Thursday, April 19, 2012

Just a little overview

While commenting on Facebook this morning, I thought that it would be interesting to list the number of different skills that have been employed since I began to work on the musical, Grimhilda!   It hasn't been quite a matter of everything and the kitchen sink, (as in Sienna Sinks stainless steel sinks) but it's felt close to that at times.

Of course, the first skill was writing the thing, in collaboration with my friend, Cherianne Parks (she contributed many of the crazier ideas, and is very strong on structure and plotting).

Then the was the writing of the music, first in a piano/vocal score, and then gradually this was orchestrated.   None of these skills, so far, were new to me.

Next, and these aren't in any particular order, I had to discover how to apply for funding and how to fill in applications forms to funders.  I was greatly helped in this by Sally-Anne Howes, who's done it before and made editorial comments and did the budgetting side of it.  As a result we got some $6000 of funding!

Then there was my involvement in the auditions.  I didn't make the final decisions on casting, but was involved in the process with the director and music director.   When we didn't have a complete cast as a result, in collaboration with the D and MD, I began the search through every means I could think of to find the additional actors we needed.  So you might say I acquired some casting skills...

Then there was advertising.  Initially I was doing this in a kind of ad hoc way, and then somehow it became my job altogether.   It's been interesting, and I've met some great and friendly and helpful people.   And been overwhelmed, as always, by the willingness of people to get involved.

I also recorded two selections of music and put these on SoundCloud, along with some of the instrumental music - courtesy of the Sibelius program.   And last weekend, I went through and checked (and corrected) the instrumental parts, and printed them out, and, with my wife's assistance, taped all the individual pages together into a concertina format, so the musicians don't have pages flying everywhere during the performances.  That was a much bigger job than I anticipated.   And then we'd no sooner done that than we had to add in a number of bars because the Director wanted a bit of dancing in one place.  Such is his prerogative, but it's surprising how much extra work that was.  It's much easier to cut stuff than add stuff!

And then there's what you might call my 'producing' role: finding things, and people to do stuff, and making decisions that something is far too expensive to go with and trying to find a better and more economic option.   Surprisingly the economic options are often because other groups in town, or people, are willing to be generous to a degree that continues to amaze me.  This week has shown me just how generous people can be - we were even offered a keyboard for the celesta part in the score after I advertised on Twitter.  Someone retweeted the original tweet, and within five minutes, I was on the phone to a resident saying he not only had a keyboard he was willing to lend (to a complete stranger!) but was willing to drop it off to the theatre.   Wow!

I've just been having coffee and liaising with the MD and the man who's going to look after the mics for us.  He's even willing to go chasing up additional items we need to get this part of the show to work properly.  Again, Wow!   (And he's been willing to come to rehearsals and see how things run and what needs to be done.)

My list of helpful people is growing - and I'll keep it for future reference!

Meanwhile, Cherianne has also played multiple roles: props person (collecting them and organising for them to be built where necessary); overseeing the making of the costumes and liaising with the scenic designer; ongoing script consultant and much more which she could tell you about better than I can.  And of course, she'll be Stage Manager during the show's run.

I'm sure there are other jobs I've been involved with (such as putting together the promo at the Library yesterday) but they're all beginning to merge...maybe I'll update this as the other jobs come to mind!

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