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  1. To Raise Hell

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    By Rhonda Hansome

    As you know Dear Readers*, my Rhonda Hansome Comedy Divorced & Bitter Tour recently returned from an astonishingly successful stint of performances in Tel Aviv.  What you may not know, in spite of the humongous number of woman hours (the ubiquitous uber-opinionated “THEY” dictate as NECESSARY) I devote to a myriad of social media, multiple electronic platforms and smoke signals to  promote myself - every gig, whimper and fart; is that I am a thespian.  Insert your own sexual orientation joke here.  Yes, I am an experienced, trained and (she said modestly lowering her eyes and tucking her toe into the red earth beneath her) respected theater director**.    

    Dante’s Inferno is stocked with a most diverse assemblage of souls suffering the excruciating pains of hell.  It is home to the unbaptized, lustful, gluttonous, greedy, lazy, heretics, the violent, con artists, and disloyal.  There is one particularly heinous ring of hell that Bing, Google and Wikipedia do not mention. It is that terrifyingly banal, agonizingly predictable sulfurous pit of despair (cue evil dramatic music) TECH SUPPORT!

    I am in fact, in the middle of a the second week AND second venue of the two week run of It Takes A Village To Raise…Hell by Michael A. Jones, produced by Spencer Holden and directed by me – under the name, Passion – the only one of my many alternate personalities, I will consciously acknowledge.   Now, to make a long story longer... When I interviewed for the position of director on the project, I mentioned several times that my long planned for (11 day) trip to Israel, fell smack dab in the middle of the rehearsal period.  Who in their right mind would hire an M.I.A. director for a project?  My producer and playwright did!

    Don’t ask why we scheduled a week of shows in Times Square and then on short notice, another week in Harlem.  Suffice it to say, I opened my blabber mouth about nomination eligibility requirements for a prestigious*** theater award.  

    Jump cut to yesterday’s tech at 308 W. 133rd St. near St. Nicholas.  All lighting, sound, equipment and/or operator errors may be multiplied by 2; for a taste of tech the previous week at our first venue. 

    Theater tech entails coordinating lighting and sound cues with the words and movement of actors and tasks of the backstage crew.  If this detailed plotting, synchronizing the hair trigger timing of lights and sound is (under the best conditions) a delicate symphony; our venue’s Pleistocene era  equipment, operator error and missing actors rendered our tech rehearsal composition an atonal, abstract hit and miss mélange.   So after six and a half hours of this dissonant jazz riff repeated, with slight variations as each piece of equipment or personnel malfunctioned, and with an under rehearsed understudy in costume, we began the show.

    It was an inspired performance by all the actors including the understudy!  They were so compelling that I managed to keep my wincing at technical miss-cues to a minimum. Yikes, the phone’s ringing, when we should hear Dianna Ross warbling.  OMG, my lightning speed scene blackout cue is an unnervingly slow light fade, during which I silently recite the entire Lord’s Prayer- in Latin.  But it was the audience, responding with spontaneous applause during and at the end of almost every scene that co-signed my thrilling director experience of seeing my vision alive, breathing and truthful on stage.  

    At some point during the tech rehearsal, I remembered my blog deadline was fast approaching.  I had the brilliant idea to tape cast & crew members doing an impression of me in the thrall of one of my many crazy director moments; that will be really funny & they can do all the work.  Some were actually game to participate & I used my cell phone to capture their (not very exaggerated) extremely hilarious antics.


    Jump cut to 4:00 AM this morning and my laptop’s stubborn refusal to recognize my Blackberry Curve smartphone.   At 4:30 AT&T tech support conceded defeat and transferred me to Blackberry support.  At 5:30 after uninstalling and reinstalling the desktop manager, Josh handed me over to a more expert technician, Pat, who took me through the same ineffective steps conducted by James and Steven.  Pat humbly handed me off to the supremely confident sounding, Fabian.  Fabian after walking me through yet another unsuccessful uninstalling and reinstalling session said he would call me back.  Yeah right… I’ll be damned, 6:30 on the dot- it’s Fabian!  We uninstall the desktop software and he pulls his ace card.  Some kind of cleaner we download that will clear everything up after we reinstall the desktop manager. 

    At 7:00 AM, the morning air is thick with sulfur as Fabian, hat in hand and no longer self-assured, wishes me a good day.  Good day? It hasn’t even begun. I’m exhausted and there sits my smirking deadline, mocking as only a frenemy can.  Damn Dear Readers, it’s hot in here.

    Arrive early at 308 West 133rd St. @ Nicholas and be the 1st person at the box office to say “She So Funny” and receive One (1) FREE ADMISSION to It Takes A Village To Raise Hell.  Be the 2nd or 3rd person at the box office to say “She So Funny” and receive a $10.00 discount on the $25.00 regular ticket price.  Performances: Thurs. – Sat. Oct. 11- 13 @ 7:30 PM & Sat. Oct. 13 @ 2:00 PM

    *You cherished insane trio.

    *** So highly regarded you have never heard of it.

  2. 2 comments:

    1. Anonymous said...

      The Lord's Prayer - in Latin! ha ha ha

    2. loislane911 said...

      Brava, the play sounds wondrous. Don't know how you're doing it ALL, and under tech-duress (both on and off stage) no less. Wish I could hear that recording.

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