Tag Archives: work

Workages

13 Jan

Nothing too strenuous, just moving lights around, didn't even have to go up a ladder, phew.
I watched Derren Browns new show, which I think is amazing. I have as much fun trying to work out how they are done as I do watching the illusions.
Also watched Justin Lee Colins on convention crasher when he became a magician, it was actually rather good…other than the skin tight Lycra suit.
A rather late night to be followed by a stupidly early morning. Hurrah

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Happy New Year

5 Jan

Bit late, but work it now over, and the pay checks are in, it's been fun, I shall miss most of the cast, I shan't miss the show at all.
I've got a fully signed program from everyone (should be worth a bit on e-bay) and facebook addresses of anyone who came within 100 miles of me.
Just got to get all of it out on Wednesday and I don't have to think about UKP till the summer and Singing in the Rain comes back, which coincidently has two of the Panto people in it.
And…relax.

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Journey South

30 May

After my lack of sleep last night, I was quite looking forward to what I thought would be a nice relaxing night, come in point a light at someones face, then sod off home again.
Wrong.
Firstly I was told that if we even slightly let our spots waft away from their faces, the tour manager would be up there and give us a slap, and John decided to supply me with a drink that tasted like Dr Pepper, but had all the active ingredients of a nuclear bomb, and made me twitch even more that the last comment did.

What really made my night though was talking to my boss about the forthcoming Lee Evans shows.
Basically, if I mess on the spots that night, I'm getting fired. I understand that this is a big night for us, if we get it right, then we get put on the warm-up list for Off The Kerb, who have some amazingly big names in comedy, like Jack Dee, Johnathan Ross, Jeff Green, and tons more as well as Lee Evans, but if we get it wrong, then we have basically killed comedy in Lowestoft.

Journey South were very good, as they should be, because although they didn't win X-factor, they have had more of a career than the person who won, which I think was Shane Ward that year. They did quite a few things off their first album, which was quite a lot of covers of things like Desperado and Living on a Prayer, and tons more from the new album Home.
Two things that I enjoyed, one was them singing Never Forget, by Take That, which they brought a lovely cute (possibly tone deaf) local choir in to sing, ah, bless! The other was an uberfan called Tyler, that has apparently been to nearly every one of their gigs on this tour, and sings and shouts out random things from the audience every night. This night however when they were playing Rockstar (by Nickleback) they got him up on stage to play air guitar and sing along. Ah bless again.

Day off tomorrow, which I'm making the most of before a long-ish day on Sunday. I'm also making the most of my job. The 9th of June could be my last.

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The Work Related Blog

5 May

I've come to the conclusion that I've never really written a blog about what I do for work, I did a few from Morrison's, but mainly about how I got burned to shit, and how bastardy they were, but anyway this is different. So this is a bit of an explanation of what I do, and a bit of a description of the Barbara Dixon show, I love her!

So, the day started off at a nice early 9:00 and a lighting rig to do.
We have 4 LX (lighting) bars in our theatre, all of which are winch bars that take 300 years to wind up and down, so the less movement we have to do on these, the better. We use the normal type of ancient lamps, hey, this is a government building, if they don't have to spend money, they won't. Yes, so we took a few Par cans (Fig.1) down from the first 3 bars to make up a new bar 4 on one of our other bars, these are counterweight, basically you work out how much all the stuff on the bar is gonna weigh, then shove some heavy shit in the other end of the rope/wiry thing and then when you pull the wire, the weights balance out the stuff on the bar, making it humanly possible to move over 100 kilos of stuff without breaking too much of a sweat. Why can't all our bars be like that? 20 Par cans on the new LX4 and lots of gel's (the pretty bits of plastic that go in front of the lights to make them pretty colours, not different coloured light bulbs as you may think) and a few Profilers (Fig.2) that stop people looking like ghosts when lights hit them straight from the front made up our input in the lighting department, ready for the get-in crew to bring a whole other truck of lighting to add to ours, I think another 10 big lights (Possibly more Par cans I wasn't actually paying attention) but these were even more funky, as they came with an attachment, kind of like a brevil maker, called a scroller (Fig.3) that basically does what it says on the tin, it has about 10 colours in it, and when a button is pressed it scrolls from one colour to the next in a matter of split seconds, and for the other lights, some Gobos (Bits of metal with shapes cut out of them (Fig.4a) which made a pretty leaf pattern over the stage kinda like this (Fig.4b) for the moody wintry songs. The other wonderful addition to our lights, was a star cloth, which (I didn't know) is a cloth that hangs up at the back of the stage and has lots of little LED (Light emitting Diodes, or some words like that) lights on it that twinkle like stars (Fig.5). Very perdy, but a pain in the arse to put up (well this one was) it came in 3 parts and had to be vectored together, and they didn't line up properly, so one was about a foot longer than the other. Very tidy. I think that covers everything in the lighting depot. Oh yeah, we did focus them which involved someone (not me) going up a very high ladder (not me) that wobbles lots (not me) and has to be moved across the stage (not me) to point all the lights in the right direction so there's no dark spots (not me, I HATE heights, despite the fact I was up in the rafters about 5 times during the day to find gels for all our lights, not always in the place they were meant to be, there's a filing cabinet up there with numbers, but most of the gels can be found in a box on top of the cabinet marked "waiting to be sorted". Yes you will have a long wait, basically waiting for the next time I have a day off.) But luckily the touring light person jumped straight up the scope relieving me of my fear, for this week at least. Next was the front of house lights, or "the-lights-that-stop-you-looking-like-a-shadow" We scraped together the last 8 Par cans in the whole building (and you could tell that the were the very un-used ones, the dust and the chipped paint was a dead give away) and strapped these to some side bars at the front of the stage, and after much cable-ing (not sure if that's actually a word, but hey) we got them up and looking like a slightly dodgy set of traffic lights all ready for the sound truck to go in.

