For the last few days Labyrinth of Desire has been the only thing on my mind. On Monday we started Load-In and everyday since has been a full twelve hour work day to get the show up and in running order for the start of tech. This show unlike any other BU show I’ve seen, heard of, or worked on has a lot of different tricks. Getting them all up and running has been the biggest challenge this week especially all of them have presented their own unexpected challenges.
On Monday we started Load-In by working out in the house while lighting hung onstage. For this show we have a runway that extends from the stage out into the middle of the house. As the leader of this project it was up to me and my crew to get it all taken care of by end of the day Monday so that on Tuesday all hands could be on deck for onstage Load-In. As my team and I started working we quickly figured out that there was going to be a small problem with the end of the runway. The runway was supposed to be 24 feet long, extending all the way into the middle of row G, according to the drafting of the space we should’ve been able to do this with ease. However as it turns out, the drafting of the seats in the house is not accurate and our runway ended up being one foot short of where we ultimately wanted it to be. Not because we didn’t make it 24 feet long, but because the seats were in the wrong position around it. As a fix we just built a little extension platform and added it to the end of the runway which fixed the problem. Luckily that was the biggest obstacle of the day with that and we were able to get everything done by the end of day.
On Tuesday we started on stage Load-In with our three massive walls. For those who don’t know these walls all of a trick of there own. The SL wall rotates 360 degrees, the SR wall tips (actually it falls), and the US wall moves SR to SL, as well as having a giant cut out of Aphrodite that tracks across the top of it. Our problems began early in the day when we went to install the SL wall. Since the wall rotates it needs a pivot point, to do this safely you need a pivot point that goes all the way down through the deck to the trap room. However, when it was drafted the pivot point for this wall was placed right above a massive steel beam that supports the stage floor. Fixing this problem was easy, we talked to Jimmy the Designer and got him to approve moving the wall onstage 4 inches to get around the beam. Although this fixed the problem because of the move we had to slightly alter the placement of the other two walls to keep sight lines, and most importantly prevent scenery from crashing into each other.
Wednesday and Today have been our toughest days. We have been working to get the SR wall safe because it is such a hard trick to make the wall fall safely and repeatedly. Designing and rigging a system hasn’t actually turned out to be the hard part, the hardest part is ensuring that the system is able to repeat the fall over and over. Luckily we have added in a number of safety measures so that nothing could ever go wrong and hurt someone but the work that it has required to get it to this point has just been relentless. Thankfully all the work is now done and it is just time to run it all through during tech. I do anticipate a few notes throughout the process but that is to be expected especially with a show this large. The good news is there shouldn’t been any major issues before opening.