The hills are alive!

Posted on Posted in Musings about Light

Last Sunday night was a bit of an adventure. Not the sky-diving, or scuba diving style of adventure, but the outdoor amphitheatre gala award show type of adventure.

Yes, I don’t like outdoor theatre, and yet, I agreed to light an outdoor show. Last night was the 10th anniversary of CPSOA (Creative Planet School of the Arts) Gala and Awards. I think that’s what it was called, I’m not really sure. Sometimes I just show up and light things. Is that strange? Maybe so…

Anyway… one of the big reasons why I agreed to design the show, besides the fact that I’m a big softie, and can’t say no to sweet people who ask for help – plus little kids dancing onstage (how awesome is that, really? And specifically, that little 6 year old kid dancing to Michael Jackson? He just makes my heart melt) is that the show was performing at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, in Hollywood.

You might not know the place. Especially if you are not living in Los Angeles. If you don’t – you might have heard of the theatre ACROSS the street, the Hollywood Bowl. The Ford is like the intimate little brother to the Hollywood bowl, with a more casual home-y vibe that contrasts to the Bowl’s deco clean lines and multi-thousand seats.

I can’t clearly explain why I dislike outdoor theatre so much, but maybe it’s that feeling at 1am during focus or cueing when I feel like I’m coming down with the cold that will eventually kill me, or the marine layer that settles in and causes a dull haze over the stage that screws up all of the lighting fixture intensities, or the humid night air that curls my script pages. Maybe one of those reasons. It couldn’t be the wildlife (rats) or the flying insects (divebombing june bugs) – I wouldn’t be so petty to not like those.

I put all that aside, and decided that I could make it through the night, since all evidence from the rest of my life has taught me that I can survive most any day, and that I can survive most any theatrical experience.

For the most part, the show looked super pretty. There were some foibles here and there, and well, it went on so very long, but all in all, it was a great night. The kids brought out their trademark “Fierceness” and Fluffy (the staff Master Electrician) and I in the booth worked as much magic as we could to match the onstage efforts. By 11:50pm, I was safely in my car with the heater blasting away and driving home.

Congrats to CPSOA, and a little self congratulations for working outside, at night, in the cold.