12.02.2008

Why wouldn't there be camels backstage?

A month ago the Rockettes rehearsed for a week in Cincinnati. If you, like me,  didn't know the Rockettes still existed and thought that the first batch from the 20s and 30s just petered off and died, well, we were quite wrong. Where the hell have I been? Because the new generations of Rockettes have been at Radio City Music Hall kicking away all this time. I just didn't notice until now

It's fairly hard to miss when you're hired as a runner for their Christmas Spectacular production rehearsals. Nor could I miss the LIVE CAMELS in the show and the 54-foot truck that the camels travel in. I spent a good part of that week sending texts to people that said, "I've got one word for you. Camels."

I watched five minutes of the camels onstage with their handlers. One of them looked totally chill, like it was thinking, "I was made for this," but the other was pissed. Where is my desert? Take me back to my desert.

That rehearsal week in October was tiring: wake at 6am, pick up crew at the hotel at 7 am, drop at arena. Do errands and drive around all day until 1 am, bring crew back to the hotel, go to sleep at 2 am and repeat four hours later. 

But you can't complain about a delirium-inducing schedule when everyone on the production crew is doing it for much longer than a week, with much more responsibility. Suck it up. Wanting to die by Wednesday = unacceptable. When I started getting sick, though, my chest rumbling with each breath, re-pulling the same muscle in my back every time I sneezed, I wanted my blankie.

The upside was that the production coordinator I worked for was totally cool, seriously funny, and so much more overworked than I have ever been that I honestly wanted to make her life easier. If that girl needed a burger, I would have hopped the counter at Wendy's to make it myself. (They didn't let me. I had to stand in line and order one like everyone else.) At least I was in line behind Jonas who I haven't seen since junior high when he used to call me Jessica Bonkers at the pool which made me sooooo mad back then, mad like only a junior high girl can get with much eye rolling, glaring, and secret enjoyment. But I didn't tap Jonas on the shoulder to remind him of how witty we were in 1988. I was on a mission and just wanted that burger.

The night the Rockettes crew loaded out, I picked up bus drivers in shifts at 12:30 and 1:30 am. I live so close to downtown that I could go home, read, hop in the car, and be at the hotel in seven minutes. Then I'd turn around and do it again an hour later. I did the last pickup in my pajamas and my downstairs neighbor probably thinks I'm drug dealer but I'm okay with that. That part of the night, the very end of a long day, was funny because I'd chat with the drivers about our respective tours which invariably led to us knowing some of the same people and then we'd gossip.

The Rockettes were back last week for a run of shows and I got out my jingle bells to work for them again. Just kidding, I don't like jingle bells. I was not happy when a wardrobe person walked through the production office shaking jingle bells.

It was almost as bad as having the iPod and speakers set to only play songs from 1979. How relieved was I when someone lost it and demanded that the iPod be changed, that she was going to officially have a breakdown if she was reminded by one more song of how much 1979 sucked?

2 comments:

dj empirical said...

it amazes me that lately your blog posts have enough in them that i have multi-part responses.

1) of *course* the Rockettes are still around -- haven't you seen The Cremaster Cycle? if not (and i assume not) i will have to fix that. i will try to bring a dvd to schwarz tonight.

2) there are plenty of good songs from 1979 -- but not ones that would be on an ipod owned by someone who would choose a year for a playlist.

chickey said...

BONKERS!!! so obvious. why didn't I ever see that?