "toward earth."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Did You Miss InGenius?

Well lucky you can see InGenius Again from February 17-20th at 8pm with a matinee at 3pm on the 20th.


See! Annalisa Loeffler desperately try to marry off her daughters while keeping a chin up after having left Moscow.
Experience! James Edward Becton doing situps, sexxy sexxxy situps.
Thrill! Michael Selkirk does dastardly things to the innocent Greg Oliver Bodine.


And more... so much more!

A Kitten and a Bunny

CNN's article on the least evil banks.
My brother David wins the Facebook comment of the day: in a discussion with my Canadian cousin about the workings of their health-care system:
Your health care is just like ours, then: if you can explain it, then you're not sick enough to use it.
And lastly...

Hmm... that's all I got!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Listen and Obey


Apparently I just read whatever books John Scalzi tells me to.

This Conversation Actually Happened

We: Hey you know a funny thing about this book City & the City by China Mieville? They have "Reading Group Questions and Topics for Discussion" at the end of it.
All books have that now.
Really?
Well, not the books you read.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Josh James on the 'Zon

Author, playwright, father, man-about-town, Josh James has a book of plays for the Kindle up on the Amazons. Buy it today.
Ooh look, the slightest of research on my part shows us two books of plays. "The The Plays" and "Spooge". Once upon a time at least one of these was produced at Theatresource. Uh. I'm too old and I don't remember. I vaguely recall dinosaurs roaming the earth. I need some hot chocolate. Maybe a sweater with patches on the elbows.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pushkinly

Pushkin -- I would call him "Mr. Fun". Stories include: him drunk dialing my dad's ex-girlfriends (yeah, I'm not going to blog about that one, you'll just have to ask me sometime), the way his tail would be up in a question-mark and then flip over to be a question-mark in Spanish, and how he would patrol the whole house in a fun lurky cat-stalky way.
He was so so soft. Really luxuriantly soft.

Floaty duck-cat with cat toy. He looks like a bad composite here, doesn't he?
These pictures were taken by my sister at the end of 2001.

Pushkin Stories

My favorite Pushkin story is the way he met my dad. My dad was adamantly opposed to "having animals in the house." To him, having a pet is such a great responsibility because he was brought up on a farm, and on the farm the animals come first.
And furthermore, cows and chickens are major pains in the ass.
He never realized that cats are vastly easier. You don't have to milk them every day. They're relatively clean. You don't need to "walk" them.
In any case, friends of mine had a spare cat. It was a cat who originally belonged to their neighbor, who had gotten a pit bull which effectively chased the cat of of its own house. So the cat was living with Kevin and Andrea but they already had a couple cats and those cats weren't getting along with the new cat.
So I took the cat on the condition that I'd bring him back if my dad really had such a big conniption that I really couldn't keep him.
The first night, I kept the little fellow in my room. Then I moved him down to what was then my office -- the back porch of the house. I could put his litter box there and keep him closed off from the rest of the house. That wasn't such a bad deal for the cat as the back porch is bigger than most New York apartments. In any case, I had him there for about a week. He hid in the cupboards for about a day. He didn't come out until I was talking on the telephone. Then he immediately jumped on my lap. That's when I learned that he absolutely had no fear of people and loved to hear them talk.
So one day about a week later I'm out at work and my dad, not realizing I'm not there, stops in to check on me in my office and he opens the door to look in.
Sitting on my chair is this cat.
I so wish I had a picture of my dad, standing there slack-jawed at the cat, and the cat looking back at him.

But rather than be scared of the very angry man, the cat jumps down off the chair and trots over to the door where my father is just seething. The cat rubs himself on my dad's shins (as cats are sometimes wont to do.) He's being all purr-y and affectionate when my dad had been very clear that he wouldn't accept any animals in the house.

My dad, for whatever reason, decides that my sister is somehow primarily to blame for the illegal importation of this cat into his home. Which worked out well for me. It did not work for the logical disconnect -- my sister lives hundreds of miles away. And furthermore, the fact was that my stepmom (who hadn't moved in yet at that point) was thrilled that we had a cat.

So my dad talked to me about it and I promised that the cat would only stay on the back porch and my dad wouldn't have to worry about him. We hadn't named him. Some things like "Howard" were suggested. I think Kevin and Andrea were calling him "Ivy" as in "IV" (although I don't remember if that was because they felt he had a greenish look to him or because he was the fourth cat, or because of his markings.) In any case, a couple weeks later I find out that when I was going out to the theater at night my dad was secretly letting the cat out into the rest of the house.