 

ParcanScrollerLeafeygoboProfilerLeafGoboStarClothTvremoteMonitorsFollowspot

Hurrah, more work! Now, I don't pretend to know how sound stuff works, I have problems tuning my radio some days, and I usually hit the channel change button rather than the sound button on the remote control (Fig.6). Basically there was 2 speakers at either side of the stage pointing the sound at the stage, and the speakers we have in the building brought the total up to 6, and a couple of bossy ones, but the monitors (ones that point at the artistes so they can hear themselves (Fig.7)) came to about 10, so as long as they can hear each other, they don't care who else can hear them…strange. The most impressive thing was the amount of instruments they had between, well 6 if you include Barbara, was 5 acoustic guitars, 2 electric guitars, one bass guitar, one fretless bass guitar, 3 keyboards, a set of 5 different pipes, flute, saxophone, oboe, tambourine, some rattley things, a 30 piece drum kit, and something that looked like a mini set of bagpipes, but sounded a hell of a lot nicer. So they were all annoying muli-instrumentalists, but by god did they sound amazing, even the sound check where they don't have to do anything spectacular (they were playing to me and one other sound guy) sounded brilliant (Fig 9, when I've uploaded it). A couple of nice things I did get from the sound guy, was the information of the original multi-track recording of bohemian rhapsody, so when I find my proper sound programs on my computer, I shall have great fun listening to all the different parts, and maybe even singing along. Who am I kidding, of course I'll be singing along. The other thing, and I'm stalling for time here whilst I try and remember the guys name, was a medley of songs from musicals, done in a Scottish style. Dean Park, that was his name, (Youtube vid) and another one of Elvis things that I haven't found yet, which cracked me up for about 10 minutes and another 10 when I just downloaded it, amazingly funny to my little mind.

So, show time rolled around (after having my ears talked off the second I wandered into the high street, damn Saturday stalkers) and the second before house opened, I was informed that we had colour gels in the spotlights too (Fig.10), so we had an extra thing to deal with. I found this out on the first day I tried to use a spot light. I'm a short arse. So the news that I had to reach about twice as far as my arms would reach is bad news in itself, without the fact that guy was a bit dodgy with his calls, like "put frame 2 in now" *reaches* "Erm, I can't find frame 2 in…where is it…oh it's already in, why call the same thing TWICE IN A ROW" and I don't know if it's just me and the colour-blind-ness that runs in our family but I couldn't tell the difference between the pink wishy washy light and the blue wishy washy light. I was considering leaving the wrong colour in just to see if he notices. I'm guessing not. The yellow/orangey one was nice, but it was only used for half a song, I think Here Comes The Sun. So it didn't look the best I've ever done, but it didn't leave anyone in darkness, what more can you ask for?

Erm, yes then we beat there get out time by about 10 minutes, when we wanna go home, by God can we move quickly. I'm sure since I've started working there, I've built up my muscles to the point that when the WAW lot come in about July sorta time, I can give them a run for their money again. At the very least I still remember how the ring is set up. They better let me come in to play that day.

So a comprehensive and eloquent run down of what I do I think. Not including doing house calls, which I've still not mastered, good job there's a cheat sheet on the desk right next to the microphone. Handy. I can't think of anything else interesting to say, about work, other than between now and Edinburgh (Fig.11) I need to work an average of 10 hours a week to cover all the money I think I shall need, hopefully I can work more than that and not have to count every pence I spend up there.

