tablesaw: Futurama's Robot Devil, El Diablo Robotico (El Diablo Robotico)
What have I been doing on computers instead of updating my DW?
  • A website that provides two logic puzzles every day, with a complex and rewarding rating system. It is entirely in German, but [personal profile] chris has written up an English walkthrough. [ profile] motris has also written about his experiences with the site. I'm currently ranked 349 out of 666, and you can see a graph of my recent progress.
  • Tumblr. I have a Tumblr account now, because it was getting to a point where creating RSS feeds for the ones I liked was getting cumbersome. I'm at It's got some stuff on it, I guess. Nothing too consistent. I might try to fill it up with some stuff.
  • Tagging Old Entries. Hey, remember that time I was assaulted by an actor of a show I was stage-managing? Yeah, that's why I have a violence tag now.
  • Picasa Faces. I've loaded all my old photos onto my new computer. This means that there shouldn't be anything at all important left on the old dying box. It also means that Picasa is taunting me by finding faces in my photos and asking me to identify them.
  • Geocaching. [personal profile] trinker got me out and about, and I've been making progress again. Going to try to not let a week go by without some form of outdoorsing:

    Profile for Tablesaw


Jan. 29th, 2004 05:59 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I have resigned as the stage manager of Savage in Limbo, after being verbally and physically assaulted by one of the actors in the show and after what I feel to be some horrendous decisions by the theater company's board of producers. As a result, I have a bunch more free time. Much of this will go to cleaning mi casa, but if anyone's interested in doing something, I'm more than up for it. You know, I still haven't had time to see The Return of the King . . .
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Savage in Limbo goes up in fifteen hours. I won't be there, but the Whackedor will.

And I'm pissed.

I wasn't angry when the Whackedor went insane. I have better things to do than care about that. But the decisions the company has been making are beyond idiotic, and that pisses me off.

Apparently, the "understudy" for the Whackedor is unprepared and unwilling to take over. My friend, the one who's like family, the one who has been going through more hell than me since Sunday, has been informed that she can't step out because her "understudy" is unprepared and unwilling to take over.

So I'm sending in the board my resignation letter in a few hours. You might notice that I'm slightly miffed at them. Notes are appreciated.

Dear Sirs and Madams, )

(Update: Sent at 9:15 PST.)


Jan. 28th, 2004 05:13 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
It wasn't until an hour or so ago that I started to wind down from the altercation. Back at work, back in normal life, back reading a list of patent applications for typographical errors, I felt like the breath had finally been let out.

Although I've firmly and clearly extricated myself from the situation, the situation is not resolved, and my body and mind reflect it. I'm still spending the energy to stand my ground. More than that, I'm still trying to provide the cast and company with a model of strength and resolve that they seem to be fumbling for. My friend hasn't been able to sleep for two days. Another cast member has burst into tears on two separate occasions since Sunday's performance. One producer, who wasn't present on Sunday, is having to hold himself back from going to punch the Whackedor in the face. (Note the difference: this produce is able to show restraint even though he really wishes he didn't have to.)

I'm not pushing too hard, because I feel that there's too much personal bias on my part, but I'm trying to get them to do the right thing. In a normal theater setting, where the producers weren't cast members and the director wasn't in the lobby handing out programs, it would have been my call as the stage manager. In that world, the Whackedor would have gotten thrown out after five minutes, and the show would have gone on, probably with an address to the audience ambiguously explaining the last-minute change. I probably would have ended up on stage with a book in my hand.

Today, after the second production meeting where no decision was made, I brought my friend over because I was worried about her. She's been very affected by this on far more levels than I have. I love the company (and I should clarify that the Whackedor is not a member of the company, merely an actor hired to be in their show), and I'm always glad to help them out, but I have no problems walking away from a job under these circumstances. (And it is a job; Rwth and I are getting paid. It's not much, but it's more than the actors are getting, since they're mostly doing it for recognition and resume building.) For her, it's different. She's a founding member of the company, she's been handling finances for the past two years.

My friend feels she can't do the show with the Whackedor. Not only has she been deeply affected by somebody threatening someone she's known almost as family for over a decade, she's was also verbally abused by the Whackedor while she tried (somewhat inexpertly) to talk him down. She told the company that she was considering stepping down and was told that her understudy wouldn't be able to replace her. Apparently, she was horrible during understudy rehearsals, but since there was not going to be any planned night that my friend took off, they figured everything would be fine. So for the past three weeks, my friend (and I, for that matter) believed she had an understudy when, in fact, she didn't.