Ha!

A couple weeks after that my father agreed that the cat could stay downstairs. No animals allowed upstairs (this was actually the rule many years earlier when we had a dog.) But the cat wasn't restricted to the back porch at all, he just isn't allowed upstairs. So what did the cat do just as soon as we let him out of the back porch? He makes a bee-line, up the stairs, for my dad's bedroom, and jumps up on my dad's side of the bed, where he curls up and goes to sleep.

Yes, he was actually as silky soft as he looks. 
A year or so later after my stepmom had moved in my dad was complaining about how the cat was sleeping on his side of the bed. Finally my dad said he managed to solve the situation by getting Pushkin off his side of the bed -- by turning the electric blanket on the other side of the bed. My dad said "I got Pushkin off my side of the bed so now he sleeps on his side of the bed."
Wait. His side of the bed? My stepmom was not amused but it cracked me and my sister up.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rest, Pushkin

Pushkin
199? - 2011

Pushkin died today at the age of about 13 or 14. He had liver failure and had stopped eating, his health having declined rapidly over the last week. 
He was always such a nice cat who loved people and responded to the emotions of humans. He is missed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Testo

We have a branding problem at Theatresource. Back in the day Fiona came up with the best name for a women's festival: Estrogenius. OK, that's pretty funny and it's catchy.
Soon we had Homogenius, Juniorgenius, InGenius, EthnoGenius, and now TestoGenius.

Now, I love a lot of the guys doing the TestoGenius festival but I have to say the name? Ugh. And why?

OK, so I'm going to start from a position which goes against the current orthodoxy about women in theater. The first year we produced Estro, Theatresource really needed to produce Estro. But that's not because of the lack of female playwrights on Broadway. We have nothing to do with the Broadway system. Exactly one of our shows in 10 years went to Broadway (and then only for a couple months). We are not a feeder institution to Broadway or even Off-Broadway.

We needed Estro to bring more women into Theatresource becuase otherwise there were a LOT of straight white guys running the place (yes yes, you -- snickering in the back -- we needed a women's festival to bring in more hot chicks for those straight, single men. Are we done? OK, now pay attention.) Leading into that first Estro we had relatively few female playwrights and directors working at Theatresource. After that first Estro (when I counted at one point) we were rolling about 50/50 at Theatresource -- about half the shows were written/directed by women.

So the important part of these festivals was to bring in a group we didn't have at Theatresource before. I think that's why "Homogenius" failed -- it's not like gays are underrepresented in theater. Plenty o'gays, everywhere. We're fine.

JuniorGenius? Brilliant. Keep up the good work. Bring youngins into a professional environment. They love it. Their parents will buy lots of tickets. It looks good on our CV.

You know who's not a part of our community in proportion to their proportions out there in New York? African Americans, Asians, and Latinos. And for years there's been talk of AfroGenius or EthnoGenius or something like that although it never got off the ground.

But TestoGenius? Why don't we make it just part of InGenius? Or call it "Uncle Vinnie's Whiskey Hour". I mean, who wouldn't come to that?

Sorry guys, I just can't even say the words "TestoGenius" without feeling a bit sick to my tum. I feel like we all need those rubber things that hang down from a truck's trailer hitch...

More about Theatre

OK, this is what I think.

Theatresource should set up three different producing entities -- each responsible for 3 or 4 weeks of theater per year. Let's call these the "A", "B", and "C" companies. One could be the Writer's Forum in its present form, one could be a producer who wants to lead their theater company, the third could be a collective. Heck, they could all be collectives or all be run by individual "Artistic Directors". There are many different ways to organize the three companies (and naturally they'd work with one another). And they'd probably change every year.

The companies are given budgets of zero dollars. Maybe we'll spring for subway fare for actors. Maybe you can use the rehearsal room at Theatresource as long as you use it during the day and you keep the stomping and shouting to a minimum.


  • Theatresource at the Director level doesn't care what plays you're putting on. We just want the money you bring in.
  • Theatresource at the Director level cares deeply what plays you're putting on. Other funding and grants are dependent on how well your theater serves various communities.

Your biggest imperative as a producer is to sell tickets. You must be selling tickets. You have to sell tickets. Selling tickets? Why that's your job. Sell tickets.

(And that being said there are advantages to well-reviewed plays, plays which serve a variety of underserved communities, that sort of thing. But that's for another blog post.)

I think that each production company (whether that company is a person, a collective, or a pre-existing development and production company) would likely do something like two weeks of a full-length show, one week of short plays, and fill in the dark nights with a half-dozen works in progress. And you might split up your weeks so that you have a couple months in-between each production. Or you might gang them all together. Everyone has lots of options.

