Saturday, September 03, 2005

cobra on the bridge

Hello Blogworld-

Today, riding across the Manhattan Bridge, I saw several big empty cans rolling around in the path. They were black and grey and silver and said Cobra on them. Now, I'm not sure what Cobra is exactly, but I would guess from the design that we're talking malt liquor. Tall boy cans with Cobra written in a sort of heavy metalloid font. If anyone out there can give some testimony about the nature of Cobra, I'd appreciate it. There are so many ways to get your buzz on now, I can't be expected to keep up with all the innovations in drinking.

I'd like to take a few moments to introduce the Builders and talk a bit about their jobs in the company. Today's installment features my observations on a fella we all love, Dan Dobson. That's Dan right at the top of toda's entry. He's standing in front of god's Little Warehouse (over his right shoulder) and the lovely Brooklyn Bridge is behind him. Dan is a Brooklyn man himself and proud. He is the sound designer for the show. Dan has been with the Builders for many years and many shows and is responsible for the aural landscape of the theatrical situations we cook up. Let me explain to those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of experienceing the theatrical experiences of which I speak, the sound is like another character in the pieces. It is not just "regular" theatre sound. It is not show tunes. It is not a soundtrack. It is a landscape that the show traverses from start to finish. And Dan is the guy who does his magic to make this richness happen. Like record album reviews, writing about sound is somewhat sad and I advise you all to come see the show to get the full-on Dan Dobson surround sound infiltration. I'm telling you, I have dreams where Dan's soundscape is the soundtrack! Freaky. But so good freaky.

Today we had unusual hours of operation and began work at noon and went until 7:00. Isn't that fascinating? We are working scenes individually and incorporating a ton of new material every day. The video unit and the animation unit are pounding out the visuals and they are getting more and more gorgeouser by the minute. These different tracks get laid in as we go: sound, lights, animation, video, acting, scenic. It is a process of aggregation, layering. So instead of all these elements that are considered "technical" coming in at the last week of rehearsal during what is traditionally called tech week in the theatre, they are there all along and are these other living presences in the piece. Or that's how I like to think of it. They are the co-stars with the humans.

Alright friends, I must get me to beddy-by now. Tomorrow is our last day of work this week and we are some tired Builders. Tired in a good way, from making stuff that we really care about. We are cultural workers, humble carpenters crafting things for others to appreciate, just like jesus christ.



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