Well we’ve entered day two and most venues have had at least one technical rehearsal so far. Most of the local groups will have their tech rehearsals today or tomorrow, with the out-of-towners on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
The technical rehearsal is three precious hours to make sure that everything technical for the companies’ shows is going to work right. We need to set all of the lighting and sound cues, set up and tear down the set in a timely manner, and hopefully get in a run.
If a group is well organised or comes with a minimum of technical requirements, it can be a fun filled three hours, filled with joy and laughter and camaraderie, complete with skipping technicians with huge smiles on their faces….
It can also turn into a woeful three hours filled with panic, pain, and agony as hellfire and brimstone rain upon the stage and the unprepared…
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Even the most technical heavy shows can have a productive tech rehearsal if the company is organised and comes prepared… and fills out everything in their technical rider…
So here are the top ten things that performing companies might consider adding to their riders in order to let the Fringe and the technicians know what to expect.
For your new musical Rambo Kicks The Crap Out Of Some Terrorist Dudes – The Musical, you should probably let the Fringe know that you are bringing fourteen assault rifles, a pair of uzis, an anti-tank gun, a bazooka, and an uranium tipped air to air missile to use in your show. You should also come with all of the permits that allow you to handle your arsenal. No operational weapon of any kind is allowed on the stage, and even some non-firing replicas require permits to even touch them. Besides, the uranium on the missile wreaks havoc on our wi-fi signal, and you do NOT want to come between a technician and it’s internet…
#9 Food stuffs.
Mayonnaise aside, food on stage can get messy. There’s usually no problem with food on stage, we just want to know about it ahead of time so we can prepare for it. The scene in the bar on the army base where Rambo has a beer with his buddy, is fine… until he breaks the beer over buddy’s head and starts a brawl. You might consider not using real beer either. And the scene where Rambo and the North Korean terrorist duel with thirty pound salmons could probably use a rewrite, because dude, that smell lingers…
#8 Musical instruments.
We can see by the title of your show, that RKTCOOSTD is a musical, but it’s always good to know what the requirements are for your extravaganza, so when you show up with four sousaphones, a set of timpani, and nineteen bagpipes, we can be prepared. I’m also pretty sure you need a permit to play those instruments together as well.
Video has become a common thing in Fringe shows, but it would be nice to know ahead of time whether that 80’s montage of Rambo running in a grass field from the terrorist mob, all to the tune of The Eye Of The Tiger, is a front projection or a rear projection. That way we can be prepared… and better able to use it so that when you’re gone, we can watch Golden Girls and Starsky and Hutch re-runs on Netflix.
It is actually really cool that your uncle who works for NASA has designed a complete computer program that will run on your Russian Электроника laptop that he acquired from a Soyuz capsule, but that 43 pin Czechoslovakian audio adapter from the 70s, isn’t compatible with our My Little Pony audio console. Do you have your show on cassette perhaps?
That scene where the interrogator pours gasoline all over the room, around a tied up Rambo, and then lights it on fire, which burns through the ropes holding Rambo down, so he breaks free just before the building explodes, but not before he beats the interrogator to death with a (now smoked) salmon? Ya… you’re gonna need to rethink that scene.
OH COME ON! There is no f*$%ing llama in Rambo! I don’t know what farm you borrowed that thing from, but she has to go back! No llama… just… no!
#3 Extra lighting
It is fantastic that your brother in law has turned his life around and is now a DJ for weddings, and he let you borrow his strobe lights and disco balls, we would have just liked to know that before hand so we could run some socaplex cable to run the things. However, the scene where Tony Manero from Saturday Night Fever comes back to have a dance off with Rambo in the discotheque? You should totally keep that scene in, because that is inspired man!
When Rambo throws the live hand grenade (see #10) at the guards and they get shredded, you can’t use the firehose filled with pigs blood to shower the audience in red goo! We just don’t have the refrigeration facilities to keep that blood fresh! Ask the beer tent vampire, she’ll tell you.
I don’t care which mail order company you got those fireworks from, you are not firing them off in my venue. So put those mortars back in your Suzuki and we’ll PRETEND that the prison camp explodes. Those are designed to fire a shell one hundred feet into the air, and I don’t need more holes in my twenty foot skylights. I’d have to send my venue partner back up to fix the blackout pieces, and you really really don’t want that. Oh! But you have sparklers? I love sparklers, can I have one?
It’s not that we’re trying to make your show fail, I think that we’re long overdue for a Rambo musical, but we simply can’t accommodate your requests if we don’t know what they are, and even then, we can’t accommodate your request if it’s illegal!
So next time, fill out everything on the form and keep us appraised of any changes, then we could make your show everything that you dreamed of. But leave the llama at home… that’s just stupid.