The trick is that the producing company has freedom to do whatever they want to do (as long as it doesn't cost money). We have a LOT of lights. We have a LOT of set pieces. We have a shocking number of costume pieces. Everyone is willing to work for free. Theatresource pays the insurance. As a producer you have to make sure the show actually happens without too much crying.
And you must sell tickets. Sell 300 tickets a week between your 5 mainstage shows and your two flopnights each week. That brings the theater in $6300 (50 seats at $18 for 7 total performances.) I've had a drink but I think my math works out.

That's enough to cover our nut and even get postcards made.

The job is to sell tickets. The art will come along on its own.

Space

You know, I've noticed that lawyers tend to use a double-space after a period. I mean, my dad still uses a double-space but that's just because he learned to type some sixty years ago and only had a computer for the last ten. Slate has a hysterical article about two spaces being wrong. And I don't know about the lawyer thing -- do they reinforce the double-space after a period in lawyer school? Or maybe it has nothing to do with lawyers and it's just a coincidence.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Theater, the Source

Theatresource is back!

Well, almost. Last night at the after-party for InGenius you could certainly be forgiven for thinking that the place which has "produced some of the finest plays and playwrights of the past decade" (according to NYTheatre.com, see below) is back to doing just that. The excitement, the talent, the urge to do good work and to help others do good work was all there.

But then again today, Sunday (today), the place was closed altogether. Nobody (except me) doing anything there.

Hmm...
+++++
The Writer's Forum (the producer of the InGenius show) did a great job of producing. And by "great job of producing" I don't mean making sure the plays are written and directed well with good actors because although they did do those things, those things don't matter. I mean "getting butts in seats." Because that's the number one (and oft-neglected) job of the producers.

The fact of the matter is we have a branding problem. The "Writer's Forum" is really the writing board of Theatresource. The "InGenius Festival" is really the in-house production company of Theatresource. But politics being what they are, all of these things get different names.

In any case, there's been a sincere effort to get the Writer's Forum back up and running. And it's been recognized that the Writer's Forum is the "heart" of Theatresource. Of course, getting a group to workshop and produce short plays even once a year takes tremendous effort. But it's not only best for Theatresource to be able to produce its own original works for artistic reasons, but for financial reasons as well.

After all, we're dark a lot these days. And being dark costs us money because our daily "nut" is about the same whether we're dark or have a show.

There are two things we can do in order to make sure the space is booked every day:

  • Get outside producers to pay to put their show(s) up in our space.
  • Produce our own shows. 

The advantage of outside producers coming in is that we don't have to do that much work and we get cash coming in without us taking a risk on whether the show sells well or not. The advantage of producing our own work is that the potential upside of the ticket sales approaches our secret actual "nut" which includes all kinds of exciting debts that the 501c3 company owes to (say) the State.

I would suggest that Theatresource make itself responsible for producing three or four times a year for three weeks at a stretch. We could produce a couple full-lengths out of that. Making a commitment to produce that much work (from 9 to 12 weeks) is a lot of work. But if the producers focus on getting tickets sold, it would also be remunerative for the theater. We'd have fewer dark nights and fewer nights which would have to be filled by outside (rent-paying) producers.

The trick is that it's a lot of work. Maybe Theatresource needs a "Production Committee" which has the mandate and the authority to produce up to (say) 12 weeks a year. It's absurd to have to go to the Board of Directors to get permission every time the Writer's Forum wants to produce. The Production Committee has to have fiduciary responsibility to make sure their revenue is greater than their expenses. Other than that, they need a mandate to produce (and yes, there is a Production Committee of the Writer's Forum, I would suggest they be given such a mandate.)
+++++
There's a great review of the InGenius show up at NYTheatre.com.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Moe Prager

So I've been reading more of the Moe Prager series of books by Reed Farrel Coleman. I met Reed at a wedding, but I'd never read any of his books.
I'm reading The James Deans now. And it's just another terrifically well - written book. The idea in the books, about a Jewish private investigator, is just brilliant. The relationship Moe has with his brother, with his Catholic wife, with people from Brooklyn, is all about things like the relationship of Jewishness to American-ness and intellectuals and the working - class and... well it's about so much stuff it's impossible to write a short essay about it. But the important thing is that it's all in the form of brilliantly hard-boiled detective fiction. But you know, Jewish hard-boiled detective fiction.
Now with all that said the following might seem maudlin but it's not. The stories don't hit you over the head with their themes. I thought this was awesome. The book is written in the first person and at one point the protagonist is given a Star of David and a .25 automatic by a Holocaust survivor (right? I know).

