Between final dress rehearsal and the opening of the show most of what I had to do was paperwork. We had some miscommunication and timing issues with props during this week and from a suggestion of my supervisor, I created a few pieces of detailed paperwork showing where things should be at what time and what time I wanted this started and completed by before the show each night. I created three different pieces of paperwork, each having basically the same information but formatted differently to help at different times before, during, and after the show.
The props tracking list (see sample below) details what page the prop starts its track, what the name of the prop is, where it starts, who picks it up, where it ends, and whether or not that prop has any more tracking after.
The props location list breaks down where each prop should be at the top of the show. For bags the list includes the contents of each bag and for items with multiples it includes how many of each item there are. This is also the list that I use at the top of the show to check the props to make sure everything is where it needs to be.
The props pre-show and post-show list has a detailed time breakdown of each task that needed to be completed and what time I expected that task to begin by. This was probably the most helpful piece of props paperwork because it allowed me to know what was supposed to be happening at specific times so that I would know right away if we were ahead or behind schedule. This also ensured that everything was in place and had been checked by the time I had actors onstage for fight call.
With the addition of these three pieces of paperwork, my pre-show process was a lot smoother and I could more confidently check in with other departments and continue with my pre-show duties and not have to constantly check in with props to make sure everything was getting done in a timely manner.
The first half of this week is tech week! Tech week for Whipping Man goes from sunday to wednesday, starting with load-in on sunday. Load-in is when the set and electrics are moved into the space, in our case the space is The Aviary! On this day I was in the shop back on campus helping get the props caught up so that we would have them for our spacing rehearsal on tuesday. I worked on a few different props on sunday, mostly making props look like they were old and worn, such as taking glass bottles and painting them to make them look dusty and dirty. Monday morning I was over at the Aviary with cast, director, and artistic director to do video interviews for marketing videos. Once the interviews were over the cast was dismissed until the evening when they came back and we did a spacing rehearsal with the cast actually on the platforms for the first time. Our spacing rehearsal ended up turning into a run through so we ended up going through the entire show. On tuesday we had a short rehearsal in the early afternoon working the “fight call scenes” and a few other heavier blocking areas. There were two fight call scenes in the show, the first being the amputation, and the second being the scene where Simon is physically threatening and hitting John. Tuesday night we did a cue to cue where we skipped through the show jumping from cue to cue, working out the timing for lighting and sound cues. Wednesday afternoon we did a tech run followed by the final dress rehearsal in the evening. After final dress we ran through all of the scene transitions to make sure everything that happened during the transitions was running as quickly and smoothly as possible.
This was the second and last week of Whipping Man rehearsals before we were to move into The Aviary. We started monday’s rehearsal by breaking down and working in depth on the amputation scene (the end of act 1 scene 1) and when that felt comfortable with it we ran the entirety of act 1 scene 1. After running this scene and taking notes on trouble spots we went back and worked those trouble spots until they ran smoothly. After dinner break we moved onto act 1 scenes 2 and 3 and worked through those. On tuesday we finished our work with act 1 scene 3 and then did a full run of act 1. Wednesday morning we had an interview with the local newspaper, which turned into our production being the front page article of the paper (article link at bottom of page). After the interview we went straight into rehearsing act 2 scene 1 which is Caleb’s letter. The tricky part of the letter was that there is an underscore for the letter so it had to be timed correctly so that the pauses and movements of the underscore matched up with the reading (sound cloud file at bottom of page). We then moved on to act 2 scene 2 and focused a lot on the very end of the scene, seeing as this was the final moment of the show. When we finished with this we did a full run of act 2. Thursday and friday we jumped around quite a bit running each act and working the trouble spots, both days ending with a run of the act that we worked on that day. Saturday we did a full run through of the show and invited the designers and crew members of the show to watch and make any notes of questions or concerns they had regarding things they noticed that would possibly need to be changed before or during tech week. This was also the only time that the crew members working backstage would be able to sit down and watch the show since they would not be able to watch it from their backstage positions.
This was my first week of WM rehearsals. We started on Monday with an orientation of the company for the actors and then moved onto a read through of the script. We have an advisor from the local synagogue who came to the read through and has since been to a few rehearsals to help us to make sure we accurately and sensitively depict the jewish material in the script. The second half of the day we started blocking the show very roughly with the actors moving where and when they felt they should move with director staying mostly hands off the first time and then adjusting things as we moved further along. Within the next three days we had blocked the whole show and moved on to working on the nuances of movement and line delivery. There are only three actors in the show and in the first scene of the show one of them gets his leg amputated and then spends the rest of the show stationary on the chaise, this means that most of the blocking is only for 2 of the actors in the show. The most challenging piece of blocking is the amputation scene (pictured below) because we have to carefully choreograph the struggle to ensure the actor’s safety and because when Simon and Caleb are covered by the blanket, Simon has to continue the sawing motion while taking off the clean apron, putting on a bloody apron, take the tourniquet off of Caleb’s leg, put caleb’s leg into the hole in the chaise, cover up the “amputated” leg, and put the saw, biting stick, and clean apron into the tool box. This show will be preformed in a building in Miller Park called the Aviary and will be staged in the round. The drawing below is the ground plan for the show which shows the three platforms in the aviary surrounded by the seating that we will be bringing in.
