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First Days

First Days

I spent Tuesday afternoon this past week at CalArts for orientation. I picked up my I.D. card, met one of the other three MFA 1 lighting designers, and went on a tour of the CalArts facilities to find my way around better. To clarify, CalArts is one super-massive complex that encompasses 500,000 square feet. Think of it as the largest high school ever and instead of a gymnasium or multi-purpose room, there is a theatre, concert hall or dance studio in its place. Needless to say there are a lot of hallways, twists and turns to get around the place, and going on a tour was well worth it. By far the most interesting place I visited on the tour was the buildings Sub-Level. The corridor hallways are coated in years and years of student graffiti as a form of expressionism; anything goes as the art is completely uncensored by the administration.


Wednesday was my first official day with the LA Opera. After driving around the block a few times to figure out the parking situation, and explaining to the parking attendant that today was my first day on the job, I got my car parked and made it to the 1pm call on-time. I met more people than I can remember, of which I can maybe recall half of their names. I do at least remember my fellow intern‘s names. Bridgette and Phil have been with the Opera for a few weeks already, and were a great help catching me up.

Both of them are only here for the Fall season, and when Spring comes I will sadly be left alone.

Today was a great day for me to adjust to working at the Opera. It was the final dress rehearsal for the upcoming show Fidelio. There were just a few quick focus notes to go over on stage, and some curtain bow lights that had to be added to the front of house. It is really nice to be an assistant now and not have to do any physical labor, but at the same time I already miss not being able to hang lights. Bridgette and I also updated the paper work and added it to the book. We had a bit of free time before the house opened, which was a nice break, and allowed me to meet and talk to some of the people I‘ll be working with this year.

Final dress went well, but probably not as smoothly as some people were hoping for. For lighting, some of the moving instruments were not in their correct spots, perhaps due to a calibration issues. There is also a lot of projections in the show, and while they were almost glitch free, the main front of house scrim, must have been caught when it was flown in, because every once in a while a visible ripple would travel up and down the scrim from someone trying to get it uncaught.

Phil is going to come in on Saturday to fix the final notes from the final dress rehearsal, which means that Bridgette and I do not have to be back at the Opera for another 10 days. When I return we will start teching the next show Jenufa. The internship will not always be like this though; October is packed to the brim! I am looking forward to the time off already so I can kick it into high gear during the first week of school, since classes officially start this Monday for me. And I also need to move into my apartment next week. Busy, busy, busy. All in all, it has been enjoyable so far.

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