"I couldn't help touching the star. It had been so long since I'd worn one that it felt odd against my chest, even a little uncomfortable. A little discomfort was a good thing, I thought. It made you pay attention. On the other hand I had almost forgotten about the pistol tucked in my jacket pocket. Strange, the things you get used to."


I don't know who his editor is, or if he does that work himself, but Coleman is a helluva writer.

Telephonisial

Now I got that whole Boost Mobile thing straightened out. I quit my iPhone.
Not only is the Boost "pay as you go" plan vastly cheaper for me than AT&T, it also works in my apartment. As in I could send and receive phone calls from my apartment. And although I have a telephone in my apartment, sometimes being able to text is good.
In any case, I'm sure Verizon works great everywhere. I just don't feel like spending $1200 a year on Verizon. I'm thinking I might be paying somewhere $200 for a whole year (including the Sanyo semi-smart-phone) with Boost.
And that's just how things are.

"Someone deflated your tennis racquet." and "That's worth one 'Jabberwocky'" both amused me to no end today.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yikes!

My zodiac sign may have changed! Oh noes! I might be a Capricorn now.
What I really want to be is a Ophiuchus, just because how cool would that be?*
I plugged my info in at the free chart from Alabe. I think I was born at 8:14pm but I could just be making that up. I asked my dad.

Next: I'm taking up alchemy!
++++
*"Ophuchicus, or the snake holder, was ejected from the charts when the Zodiac was codified at the 12 we know of today, to align it more accurately with the calendar. And Libra didn't come into things until Julius Caesar's time."

Do You Have Your Tickets?

To the Theatresource production of InGenious? There's a lot of great stuff, including our own James Becton and Greg Oliver Bodine wearing sexxxxy flip-flops. The beautiful and glamorous Robin Kurtz plays in a play writ by the Queen of Mars. Alaina Hammond (Earthkiller) is a writer, so is Vincent Marano (Clonehunter). Michael Bordwell (Earthkiller) is a director
Why must needs to get your tickets early? Because there are (give or take) about a thousand members of the cast and their friends and family will be coming and the show only runs for 9 performances!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You Will Enjoy It

Jury Fraud Schemes are just another reason to never pick up the telephone.
I can't get Boost Mobile to get back to me when I submit via their special submission form. I suspect I have no way of not paying for the phone every day.
UPDATE: they did get back to me, but by talking to my voicemail. Which for most people represents more personal service (I just inherently hate the telephone, so I prefer email). In any case, indeed, the phone costs $2 every day whether I use it or not. Poopity. So that was a hundred-dollar mistake (the cost of the telephone). That actually makes the phone as expensive as AT&T. Plus, of course, I spent a hundred bucks on the phone. I think this means I'll be moving over to Virgin Mobile's $25/month plan.
Oh wait, no, unless I go with their "pay as you go" plan. The rates on it are... weird. And complicated. We'll see how that works. The lady on the phone should have told me about that.
+++++
This is an image from something called the Internet. There are many cute animals (and naked people) on this "Internet". For that reason alone you will enjoy it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Amalgamated

Amalgamated Bank, America's Labor Bank, still has free checking. That makes it different from a bunch of other banks. Amalgamated has free checking for both business and personal accounts.

LOL

Zambri is playing at Brooklyn's The Rock Shop on Saturday the 8th. Oops. That was two days ago.

As it turns out:

"The different Scandinavian "languages" are more similar to one another than the different Chinese "dialects" are."

Boost

So I bought a Boost mobile phone with their $2/day plan and I don't know if they don't charge me $2 for any day I don't make any incoming or outgoing calls or texts or anything. And I just discovered that I don't know this late last night.
Which surprises me, because I would have thought I'd have caught that.
And it means that I may have just blown a hundred bucks on buying the Sanyo phone from them if I end up having to go over to Virgin's $25/month service anyway.
Meerph.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Your Three Things for Today

If someone snipes your domain (meaning they buy it before you renew it) you apparently have 30 days to get it back. At least that's what this article says.

I am growing weary of spending $70 a month on AT&T's iPhone plan. I can't really use my phone in my apartment anyway. I've been looking at other plans.  Considering how little I use my phone I'm seriously considering a $2/day pay-as-you-go plan.

Hey, do you want to know what a stage manager does in the theater world? Then check out this article.

