Haiku #110 - Conducting

the ones at the helm
don't fall asleep at the wheel
the show must go on

Today's matinee was the first time I've conducted since our break.  Last night I had a craaaazy dream about the show: we had technical difficulties at a performance, and the entire cast and crew got in a 15-passenger van (there are about 40 of us), and our director fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a concrete barrier and a guardrail.  Anxious much?  I was a little nervous at the show, but overall it went well for the first time conducting in a few weeks.  Whew!  Back to my regular chair at the second keyboard tonight.  Three more shows in Chicago - I like it here and I'll be sorry to leave!

Haiku #51 - Conducting Debut!

(warning - spoiler alert)

Hold up a second -
I thought the blackout came at
the end of Act One???

I'm pretty sure the universe messes with me to keep me from taking myself too seriously.  I was up on the podium conducting the opening number of In the Heights  during an actual performance for the first time, hands a little cold but feeling pretty calm.  A few bars before I had to play, I noticed I'd forgotten to turn my stand light on.  Ok, click.  No light.  Uh-oh.  Shit.  What kind of an idiot am I that I didn't check my light before the show?  I glance at the horn section - lovely, working lights.  Oh well - guess I'm playing at least this number in the dark. Good thing I know the show so well.

I start playing the first montuno, and a few bars in, I see my cue light blinking, which is usually the signal to pick up the phone and talk to the stage manager.  WTF!?!?  I can't talk now!!  I'm playing! With both hands!  IN THE DARK!  ...aaand a few seconds later, I feel a rush of relief as I hear the stage manager's voice come through the house, announcing that they have to fix a technical problem and restart the show.  Phew!  It turns out they've lost power on one of their boards, which happened to be the one that also powered my stand light.  I'm not an idiot (at least not for that reason).  

That is what relief looks like, after surviving
my first time conducting a show of this size.
Note that the theater looks like a spaceship. 
That was exciting.  There were other moments of excitement, but none that anyone in the audience noticed.  Now it's time to have a drink & sleep before an early bus call.  Conducting tomorrow night too!  

Haiku #50 - The Conductor

A rabid windmill*
The conductor waves her arms
in case they're watching.

We're in Athens, GA tonight - another place I wish we could stay longer, based on the food, hospitality, and the nice venue.  Alas, it's a one-nighter.  

I ran most of soundcheck this afternoon, because I'm conducting the show tomorrow night.  I'm excited/nervous - it's a big show, with lots of people and machines depending on me not screwing up.  However, I humbly remind myself that, as with so many conductors before me, they aren't really paying attention most of the time!  

*highly recommend this Charles Hazelwood video