Saturday, August 07, 2010

A Stage Manager’s Surreal World. . .

Though I have predominately spent the majority of my career dedicated to the visual arts, I also have quite a bit of experience working in the field of live entertainment both on and off stage. Currently, a steady summer gig that I have is that of stage manager for Christopher Peterson’s EYECONS – Hollywood or Bust at the Rehoboth Beach Theatre of the Arts in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It’s my second year satge managing the show and I must say that Christopher is an amazing talent and the show is wildly entertaining (if you don’t catch the show here on the East Coast before the end of the run on Sept. 19th, you’ll have to catch the show in Vegas where the production is moving).

There’s an genuine exhilarating energy in the air when working backstage during a production that is difficult to explain to anyone who has never had the unique experience. The lights, the costumes, the make-up, the cues, the opening and closing of the curtains, the count down to places, the crackle of the head set, the monitors, the dressing room antics, the streamlined action – when it all flows, all of it creates one whirlwind of creative intensity that its electrifying, compelling, and addictive to those who work within the field.

But, there are also times, especially during the hour or so before curtain, as the intensity grows , that seem almost surreal. From one side of the massive red stage curtain that separates the two worlds comes the sound of excited chatter arising from a packed house ever increasing in volume while my other-side-of-the-curtain world presents a temporarily calm ocean of colorful lights melding into muted shadows tinted by haze and powder. As the cast busily prepares in the backstage dressing rooms, I am in between worlds - and the cast empty, set, pre-show stage is my milieu.

I decided to capture some imagery from this world to share and document the experience for those who are only able to see the production from the audience. While I’ve not had that entertaining experience as I am part of the production, I am able to witness with each production a part of the show that few others will get the opportunity to experience. Quite often, it’s magical. I hope these artistically, digitally enhanced photos (but not so much so that they are far from the visual truth) will help to convey the surreal and beautiful world of the Stage Manager. . .








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