There's just a paralysis afflicting the group that's keeping decisions from being made. I think that many believe that the "easiest" thing to do would be for everyone (including me) to come back on Thursday and just deal for the next six performances. But that's not going to happen. It's not going to happen because I'd leave first. It's not going to happen because Rwth may leave too. It's not going to happen because my friend can't make eye contact with the Whackedor. It's not going to happen because my friends' husband who's been helping with concessions wants to get some friends and a few baseball bats and go after the Whackedor for threatening his beloved. And yet this seems "easier" than rehearsing a new understudy for anyone.

And it's Wednesday, and a final decision still hasn't been reached. These people seem to have no concept of time. It's certainly not going to be easy to rehearse an understudy if you don't make a decision until less than twenty-four hours till the next show.

I'd just like them to start acting like producers, realize that there's nobody who'll make this decision for them, and tell everyone what they're going to do. I'd like to know whether or not I'm going to be able to sleep in on Thursday. More importantly, I'd like to be able to prepare if I'm going back. There're going to be a lot of people looking for me to set a tone if I come back, and if I'm going to rise to the occasion, I'll need some preparation.

Just pass the soap so I can wash my hands of it, already.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
At last check, the Whackedor is going to be performing on Thursday. Final decisions have not been made, and a lot of people just seem too paralyzed to think. I expect to hear more tonight/tomorrow morning.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
As I mentioned earlier, I was assaulted by one of the actors in the show I am (or possibly was) stage managing. Here's what happened . . .

When the producers rented this space, they agreed to a few very absurd provisions. The most annoying involves where we store our props and set dressing. When we are running the show, we have to keep our stuff backstage right, but when we're not, we have to keep it backstage left. So when we do the last show of the week, we have to move all of their stuff out of the way, so that we can move our stuff into its new home, then put their stuff back where our stuff used to be. All of which is lots of fun because, since the actors are generally out front networking (read "drinking wine and chatting with friends"), it's Rwth (my co-stage manager) and I who have to do most of the moving.

To streamline this process, Rwth and I decided to rearrange part of the back stage before the show, so that we wouldn't have to stay out for so long dealing with the movement. In the process, we apparently blocked part of the backstage area used by two male actors as a dressing room. I learned this when one of the two, (I shall call him "the Whackedor") complained about our positioning of a large table with several props on it. It blocked off the sofa they liked to use to relax (not ours, part of the theater's rotating set pieces), and made it difficult for them to reach a mirror. I explained to them why we had moved it where we had: we were going to be doing a lot moving after the show, and we we usually can't count on the actors to help, so we were doing as much before hand as possible. He asked if we could put it somewhere else, and I said that next time, I would think about it, but for now it was best to leave things as they are.

I should note that during this conversation, I said something I immediately regretted. I can't recall what it was, but I remember thinking that my voice and word choice had made the statement slightly more acidic than it should have been. It wasn't anything horribly bad, I didn't see (then) any noticeable effects, and I couldn't see a way to immediately backtrack to it, so I just moved on. In fact, that was my tone toward the entire conversation. I didn't really care to much about it. Everyone had been given a later call, so we didn't have much time to care about it, and there were plenty of other things I was going to have to do.

Now, the Whackedor is cold. Always. When we moved into the theater, we kept the heat on. We soon realized, though, that the only person complaining of it being too cold was him. Eventually, the director, Rwth and I agreed that we'd keep the heater on before the show in most cases, but we would turn it off before we let the house in. Between the hot lights and the large crowd we often got, there was plenty of heat for everyone else, and keeping the heater on occasionally made it sweltering.

At about five or ten minutes to house open, Rwth came into the office next to the booth and told me that she turned the heater off. She wanted me to make sure I double checked it, because the Whackedor had recently been turning it back on after she turned it off. I told her that I was going into the booth and that I'd keep my eye on it from there. If anyone tried to turn it on again, I'd tell them not to.