More Warhammer Words

Iho-stick = a drug that's smoked. It seems to be smoked as much as tobacco so I suppose the amount of psychoactive drug in it is relatively small.
Craproaches = the interstellar equivalent of cockroaches, obviously.
Spout = the chamber of an automatic weapon.  You might refer to the number of rounds in a weapon as "Ten in the clip and one in the spout."
++++
Kangas says I should see Perfect Getaway by Twohy. I shall do so.
++++
Our own Katie Hannigan is producing a comedy show here in New York. Be there and be square:
The Love Triangle Show
Wednesday, January 19th, 8pm
Happy Ending Lounge
302 Broome St.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Cats... and cats.

How are there David Wellington books I've never even heard of?
SF Signal likes Heretics by S. Andrew Swan.
Calico and Lynx. What's funny is that apparently the calico was originally identified as a Persian, so the link has "Persian" in the title, even if the article itself doesn't. That happens to me sometimes too.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Class War

I don't know whether I should post this here or at Puppies and Toast (my politics blog). I'll post it here because "theater" is one of the open topics of Pleasure for the Empire.
Apparently the average stagehand makes a half-million dollars a year, and they don't have to do any work at all! I mean, what kind of brain-power does it take to move some chairs around and hang some lights? Ha! I mean that's what I read in the paper so it has to be true, right?

Here's an article by the bozo James Ahern of the North Jersey paper the Record from last year about the money stagehands make. It's a very moralistic essay about how arts are suffering yet these stage hands are making so much money. The story was originally "broken" by the New York Times*. And now New Jerseyans, who pay for arts in New York, are paying for these high salaries of workers in these hard economic times when everyone else is taking pay cuts. I mean, everyone except for those at the very top. Those people shouldn't have to take cuts.

Here's a most telling quote from the article:
Gillinson, who doubles as artistic director, was paid $946,581, nearly twice as much as O'Connell, the props manager, but not out of line for top arts executives in Manhattan.
 So, certain jobs are perfectly reasonable to be paid well for. But other people making half that are the problem? Why doesn't Ahern ask Gillinson to take a cut in pay?

The article, as many articles do, contradicts its own thesis by the end of it. It goes on to explain that these dudes who make upwards of half-million a year are working from 8am to midnight. My thumbnail estimate of their base pay is that it must be about fifty bucks an hour.

Another thing the article doesn't say is how freakin' hard this work is. I'm sure that's because Mr. Ahern has no idea.

So I'd like to invite Mr. Ahern to come to my little off-off Broadway theater, Manhattan Theatresource, and do a load-in or a strike. We won't work you for 16 hours though. No, we have very easy days and we're used to interns who don't know what they're doing. We will be easy on you.

We'll have you strike the lights (the rented ones, not the ones which are part of the rep plot -- do not screw that up, read the blueprint carefully). Run new cable.
Then hang the new lights for the new show (hey, how long can that take? We're only a 50-seat house, not like Avery Fisher or the Met.)
The floor and the set are waiting for you to finish dealing with the lights overhead so that job has to be done accurately and quickly.
Then you load in and finish the floor and the set. You'll be the most junior member of the crew, so you'll have lots of help doing those things. Just don't break anything, it's all very expensive. And hope that the set designer calculated how big the set pieces should be in order to get them up the stairs and through the door. If not, you'll be cutting them down and re-building them either on the street or in the entrance-way of the theater.
Remember that we have a rehearsal and a run-through tonight and the lighting designer still hasn't focused the lights (which will involve you being up on a ladder in the dark).
And if you are not indeed on the verge of tears, or have run from the building clutching your hands which got burned from neglecting to pay attention to which part of which lights were hot, we will make you the props master on a run of a show. And if you screw up the location of even one of hundreds of props during the short 6-show-a-week run we do, there will be hell to pay.

How's that sound, Mr. Ahern?

Then you should wonder if theater professionals should make about $50/hour plus overtime.

*I don't know why he didn't link to the article.

First Thing This Morning

A broken antler pushes open my chapped, crusty lips. I feel a dirty, cracked hoof, unsteady on my moving tongue, push off the back of my throat. Stumbling onto my already drool-crusted pillow, a disheveled and disturbingly damp yak named "Drizzo" crawls out of my mouth.
He takes two steps away, headed toward the bathroom or the kitchen, I don't know yet. But he stops for an unsteady moment and looks back at me with one bloodshot eye. He says in a slurred morning voice:
"Man, you don't want to go in there."
And he turns and walks away.
It's another minute or so that I realize he was talking about my mouth.