Sunday, September 16, 2007

Training Squirrels, Part Three: The Alpha Squirrel Comes Around

On the plus side, despite any lingering health problems I’ve been making great headway with my class. The self-appointed “alpha squirrel,” the student who chose to step out of our group warm-up and has since spent his time sulking and refusing to participate, came around today.

I had been ignoring him completely, in part because I really didn’t know what to do with this kid, and in part because… um… that’s what SRK did. ^__^ He would sit and watch, and yesterday he came and said he couldn’t be at rehearsal for some reason, and I just said “fine, I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

In addition to his role in the play, he’s also our lighting designer. (All of the students have design and technical roles as well as acting ones. We’re a small department.) We have design meetings at the start of class, every few days, and I had previously been on his case about starting some kind of light plot. (For the theatre techies who read this – are there any? – we’re running a two-scene preset and have forty-eight dimmers, twenty of which actually work. I haven’t yet seen any of the equipment, and these kids of course don’t know a liko from a parcan, but from their descriptions I’ve gathered that the available lights are nearly all fresnels. There’s a strobe light at our disposal, which seems to make its way into every show – because strobes are cool – but I’m going to put my foot down on this one. No gels, for whatever bizarre reason. I’m guessing no gobos or barn doors or anything like that.)

He kept telling me that he didn’t need to make a plot. So I asked him instead to start planning where the cords would go, and where the board op would sit, and how we were going to rig the light poles (we’re working outside, on a “stage” which is actually a cement platform, and so all of these details need to be worked out). Which, of course, he never did.

Until today. Today he came up to me, after a few days of sulking and being ignored, and showed me some drawings he had made of a possible light plot. They were pretty good, and I told him so. He smiled for the first time all week.

And after that, he was a part of the team.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

It makes me so happy when there's jargon in a field that I can't understand.

I sometimes feel like we in science are alone in having our own language that "normal" people can't understand. It's heartening to remember that there's words I don't know that mean something to other people.

liko? parcan? fresnel? gels? gobos? I love it!