"Theatre is probably the only field in the world in which the term 'strike' means 'more work.'" I've heard many variations on this quote over the years, but its inherent irony still amuses me. And it is, of course, absolutely right.
Tonight was Leaving Iowa strike, which is also changeover into Driving Miss Daisy, because that show opens in less than two weeks. Tonight's goal was to strike our fairly-massive set and all of the lights, and we accomplished all of that before things got too too late. It sort of reminded me of summer stock, only if it were summer stock we would have stayed until four a.m. or whatever until the next set was mostly loaded in. Those were great, great nights.
I had a blast at strike. It seems like such a long time ago now (reality check: 11 years), but my first professional theatre gig was primarily working with the set and lighting teams. For the next six summers, that's what I did when I wasn't in rehearsals, and for four years at college that was how I spent any afternoon I wasn't in class. Actually, college had convinced me that shop work was likely going to be my place in the world of theatre arts, and my first year at A. D. Players seemed to confirm that. Of course, then I hurt my back a couple times, and then they threw me in an office, and there I've been ever since. Nights like this are fun, though, because they remind me how much I really enjoyed all of that stuff. It's nice to get back to it at a fairly intense pace every once in awhile, because while I know some of my instinct and skill has diminished somewhat over the past five years since I was a shopworker (again, reality check: five years!), I still enjoy the work, and I always enjoyed the busy/rushed seasons the best.
Spending (likely) the whole day with the shop crew again tomorrow, 'cause while we've managed to bring one show down, we've still got a whole other one to get up ASAP. Just like the good ole' days :-)