This week marks the end of the Summer Learning Institute at MOAS and the second to last week of our internship with the education department. As far as weeks goes, this one was pretty easy and straightforward. The entire department staff was on hand and so on Monday we were not needed for the morning registration of classes. There also happen to be a private event going on in the Root Gallery from opening until 2:30pm. This event led to a lack of tour groups since the Root Gallery is an essential part of most tours.
With an open morning I stared working on some fossil cast that needed sanding and plastering. Thanya and I, then handled the afternoon registration which was smaller then the usual morning groups. Afterward, we continued with our work on the Prehistory of Florida coloring book. To enhance the coloring book we decided to include activities like wordsearches, mazes and crossword puzzle that directly reflect the information that is found in that exhibit. I worked in generating these puzzles while Thanya finish the main two page spread of the coloring book.
I continued working on the fossil cast throughout the week as well as drawing other material for the coloring book. On Wednesday we had our only tour for the week with a nice small groups. There was no help needed in the actually class so overall the week was mostly dedicated toward the coloring book.
As the internship is coming to a closing there is a certain level of excitement with the camps ending. Even so, MOAS will feel very empty and quiet with the abundance of kids in the Children’s Musuem.
This week was the last week of summer camp at the museum, and things couldn’t have run more smoothly. It ended without a hitch, and now all that’s left to do is simply organize and clean up the museum.
We only had one group to tour this week, and generally they were well behaved. The only difficulty was touring the Prehistory gallery because there were other children visitors, who weren’t part of the group, and they were also obnoxiously loud. Normally other guests aren’t a problem, but because the kids were loud in the gallery that echoes, it was harder to present my information. Nevertheless, I had to be as loud as I could and give it my best.
Apart from that, we are still working on the prehistory coloring book, and we have all of our sketches done, now I just need to create line art over everything, and finally we will organize everything into InDesign.
Here are several samples of the illustrations:
Right now I’m finishing the line art of my last drawing of the ground sloth. Once we have the drawings complete, I’ll also add in the crossword puzzle and maze that Ariana created and include the correlating text. It will take less time for me to create the line art for her drawings since I don’t need to do any sketching on my part and I can simply jump right into digitalizing her drawings.
We plan on completing this project early next week because our supervisor also wants us to create fake money for the pizza place at the Children’s Museum. I will go over that project more next week.
Although there was a lot of work at the museum this past week, I was mostly working from home due to the general strikes in Venezuela. I worked on editing some of the photos I took of the current exhibits so that they could be published on the museum’s website. My supervisor posted them immediately,
so check them out below!. On the other hand, the summer camps got reschedule, so I updated the information on the Instagram stories. Additionally, I focused on finishing the newsletter, and I am happy to say I am finally done. However, it was quite challenging to do so. After I was finished testing the images, the layout, and the links, I noticed the image in the header was a little pixelated, so I did some research since I originally thought JPEG was the best format for web, but I ended up reading somewhere that when it comes to images that include text—such as that image for the header—it is actually better to have the images as PNGs. Therefore, I exported the image in that format, and indeed, the image looked sharper. When I showed it to my supervisor, she asked if I could add a couple more link so that users could click on the names of each exhibition room and a new window or tab would open with the web page of the exhibit that was currently displaying in that room. Thus, I completed this modification before finally turning in the newsletter. I also worked on a couple ID badges for people who just started to work at the museum. I did this on InDesign and it was fairly easy since there was a template for it, so my work consisted of mostly editing and resizing the images.
On my last day at the museum, I sat with my supervisor to discuss my performance. I got a lot of positive feedback from my supervisor and I asked for suggestions to improve, so she told me I could get better at anticipating what needs to be done in the workplace, and I definitely agree since that could increase productivity. However, she confessed that was a skill that was developed through experience and over time.
This internship challenged me in multiple ways. I had to adapt to the not-so-conventional working conditions while expanding my knowledge of HTML and getting reacquainted with Photoshop and InDesign. Nonetheless, I truly enjoyed working on the projects that were assigned to me and everyone at the museum made me feel like part of the team, so I am really happy I got to intern there and I look forward to similar experiences in the future.