Sunday, December 11, 2011

Old Spotlight is Old

The show seems determined to have only three spotlights. Friday matinee, they had only three operators. Friday night, a lamp blew. The lighting dude, (who is a freelance video guy by actual profession and needs money so he took this gig) was fussing for the op to pull out the blue gel, when in reality that was a 1000 watt lamp in her death throes. They removed the unit, moved my trouperette, and I pulled double duty for Act 2. No worries.

Saturday matinee, the lamp was replaced, but went out again at the top of Act 2. The Lighting Dude and the Op were fussing with it, turning it on and off again, and so I stepped over. The lamp was good, the fan was on, so my head said "bad socket." Sockets do die after a time, and this light is easily forty years old. She's likely overdue for a new socket. I took off my jacket to handle the lamp, reseated it firmly, and it worked.

But it kept dying throughout Act 2. It would die, then work again, die, work again, and then die. I watched the operator. When it died, he'd nose it up in frustration, and then it would start to work again so he'd aim it down, and then it would die. That lamp is slipping out.

When the show was done, I stepped over with a flashlight and a paper clip. I pulled out the lamp, still fine, and pulled out the spring latch inside the socket, which should better hold the lamp. I turned it on and flung it up and down a few times, trying to unseat the lamp and I couldn't do it. Win.

At the evening show I told the Lighting Dude what I had done, and how to avoid the issue. Whenever the spot is not on someone, she needs to be nosed up, using gravity to help keep the lamp in place. I'd also be around to pull the latch again, but she should hold. When Spot 2 didn't die at all Saturday night, the other Ops said I threatened it into working.

Today I get to watch Stitch for real. I'm not working supposedly, but I do have a dress to re-iron and drop off this morning.

He's been having a grand time, bouncing around, humming the music, playing in the dressing room. The boys actually got their own dressing room this time, not a corner of the gym, and it's beautiful. I love it. They're making Zuca trains, which is great for them but bad for the wire hangers they're using as couplers.

He's been imitating the bigger skaters, trying their off-ice jumps. He says he'd like a solo next year. I said he'd have to work hard, but I think he could do it! Coach wants him to have one, too. She's stated before that one of her goals is a solo for him next year. There's a lot of freestyle boys around, their number is pretty big in comparison to last year, so the competition for it might be pretty stiff. Of course, if they gave back more solo parts that actually belong to males and not gender bend to accomodate the girls, things might be different. We'll see.

I was thinking last night, remembering why I put Stitch in the shows. He always says that he doesn't want to do them, yet when he's actually performing he's having a ball. He's good as gold, too. When I put his skates on him, I reminded him to take his watch off before he went on. Last night when I went to go collect him, he looked at me in horror and said, "Mom, I forgot to take my watch off, so I hid it undr my sleeve! Do you think anyone noticed?"

I said probably not.

The coaches seem to be getting some fun Stitch moments as well. Someone told me about a moment where Stitch asked the group at large, "Raise your hand if you fell!"

Through it all, I'm glad we did it. Perhaps next time my railings about badly dressing the boys will have had an impact. They deserve more and better than what they currently get. And yes, I do spot the Tot Boys as long as I can.


  1. Stich would make a cute little midnight reason why that one has to be a girl.

  2. Upvote for Stitch as Midnight Mouse. They need to gender bend some of the Princess and Queen roles. No reason a strong FS boy couldn't be the Snow King, or the Ice Crystal King, like in the ballet itself. Instead, they get shoved into Fritz or Nephew 5 and 6 and seven years in a row. I guess you don't mess with Scripture.

  3. There wasn't even a nephew this year and some of the stronger boys were not in the show at all.

    Some of the trade offs are hard though. If a girl has been in the program since she was little and she is graduating you want to make sure she has a solo - its good for the program b/c it keeps the others in and motivated b/c they know there is a reward at the end.

    Drosselmeyer for sure should not always be a girl though - the boy who played Russian could have been spectacular as the uncle.

  4. The reason there are so many "trouser" roles is that from about 2000 until just a couple of years ago there were not enough boys to cover all the male roles. I hope all these boys stay in the program long enough for that to change; plus if boys stay in the program, other boys in the district will start learning about this great opportunity.

  5. Do they find a role for every FS5 and up kid who auditions Xan?

  6. Every skater who has passed FS 4 and auditions is given a role.