At about three minutes to house open, I was surprised to see the Whackedor leaning over the heater. I had expected that he might have earlier, but now, we were minutes away from letting in the audience, and he was minutes away from leaving the theater to wait in the office anyway. The booth had no god mike, so I opened the window and asked, "Are you turning on the heater?"

"Yeah, I'm turning on the heater."

"Can you turn it back off? We're about to open up the house."

"No, I'm not going to do that."

"Whackedor, you can't turn the heater on right now, we're letting the audience in in a few minutes. Turn off the heater."

"Hey, fuck you. I'm freezing up here, and I'm turning the heater on. So just fuck off, all right?"

At this point, I got pissed. If he wasn't going to turn off the heater, I'd go down the and turn it off myself. If I had to stand there for the next three minutes before Rwth returned to take him to the waiting area, so be it. But the climate control of the house was my responsibility, I was the stage manager, and I do not going to back down.

I came into the theater and turned off the heater. Because the theater was small, the thermostat was located on the wall at about the line where the stage ended and the audience began. The stage was not raised, and so I was effectively on stage. The Whackedor turned to me and said, "What do you think you're doing." "I'm turning off the heater." Then the Whackedor begna to fully live up to the name I have here given him.

I can not remember the stream of invectives hurled at me. They weren't interesting at all, just verbal standins for the primal primate yell of anger that it was. There were several witty things that shot through my mind. The one I remember most clearly, in response to the Whackedor moving mere inches away from my face then screaming, "You'd better get out of my fucking face," was "I haven't moved an inch in the last sixty seconds please get out of my face." I didn't, partly because I knew it couldn't help, but mostly because I never got a chance to even say anything non snarky. After each harangue, I would start to say, calmly and quietly, "Whackedor, I am responsible for this theater." Each time, I managed to get as far as "resp." I said I don't back down, and I didn't. I wouldn't. I didn't feel the need to match his insane anger, but I didn't move an inch. Not when he started yelling at me. Not when he moved within an inch of my face, not when he threatened me.

In fact, I didn't move at all until he grabbed my shirt and shoved me backwards, still swearing at me.

There had been several actors on stage preparing for the show. I don't know specifically what they had been doing up to that point, but when the Whacked grabbed me, they immediately ran forward to hold him back. He didn't calm down. In fact, at this point, he began insulting the other cast members as well. As far as I can tell, he never calmed down. He claimed that I had disrespected him so much, between the backstage conversation and refusing to let him adjust the heater that he had no choice but to do what he did, what he was continuing to do. He threatened that if they tried to fire him, he'd refuse to go and that they'd need to call the police to haul him out.

Eventually, the director, who had been out front covering for the missing box office attendant, entered the room. At this point, seeing someone higher in the hierarchy than either myself or the actor, I relaxed and let him take the steps necessary for the situation. I didn't try to explain my side of what happened. The Whackedor seemed to want to say much more, and it seemed that any case I might want to make was better made letting him rant and threaten everyone in the room. I did say, softly, to the director and to a personal friend of mine in the cast who was also a producer, that I refused to work with him. And that if he continued to be on the cast, I would quit.

They considered cancelling the show, something they were loath to do because it was full house and a benefit performance to boot. They considered spot-replacing the Whackedor, something I think most of them were frankly afraid to do. Ultimately, they decided to go on with the show, so I informed the director and producer that I was leaving. I believe the director took my place with Rwth in the booth.

So that's why I was shaken up yesterday. I'm still a bit shaken up, but it's getting better. Last night, I had a momentary flashback to the episode. I remembered the Whackedor screaming face in front of mine; I remembered the adrenaline; I remembered grounding myself and steeling my face. But I had to laugh when I realized what had happened. I was watching The Bernie Mac Show, and Bernie Mac's girlfriend had angrily called him a whiny baby. The flashback had been triggered by thinking about how insecure, whiny, and self-centered the Whackedor is.

Yeah, I think I'll be okay.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I just got assaulted by one of the actors at the show I'm stage managing.

I'll tell more later, but for now, I want to talk, not write. Feel free to call me, if you want to hear.

(Update at 6 p.m.: Feeling a bit better, although I have no idea when I'll be ready to sleep. Talked with several people, some related to the show, and am feeling not so freaked out. Thanks to all leaving messages and calling. I'll give the full scoop soon. For now, I'm going to eat some greasy comfort food and relax with [ profile] wjukknibs.)


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