The Countdown:
15 Days till Tim Minchin
35 Days till Lee Evans
73 Days till Latitude
96 Days till Edinburgh

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Blog But on Paper-Pt2

2 Feb
Last time on blog but on paper, we left the travelling duo just as they prepared to evacuate the house and head south.

All was clear in the sky the snow had pissed off leaving the roads relatively clear apart from the odd lorry trying to kill us for being in a shiny car, apart from a bit of ice that only seemed to reside outside our gate. Strange.
So apart from going round roundabouts at 300MPH, and creating more G-force than F1 driver, we got to London unscathed and parked in a lovely car park. The wrong car park. So we had a nice walk along the Embankment at 8AM. I like London at 8:00 in the morning. No people. Few cars. Hobos waking up to liquid breakfasts. And SUN! I didn't mind the walk, but I was shattered and lost by the time we arrived. And halfway down the line, that ended up merging with the one for the London Eye [1]. This was where the "fun" began.
Now on the top of the audition forms, it clearly says "If you can't complete this form on time, just bring it along with you" and the words "Open Audition". So why in the blue hell were they taking people out of the line and moving them in front of us just because there names were on some bloody list. What was pissing many people off is they had sent the form off, but not received any form of conformation back. In the end there were lots of prospective Nancy's yelling in the direction of the camera crew until they finally decided to let a few of us through at a time, only to get put into another line, into another room. Wait I've done this bit before. So once we got to the room with a song and a number we were separated into groups of 10 and led to ANOTHER room (that building is bloody huge) then from our group we went in one at a time, and sung then waited till everyone had been in before we were all told the results. Again, on the audition form it does say the playing age of Nancy is 25-30, but all they wanted is for you to be over 17 on the day of the audition. So why were they turning away incredibly good young singers in favour of bleating older people. I'm not bitter on my behalf, I highly doubted I'd go through, but they did turn away some belters. Ah, well, I had a day out and met some lovely people, and I happy that I gave my best.

Embankment home was a tad busier at 1:00 in the afternoon (yes lots of waiting in the bloody building) and I went into tourist mode and starting pointing at living statues and singing to guitarists.
Oooh, and you'll never guess who I bumped into. I say bumped, more like had to fight my way through a crowd to get to, One Motion Crew, the break dancers from the 'mooners. So much against my dad's better judgement I went and had a chat with one of the dudes, and I think they were really flattered that anyone even knew who they were!
After returning to the car the journey home was uneventful. Dad killed shat-nav before we got out of London because he didn't trust it was taking us the quickest way. That really does some up my dad, arguing at a piece of technology designed to help him get someplace. Mum was pretty pissed that we didn't phone her before we left from London, or picking up her calls. She actually had a go at me for not answering my phone…WHAT BLOODY PHONE?!?

My job appears to be up shit creek, as I've not heard anything from them, so a Monday start is looking…doubtful.

I should be up bright and early tomorrow to listen to the Russ and Jon show. Depending on when I get to sleep tonight because I've currently been awake for 36 hours [2] I probably should be at church, with my new-ish flute, but I've never been one for Sunday mornings. But I shall at least be sending an e-mail to the radio show, I really REALLY want them to come play *Little Kid Mode*
Ok, so off to sleep before I die.

PS, I do realise I've just been writing this last bit on paper when I could have been typing it, whilst watching "Thank God Your Here". I'm actually resting the paper on the top of the bloody laptop case. I'm doing so much for the environment. 4 sides of A4 for a blog that no one will read anyway. Ah well I can type whilst I listen to the radio tomorrow. If I can decipher my hieroglyphic handwriting and gorgeous grammar.

[1] Whilst walking to the building we tripped over someone advertising the new Fiat 500 and the more I see it (we tripped over it at MPH too) the more I think I'd rather have one of those than my Jazzy. I know Jazzy's are a LOT cheaper, but the 500 is ubercute!

[2] Beating my previous record of 26 by a good margin. and on the subject of awakeness, you should see my writing on paper at the moment. I can barely keep the thing in focus. My doctor would be proud.

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Bordeom Strikes

3 Jan

Well, day 3 and I've already ran out of clever titles for entries. Can't wait to see what I call 3rd December 2008…Probably hyper space monkey poop or something like that.

I didn't have much to do today other than stare at my computer and shit myself about my job interview next week, so I put in all the archives for no one to muse over.

