I walked through the gate
I walked through the gate. The winds blew strong, the rain ran rampant. Entering the courtyard, there was a door. 12 foot tall, oak, and some odd combination of welcoming and ominous. I was here for an event that was supposed to be cancelled. I still had to be there, I control the lights and sound. All the actors were gone, just the director and I. The director, Irene Davis, told me we had to dismantle everything, before we even get to use it. She wrapped the cords as I took down the lights.
We made small talk until the question wouldn’t stop burning through my mind. I asked why we had to take everything down, having another show tomorrow. She said there was another show, scheduled for whenever we leave. No warning, no practices, no posters, nothing. The show tonight didn’t even cancel because of it, we didn’t sell enough tickets. What’s more odd is that it was to occur as soon as we leave, not linked to any set time. It’s unheard of.
I was somehow shocked enough to drop and break one of the can lights, which tripped a breaker. All went dark. The director immediately turned on their flashlight to inspect the light, and only the bulb broke. I could keep my salary. She insisted I go sort out the breaker while she takes down the rest of the kit.
I’ve tripped a thousand breakers, it’s an easy enough fix. I ran through hallway after hallway, a pattern I could do with a blindfold on. It wouldn’t be much different if I did. I could feel the change from beige carpet to cracked concrete under my feet. The changes in the texture of the wallpaper. The water heater letting off an awful scream. I flip the switch and the hallways blind me. Once regaining my vision, I head back. Somehow, it’s harder to find my way. I can’t feel as much. Everything I usually use to navigate feels obstructed. Eventually, I find my way back. I get to the theatre entrance, the same style oak door I saw outside. I tried the handle, but it’s locked. I pound on the door to the director and get no answer. I got more and more frustrated; all my stuff was in there. I tried staring through the keyhole but it’s blocked.
When you work in a place long enough, you begin to learn it’s secrets. I went into a closet and opened the access hatch left behind the cleaning supplies. From there I end up in a hallway, too thin for practical use, that runs behind the lighting booth. A ladder leading up to the catwalks was on the far end of the hall. I heard talking. There was the patterned glow from the spotlight behind us. The neon glows from the gels. Is this the next show? I didn’t even finish packing up. I climbed up the ladder to see what’s going on. The catwalk was a maze, but I found my way to a vantage point.
It was the next show, of sorts. It looked almost the same. Some of the same actors, same general plot. My bag wasn’t there anymore. Nothing was. How did they manage to get this all running in such short time? Where did they put my stuff? I couldn’t stop now. I ran to the sandbags, tied a quick hitch, and tried to repel from the catwalk to behind the stage. It was a very stupid decision. The rope snapped and I landed right in center stage. Everyone was confused. I played it off. I listened enough to what they’ve already discussed to know where they are in the script. I tried pretending it was all supposed to happen and sometimes people just fall from the ceiling. Who hasn’t?
I get off the stage as soon as possible, slipping into the crowd to sneak my way up to the lighting studio. The director wasn’t there, no one was. No one was keeping notes, but there was one the board.
See you at 7.