BWW Blog: To Tech a Mockingbird - Act 2
My To Kill a Mockingbird process is moving along, and this week I wanted to talk about how hang and circuit went! To recap, hang is when we look at the plot and hang units in their positions according to what the plot says. Circuit is when we plug the units into the breakouts (recap: a breakout contains multiple different circuits and either hang over the stage or lay in the catwalks) based on what breakouts are near the units, and according to the breakout groupings I talked about last week.
Because of time restraints put on scenic, we only had about 2 days to hang and circuit the show. Of course, we were still able to work once they started putting in the scenery, but after our two days we "lost the stage", which means that we no longer took precedence. As the master electrician for the show, it was my responsibility to "call" the hang and circuit, meaning that I needed to instruct the people working on what their next move is, as well as keep the process moving along at a good pace. Something I really had to learn for this position is how to handle multiple issues at one time, which was not necessarily a skill I possessed before this experience. On our second official day of hang and circuit, we had two sets of people in the air working, as well as others in the theatre communicating with me about an issue. When you look at the plot, it looks like there are instruments hanging on top of scenery, which of course worried scenic and our production manager. So while I was trying to keep the hang and circuit moving so that we could complete what we needed to before end of day, I also had to try and figure out the solution to this problem. Luckily, I was able to contact the lighting designer and have him come in to explain his thought process so that my focus could return to the task at hand. While solving this issue and contacting the LD, I also had to remain available for questions from the people working. In order to communicate effectively, I used terms like "hold please" and "give me a moment and I'll be with you" so that the workers or whoever else needed me would know that I would be able to give them my full attention soon. I also had to stay organized so that I could keep track of who was working where and on what unit. In order to keep track of what's been hung and what's been circuited, I once again used color coding. When a unit was hung, I highlighted it with yellow, and when it was circuited, I highlighted it orange. I also put a small dot of the appropriate color when someone was working on either hanging or circuiting a unit so I could properly keep track of what was going on. I also kept my scale rule close in case someone required an additional measurement or needed clarification.
Hang and circuit was definitely a little more stressful than prepping the plot, as it required good communication and multitasking skills. There was a lot happening at once, so it was definitely a challenge to stay focused. I am thankful that we had a somewhat chaotic hang and circuit, because it prepared me for focus the next week!