Rebecca (beeker121) wrote,

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time awareness rant

One of the tasks in my job is writing schedules.  This involves being aware of the maximum hours we can rehearse according to the union (per day and per week), finding time for fittings or other non-rehearsal tasks the actors have, knowing when other groups may be sharing space with us, figuring out what we're specifically doing each day, and how much we need to accomplish in a day to reach set goals (like say, opening night).  Depending on the director I may just be typing up what they've worked out, or I may be creating the schedule from scratch.  Then there's the part where the best plans can all go to hell with one accident on a local bridge that your actors need to be on the other side of, so there always has to be the flexibility to create plan B on the fly.  Scheduling is a giant puzzle and honestly I think it's fun. 

Now I realize that I hold dates and times in my head (and scene numbers and who is in what, and designer schedules and whatever else) to a degree that just doesn't work for most people.  I'm the girl who has a conversation with a friend where they casually bring up seeing some movie on its opening next month, and then calls them the day before said movie begins to ask when we're seeing it.  Things, especially dates, just stick.  I know most people don't work this way.  And I know that creating a schedule is different that just reading it - of course it sticks in my brain more.

But depending on the day chances are good that anyone involved with the show has access to the schedule in at least two of the following four ways (and most have all four):  a calendar with an overview of the start and stop times, it's posted on the callboard onsite, it was emailed to you at the end of the previous day, and there is a recording available of me reading the schedule on a hotline.

So please understand that on the days when you are the fourth person who asks me "what's next" or "when is dinner / are we done" or "what are we doing today"  I would cheerfully cause you intense pain.

What is up with that?  Am I really so nice that you just want an excuse to talk to me (and I guarantee that is not true if this is your question)?  Does hearing it out loud make it more real (there's a damn hotline)?  Can you not be bothered to walk the six feet back to the callboard / your book to look at the papers I've given you?

It's been ten years and I've never figured out how to fix it.  I try very hard not to snap at people asking the same damn question again and have accepted that no matter what I do (and I've considered tattooing) people are going to ask.  I've thought about not publishing calendars to save paper, or not recording the hotline, but you know the day I take away one of the methods of communicating the schedule some one person who relys on it is going to scream.  It simply is exhausting some days, creating work that is (apparently) ignored.

I'm sure every job has a task like this, that you have to do and well but that no one else seems to really pay attention to.  What's yours?
Tags: theatre, time

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