Thanks to the ART GODDESS for... once again...."pulling me back from the ledge". If you're a JOURNEYMAN ENTERTAINER, you know how many many many things can go wrong on the DAY OF SHOW. Beginners don't know these things. They haven't experienced them yet, but Journeyman and Journeywomen HAVE. We know that (at some point) every thing that CAN go wrong WILL eventually go wrong. AND it will go wrong during the tiniest window you can image... LOAD IN and SET UP time. Most (non-show-people) don't know this but, there is an invisible CLOCK that hangs in the sky. It's huge. It's menacing. It's monstrous... and it starts the moment you arrive at a venue (school, home, theatre, fair). It's weird, but all sorts of things can get the in way of a proper/ontime/successful showtime start. To start late is unprofessional and unnerving and can seriously throw you off your game... so you work like crazy to NOT let this stuff get in your way. Experience teaches you that ANTICIPATED PROBLEMS are not good, but can be solved. UNANTICIPATED PROBLEMS can be catastrophic. So the Journeyman/woman works like crazy to proactively solve problems that MIGHT show up. The list includes: no help loading in, no electricity, broken props, stairs, wireless microphone does not work, very long distance to performance space, no one knew you were coming, huge distance between audience and stage, a backdrop that won't stay up. The list is endless. I'm sweating, just THINKING about this list. Which leads me to THE ART GODDESS. I have a super portable backdrop. I LOVE this backdrop. Looks good. Transports easily. Packs small. Over the past decade of performing the mechanisms that keep it in the air and keep it portable have worn-away. No matter how I try, I have not been able repair these. Buying a new one is out. Builder is unavailable. I've spent days (months actually) trying to solve the problems associated with this backdrop, and then coming back and realizing the problem is not solved. No big deal you say? Yes. It is a big deal. I am paid to be VERY GOOD. I'm paid to be VERY GOOD every time. That is the Journeyman's job. We are not famous, but we are very good EVERY TIME. The backdrop must stand up correctly and look good every time. NOW... add to this... a complex of related issues... the solve to the problem cannot 1. take-up ANY more space in my van (I travel with 5 shows already). There is LITERALLY no where to put anything else. AND... 2. I have a very small window of time for set-up. I can't afford to spend 30 minutes of my 60 minute load in time setting up a backdrop. It must set up in less than 10 minutes, because load in must include rolling cases, setting up sound, setting up tricks, etc. Each segment of set up has allocated amount of time and this backdrop problem is NOT BEING SOLVED. So... I'm totally FREAKING OUT because this backdrop won't stay up. All my solutions take up too much room in the van or too much time to set up. So... The ART GODDESS says... "let me help". She creates an elegant solution and works tirelessly (I counted five hours) helping make the solve work. Sewing, measuring, cutting, suggesting materials, she pulls me back from the ledge.
1. Thank you Art Goddess! You rock!
2. I hope you have an Art Goddess in your life (or you ARE an Art Goddess).
3. I'm possibly the Luckiest Man Alive.... Journeyman... that is.