Ma has said if I get up at some un-godly hour of Saturday morning I'm allowed to pick out a shiny new outfit for Job interviews. (I use interviews in the plural quite wrongly, I hope that I only have to have this one interview and I can work in a theatre)

Oh, and Never Mind The Buzzcocks has gone down the pan. It really is shit and far too gimmicky. I'm not a big fan of Simon Amstell as it is, but he really has made the show crap. I only watch it now for Bill and Phill, and I'm sure they are getting bored with all the new and crappy performers they have. Either make it better, or I'm moving to Australia to watch Spicks and Specks live.

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Tis The Season Pt2

18 Dec

Well, as an update since last post, my hours have gone up again dramatically, because of the little nativity scene that went down yesterday in le cafe, resulting in BOTH the cooks walking out…hurrah
So now I’m working quite a few days in the run up to crimbletide, and hopefully that will mean bit of cash to spend in the January sales.

ALSO,
Jason bought me a lovely dvd for Christmas, he is a star !
I hope I will get to see Mark, either just before or just after Christmas
I hopefully will see Johnathan this week, as i think its been a year since I’ve seen him
and I have no more school till January !!

Thats all from me, probably till the new year, or at least until after Christmas, so have a good one.

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Huuuurrraaahhhh!!!!

27 Aug

I apologise now for the mass amounts of spelling mistakes that will invariably be in here, but I’m typing this at approximately 200MPH, because I am so happy!!!

I never thought I would be so happy to be unemployed, but, wait, IAMMMM!!!!

Basically, I’ve been a bit ill over the past week or so, and I even got them a nice shiny doctors note saying that I’m not well enough for work, yet they still phoned up every morning to see if I was coming in, and got angry when I didn’t turn up, and there is no way I’m getting up at 6:00 every morning just to phone them up for a “chat” so I told them to shove their job.

I know this is not a very good solution to my anger, but I really couldn’t hack being there anymore, and truth be told, it was probably that place that has made me ill.

So, I’m now actively trying a bit harder to find me a new job, any suggestions?

So for the time being (until I run out of money) I’m a happy being and stress free, and I have a wonderful person keeping me company at the moment, so yeah, go me for once !

The Day The Music Died

12 Aug

This has taken a while for me to write.
It’s only just sinking in.
These things take time to adjust.
You know that things that wrong can’t last forever, but it still doesn’t prepare you for the loss of something that major in your life.

I am of course talking about the loss, of the radio at work

*Sniff*

We had a visit last Monday, from a nice high up boss person, just to make sure everything was ship shape in the cafe (Which considering neither of the official cooks were on, is quite a good start) but apparently he took one look (or listen) of the radio and said it must go if we want to keep our jobs.
He was rather lucky that I wasn’t there, I kicked up a big enough fuss when I came in the next day, but if I had been there, boss or no boss, I would have yelled. That place is enough of a stressful hell hole with no daylight or air in there, and no company, save the odd order being yelled through at the top of peoples lungs, and they take away the one thing that makes us happy.

ARSE

I would love to be a fly on the wall tomorrow when Agnes (our other cook) comes back, as it was her radio and she LOVES her music, and I mean shes singing all the time, life without that radio may finish her off and I’m quite prepared to go with her, this is just unfair !!!

Also, the very same day my MP3 player packed up, so I couldn’t listen to any music to or from work or in the canteen (but its payday next week so, new one !)

So there we go, if I look more miserable than usual at work, you shall know why.

I’m sure I wrote one Yesterday

25 Jul

But as it’s not here, guess I better write another one.

Well, as you can see from my calender, I have quite a few things going on between now and Christmas (I know I know no talking about the dreaded “C” word just yet)

3-count them THREE comedians tickets are now in my possession, the greatest of all definitely being Jeff Green coming back to the playhouse to make up for the one he missed last year, and I’ve got me not only front row tickets, but right in the center front row tickets, so I’m gonna do everything in my power to be picked on! Also have tickets for Russell Howard front row again, just slightly to the side, so a chat with him wouldn’t go a miss either. The last one, was a birthday present from the ‘rents to see Alan Carr at the marina theatre. Now from where I’m sitting for this, I don’t expect to see a damn thing, but I’m taking Viv, so it should be a fun night out anyway.

I’ve also got a barbecue to go to with a lovely lady from work who’s celebrating her 65 birthday, good drink with sensible people, quiz night on Tuesday, hopefully putting my brain to good uses, and the shows have been booked for October.

I’ve not really done much else other than a shopping trip on Monday to spend most of Fridays pay, and lots of work as the summer hols have hit us.

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